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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 ?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

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.

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Despite Firefox, chrome an opera having versions for linux, these versions render a bit differently, have different updates right ? So if I don't use windows on virtual machine I'm not getting fully accurate view, right ? – Tomas Sep 18 '12 at 11:13
@Tomas is correct. I have a website that is rendered completely different by Firefox on Ubuntu vs Firefox on Windows, even though the versions are identical. Therefore this is a terrible answer. – Banana Jul 8 at 13:17

Install the IE browsers under wine. You can use winetricks to do that.

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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:

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser
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Yes, there is chrome and firefox on ubuntu, but I think they render slightly different so I might not see some mistake on ubuntu firefox which would be visible on windows, or am I wrong ? – Tomas Sep 18 '12 at 11:04
@Tomas I do not have an answer for this, but my guess is that it's the same browser. It should render the page the same way. – NlightNFotis Sep 18 '12 at 11:06
@Tomas the platform for which the browser is built does not affect the rendering of webpages if you are using the same version of the browser. The browser's rendering engine is the same whether it's built for windows, OSX, Ubuntu, Fedora, RHEL, etc. – T0xicCode Sep 18 '12 at 11:09
@xav0989 my thoughts exactly. What's funny with my comment is that I wanted to mention the rendering engine, but for a strange kind of fashion, I didn't. I guess I'm short in caffeine, and it shows... – NlightNFotis Sep 18 '12 at 11:11
@NlightNFotis I already had my cup of joe this morning. I'm good to go! – T0xicCode Sep 18 '12 at 11:12

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.

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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." This doesn't change the rendering engine, though, which is the primary way browsers differ on the various platforms. – authentictech Feb 13 at 18:57

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