Still there are companies who believe Windows is the only OS and IE is the only browser around. This prompts them to make sites which can be accessed only in IE. Though I have dual-boot system I boot into Windows only once in several days. I don't want to boot into Windows just to check my internet usage(yes, it is my ISP's site - http://selfcare.sdc.bsnl.co.in/). The site does not allow me to enter my username and password in Firefox/Chrome in Ubuntu. When I take my mouse pointer over it, it just keeps circling! And now it has started showing Bad Gateway. The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server. Ironically it seems to use Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat) Server. So there they need Linux! Is there any way out for such issues other than installing Windows on a Virtual PC?

  • 3
    Man, I really and truly hate websites that enforce this. The FAFSA is one such lovely site.
    – Reid
    Commented May 29, 2011 at 4:09
  • 3
    Wait, so the site literally has a server-side check to enforce the use of a certain browser? Reading this question, I assumed that they simply relied on the broken web standards present in old versions of IE.
    – crazy2be
    Commented May 29, 2011 at 4:55
  • in many sites. they are not English. Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 22:05

6 Answers 6


Well you have several ways:


CHROME Addons -


  • CHROME - Chrome has an about page to CHECK if you have changed your User Agent about: and other options like about:labs, about:memory, about:hang, about:plugins and many others that depending on your version they could be available or not. But for the question at hand this option is not yet in any of the about pages i have found. To have it manually in chrome you need to start chrome with the option user-agent. For example google-chrome --user-agent="Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)" which will open Chrome like it were IE6. The IE User Agents are from the Firefox option above.

The list for most (Maybe all) User Agents can be found in this page (There are other pages actually but this is the best i found)

You can also make sure the site works with IE or any other browser that you want to compare with by testing it on web pages like http://browsershots.org and http://www.webpagetest.org that can test out the compatibility with the site with each browser and show a small screenshot of how they look.

  • Chrome add on and all browser user agents string seem to broken. @LuisAlvarado can you please update those if possible. Same goes for those screenshots in your last comment. Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 13:50
  • @AniketThakur Thank you. Updated and removed a couple of things that don't exist anymore. Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 14:28

You can try to install the user-agent-switcher extension for firefox.


Then, you can try to change the user-agent to Internet Explorer. The author states that it's not guaranteed to work at all sites as there are many different methods of detecting the browser type.

I've used it in a few sites myself where i was facing this kind of problem and it helped me.

As for the second part of the problem, the message:

Bad Gateway. The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server.

could be a temporary problem on your ISP's site.

  • "User Agent Switcher" for Firefox got me onto the "FAFSA" website finally! THANK YOU!
    – Rob
    Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 17:30
  • Good to hear that! ;-)
    – Pavlos G.
    Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 19:13

Install Opera.It allows logging into BSNL portal. Regards.


I am not aware of any way to actually emulate another browser, but you can install extensions for your browser that will pretend like as if it's the other browser (even though the browser's internals do not change).

Most websites check the browser by what is known as a "User Agent String". This string (or text) provides many details about the browser, renderer (the thing that displays the website), OS, and the versions of them. For example, here are a few user agent strings:

  • Firefox 16, 32-bit build running under a 64-bit processor, on windows 8:

    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64; rv:16.0.1) Gecko/20121011 Firefox/16.0.1

  • Internet Explorer 10, on windows 7:

    Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows NT 6.1; Trident/6.0)

Most websites either "parse" the strings (i.e. convert the strings into code) or just use pre-parsed versions of the strings given by the browser.

So if the User Agent String is edited (like the extensions I mentioned above do), the browser can trick the website to pretend like as if it's actually another browser, or running on another OS.

  • How do that addons works?
    – Lucio
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 22:05
  • @Lucio, do you mean how to use them? Or how do the work internally?
    – MiJyn
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 22:06
  • Mmm... What change using they from the website perspective? Is like an emulator, isn't?
    – Lucio
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 22:08
  • @Lucio, no, it just pretends like as if it's another browser
    – MiJyn
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 22:12

I had a similar requirement and I had used PlayOnLinux and IE. My problem was that site had JScript code that was not compatible on Chrome/Firefox/Opera. Once I installed PlayOnLinux and IE on top of it, I could run the site without any problems


Try installing PlayonLinux from playonlinux.org and install IE via PlayonLinux. and use IE only for those pesky sites :)


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