I regularly do front end development(html,css,js) and need to test websites for ie7, ie8, ie9, firefox, chrome, safari, opera in windows.I would like to move to ubuntu, but am concerned that testing websites might get very difficult.Do I have any options besides having windows as virtual machine ?
For a complete answer:
Firefox, Chrome (or its FOSS counterpart Chromium) and Opera have native Ubuntu (or more generaly Linux) versions. They handle the same as the Windows version. In other words, you can get a version of these browsers that will run under Ubuntu without any problem.
For both Safari and IE, you have two choices (well 3): the first option would be to run IE and Safari for Windows using Wine & Winetricks. Wine emulates the win32 API, so that applications built for Windows can run on linux. The second option would be to run a virtual machine. That virtual machine could run a minimal version of windows so that you could use IE/Safari for Windows on there. You might even want to create an OSX VM to run Safari for Mac.
To my knowledge, Chrome and Firefox run natively on Ubuntu, which is what most users use.
Firefox even comes preinstalled on Ubuntu, and you can easily install chrome by typing the following on a terminal:
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Not only that you can Firefox and a plugin that changes the user agent of the browser. So you can have Firefox open a page like IE, Chrome, or others.
Algo you have Firebug to debug html, css, etc.
So in Ubuntu you can have all browsers running native, and IExplorer under Wine or a Virtual machine.
Also Firefox has those excellent plugins for web development.