Install Internet Explorer on Linux with IEs4Linux

Jack Wallen
Sep 9, 2009
Updated • Feb 13, 2018

Believe it or not, there is sometimes a need to have Internet Explorer available. Some web designers like to be able to to test their sites with all possible browsers. Some websites are poorly designed and will only function properly in Internet Explorer.

So many designers (and users) need to have this browser available. If you use Linux there are a couple of possibilities. You could run Internet Explorer in a Virtual Machine (See my article "Installing and configuraing VirtualBox for virtual OSes") or you could install Wine and IEs4Linux.

In this article we will deal with installing Internet Explorer with the help of Wine and IEs4Linux. The installation is not difficult and in the end you should have ever possible browser available to you for all your testing needs. Even though this installation will require the use of WINE you will not have to go through any complicated WINE set up. In fact the most difficult aspect of this setup is downloading and running a script that will take care of the most difficult part of the installation for you.

Preparing for the installation

The first thing you need to do is to make sure you have the right repositories in your /etc/apt/sources.list file. Open that file up and check to make sure the Universe repositories are uncommented. If you are using Januty (9.04) you will see the lines:

deb jaunty universe
deb-src jaunty universe
deb jaunty-updates universe
deb-src jaunty-updates universe

Makes sure none of those lines begin with the "#" character. If they do, remove that character and save the file. If you had to make changes to the file you will need to update apt with the command:

sudo apt-get update

Now you are ready to begin the installation.


The first thing you need to do is install a couple of applications with the help of apt-get. From within the same terminal you checked the sources.list file issue the following command:

sudo apt-get install wine cabextract

Once this has finished you need to download the IEs4Linux installation script from this site. When that file is downloaded go back to your terminal window and change to the directory that file was downloaded to and issue the following commands:

tar xvzf ies4linux-XXX.tar.gz

Where XXX is the release number.

cd ies4linux-XXX

Where XXX is the release number.

You are now inside the directory that contains everything necessy to install three different versions of Internet Explorer for Linux (5, 5.5, and 6 Sorry - no 7 or 8). Issue the following command:


Figure 1
Figure 1

The above command will open the GUI installation tool (see Figure 1). From within this tool you can select which version(s) of Internet Explorer to install, the language, if you want Flash Player 9 installed, and where you want icons to be placed.

You can also click the advanced button for more options. Within the advanced section you can select to install IE7 which is very much in beta. I attempted this installation only to have python segfault. There is a hack for this but it's not really worth the trouble. The problem is that IE7 is not yet supported by WINE. As soon as it is IEs4Linux will add this support.

Once you have made those choices click OK and the installation will proceed.

Figure 2
Figure 2

When the installation begins a new window will pop open (see Figure 2). The last line in this window instructs you how to run Internet Explorer. In my case the executable is located in /home/jlwallen/bin/ie6. There is a rather odd behavior I have found with this installation. Upon completion of IEs4Linux you may not be able to run Internet Explorer without the help of sudo. Do not do this. Before you run the ~/bin/ie6 command issue the following command:

sudo chown -R USER.USER ~/.ies4linux

Where USER is the user name you log in with (in my case jlwallen)

The problem is that some of the files/directories in the ~/.ies4linux directories are installed as the root user. Your standard user will not be able to issue those command or use those files. So changing the ownership of the files and directories within the ~/.ies4linux directory solves that issue.

Final thoughts

Having IE 6 on your machine will not solve a lot of problems. But having the ability to test features of your web sites with as many browsers as possible is always good. Hopefully IE 7 will be supported soon which will bring even more validity to the IEs4Linux project.

Install Internet Explorer on Linux with IEs4Linux
Article Name
Install Internet Explorer on Linux with IEs4Linux
In this article we will deal with installing Internet Explorer with the help of Wine and IEs4Linux. The installation is not difficult and in the end you should have ever possible browser available to you for all your testing needs.
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  1. alex said on September 6, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    install linux over internet (pxe)

  2. Pravin said on May 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm


    I have been using Ubuntu for more than couple of years and like FireFox over IE, but those stupid, outdated, and stubborn BANKS still want their customers to use IE and thats the reason why they have ensured to design their website that allows users to log in successfully only in IE and redirect back to Login page on other browsers such as FF. On calling them they just dont want to improve and make their site cross platform

  3. Raymond said on October 22, 2009 at 3:20 am

    The point is for Linux users to be able to use sites that need Internet Explorer. To not need Windows at all. The correct way to spell windows: WindowSOS.

    1. Mahyar said on November 13, 2009 at 11:53 am

      If you just need IE6, installing Wine Doors is much easier.

  4. rahoof said on October 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    youtube download

  5. wow said on September 10, 2009 at 1:21 am

    that’s just …..g f….d up

  6. Genisis said on September 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Im sorry, am I missing the point to all this? I agree with James….”WHY?” Isn’t switching to Linux the very reason for getting AWAY from Mico$oft? I have only come across a HANDFUL of sites that will not let view them, but, it isnt Linux’s fault….its Firefox as best I cant tell. The sites will always insist that its a “browser compatibility” issue. Either way……Linux or Firefox, the sites that need IE to display correctly were not important enough to put some lame Micro$oft app on my Linux box.

    1. Martin said on September 10, 2009 at 12:01 am

      Genisis it is for example crucial for web developers to test their applications in Internet Explorer.

  7. vasiauvi said on September 9, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    James, for example I have installed ies4linux a year ago because I wanted to see some online TV stations that used SopCast and is working ONLY on IE.
    But it’s not working :( , I can’t see the TV.

    But it’s a good tip for those who want IE on Linux.

  8. James said on September 9, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    But… why…

    1. Ed Eaglehouse said on October 2, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      Because some backward, technologically stunted organizations don’t write their web sites to work for anything except Internet Explorer. My local government’s tax office is one of them. When you don’t have a choice, this software gives you at least a partial choice.

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