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Internet Explorer 8 on Linux with Wine

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About Internet Explorer 8

Windows Internet Explorer 8 (abbreviated IE8) is the latest web browser developed by Microsoft in the long running Internet Explorer browser series. The browser was released on March 19, 2009 for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, and Windows 7. Both 32-bit and 64-bit builds are available. It is the successor to Internet Explorer 7, released in 2006, and is the default browser for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems except in Europe. IE8's global market share is estimated to be about 18-20%.

According to Microsoft, security, ease of use, and improvements in RSS, Cascading Style Sheets, and Ajax support were its priorities for Internet Explorer 8.

Standards mode

Internet Explorer 8's main rendering mode, known as standards mode, has improved support for various web standards, especially CSS, compared to Internet Explorer 7 and earlier versions.

The web standards supported by IE8 include the following:

  • HTML, including the HTML object fallback and the abbr and elements
  • Data: URIs
  • CSS level 1 is fully supported. CSS level 2 is mostly supported however the CSS level 2 implementation does diverge from the CSS2 specification on over 50 counts. CSS level 3 is partially supported.
  • DOM storage
  • Partial HTML 5 support, including cross-document messaging
  • Selectors APIs
  • DOM, that brings it in line with implementations in other browsers. Attributes and properties in DOM objects are now handled differently, and the behavior of the getAttribute, setAttribute and removeAttribute modifiers have been changed to match the behavior of other browsers.
  • Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) specification for enhanced accessibility in Ajax-based rich Internet applications.

However, IE8 does not support some other W3C standards.

Wine configuration

This is with a clean configuration directory, with no other applications or games installed.

Linux Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
Windows version emulated: XP
Wine version tested: 1.1.32

" browseui="native, builtin"
"crypt32"="native, builtin"
"gdiplus"="native"
"hhctrl.ocx"="native, builtin"
"hlink"="native, builtin"
"iernonce"="native, builtin"
"iexplore.exe"="native, builtin"
"itircl"="native, builtin"
"itss"="native, builtin"
"jscript"="native, builtin"
"mlang"="native, builtin"
"mshtml"="native, builtin"
"msimtf"="native,builtin"
"msxml3"="native,builtin"
"riched20"="native,builtin"
"riched32"="native,builtin"
"secur32"="native, builtin"
"shdoclc"="native, builtin"
"shdocvw"="native, builtin"
"shlwapi"="native, builtin"
"url"="native, builtin"
"urlmon"="native, builtin"
"usp10"="native, builtin"
"uxtheme"="native,builtin"
"wininet"="builtin"
"wintrust"="native, builtin"
"xmllite"="native, builtin"

You will also need to copy a number of DLL's from a Windows XP machine and place them in /system32 as winetricks doesn't provide these DLL's at this time.

msctf.dll
msimtf.dll
uxtheme.dll

Winetricks

Now download winetricks if you don't already have it and install the following Windows redistributables.

corefonts
gdiplus
msls31
msxml3
riched20
riched32
tahoma

IE 8 install in Wine

Download Windows Internet Explorer 8 for Windows XP from Microsoft and save it to your home directory.

Now open a terminal and run $ wine IE8-WindowsXP-x86-ENU.exe

The IE 8 install should now start, I didnt select the Windows security updates in my install.

Conclusion and known problems

While IE 8 will run and render web pages just fine there is still a large number of problems/bugs that remain to be resolved before you will want to use the browser on Linux on a daily basis.

Bookmarks and RSS feeds don't currently work and their is a number of problems related to comctl32.dll for example the forward and backward buttons background isn't painted and even worse if you select Help the browser will lock up. I also had a number of lock ups when trying to save Internet options.

Their are also major problems with comdlg32.dll the address and search bars dont accept input at this time, so what ive done is set google as my homepage and then go from there.

You can easily do this in the user.reg file, just change the start page to what you want your home page to be. Here is what I have as a example :

[Software\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Main]
"Start Page"="http://www.google.com/ncr"

You can however view web pages, and navigate around a site to see how well it renders with IE 8 if your a web developer.

One way to help support further development of Internet Explorer is to purchase CrossOver Office and then vote for IE 8 as the app that you would most like to see supported in a future release.

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