Admittedly, my Ubuntu VM doesn’t get much love. I used it for testing Adobe AIR applications when I was still working on them and also test in Firefox, just in case something interesting comes of it.
I tried to install Windows Vista but it took forever to install and never seemed to work quite right. Thankfully, Windows 7 installed just fine and performs quite well in VMWare.
I was surprised to discover that the emulator for the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook actually runs in VMWare Fusion. It made it quite easy to set up, although I’m doubtful how often I’ll be loading this one unless I start getting into some development.
Many people I know either use something like IETester in their single VM or install multiple VMs, one for each browser that they wish to test with. In the case of using IETester, there are some known limitations which may impact accurate testing. In the case of multiple VMs, you’ll need to have the hard drive space for multiple operating systems being installed on your system.
I took another route and realized that I could take a Snapshot of a particular point in time and then launch that snapshot whenever I wanted to. By taking a snapshot while the system is running, I can load a snapshot without having to wait for a virtual machine to boot up. It’s already booted. Loading a snapshot just copies the state of the virtual machine back into memory. I’m usually back up and running from a snapshot within 15 seconds.
The amount of space that a snapshot takes on the hard drive is also much smaller than a virtual machine: it’s just the size of memory, which may be between 512MB to 2GB, depending on VM configuration.
With IE6 on my machine, I took a snapshot. Then I installed IE7 and saved that as a snapshot. Then I installed IE8 and saved that as a snapshot. I used to keep various versions of Safari, Chrome and Firefox in those different VMs but I kept forgetting which snapshot had which alternate browser. So, I’ve started saving the different versions of those browsers as separate snapshots, as well.
This approach has come in quite handy. For example, I needed to test a localized version of Chrome for China. I was able to install and test the browser without worrying about it overwriting or impacting my main configuration. Once I was done with it, I could just delete the snapshot or load another snapshot without saving my current configuration.
My biggest wish right now is to be able to install Mac OS X as a virtual machine, too. Unfortunately, Apple’s licensing doesn’t allow it. (Although, there are some hacks on the Internet that can get around that.) I’d love to have copies of 10.4 or 10.5 that I could load up and test.
Anyways, this is how I use VMWare Fusion. How do you handle your cross-browser, cross-platform testing?f2富二代官网入口