A while ago there was an announcement that the company Xenocode was providing virtualized versions of applications, particularly browsers. While what they provide isn’t real sandboxes (the applications that you run there can still write files to the disk, e.g. if you download something from the web) it is still an easy way of running browsers without having to install them — Xenocode makes sure that from application’s point of view everything that should be there after installation is there. In particular, you can run Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7 on the same machine at the same time — no need for complicated registry hacks. Of course, this should only be used for testing websites that are safe, you won’t get security updates for these Internet Explorer instances.
Originally, you could simply download an executable from Xenocode’s website and run it whenever you wanted. Unfortunately, now you have to install a plugin that will download the executable for you. This means in particular that you can no longer run the application if Xenocode’s website is unavailable (e.g. because you don’t have an Internet connection). And the path to the actual executable isn’t even available in page’s source code any more.
But the executables are still there, it is only that you have to guess the address now. Just in case somebody needs those (and to make sure I can find them again myself), these seem to be the most current packages:
- Internet Explorer 6: http://start-c.spoon.net/layers/ie6/6-0-0-0__9/ie6.exe
- Internet Explorer 7: http://start-c.spoon.net/layers/ie7/7-0-0-0__8/ie7.exe
- Internet Explorer 8: http://start-c.spoon.net/layers/ie8/8-0-0-0__10/ie8.exe
- Firefox 3.0.11: http://start-c.spoon.net/layers/firefox/3-0-11-0__5/firefox.exe
- Google Chrome 18.104.22.168: http://start-c.spoon.net/layers/chrome/2-0-172-33__3/chrome.exe
- Safari 4.0: http://start-c.spoon.net/layers/safari4/4-0-530-17__5/safari4.exe
- Opera 9.64: http://start-c.spoon.net/layers/opera/9-64-0-0__1/opera.exe
Great! Downloading these now to try later. A very cool idea; it’s a shame they’ve apparently decided to DRM them in some silly crapware.
Thanks for the info.
However, I don’t get the way those softwares work. They look like any other portable app, but why say virtualized? Every data is saved just as the original app would do, right?
Other than with “portable” versions of the application, here the application stays unchanged. This is particularly important for Internet Explorer, fixing it up to make it “portable” would be quite hard. Instead, a virtualizer is started before the actual application, it changes the way the application sees the file system and registry. Accesses to particular directories and registry branches are “rerouted.” You can see these “overlays” under LOCALAPPDATA\Xenocode\Sandbox.
I found it very annoying that they started this plugin-thing some time ago. Now finally I have some more up-to-date Browsers for testing. (Had old Safari and Chrome)
Would this work on Wine?
I doubt it but why are you asking me? Try it!
Thankful for u 4 these down loads it will help our site grow faster
This is great. I was never able to get it to work previously. It would just hang and freeze up Firefox. Having the exe files worked great.
Links are down
Well, it was good as long as it lasted… I guess they really want us to use their sucky plugin.
Too bad. This would have been nice to have. While Microsoft are gracious enough to provide free VHDs with Windows XP and Vista with IE6, IE7 and IE8, they have a time limit and they require a lot of disk space. I would have enjoyed not wasting 7 GB+ on them. Oh well.
If anyone is interested, this is the link for the virtual images. You can run them with the free Microsoft Virtual PC on Windows.
On Linux and Mac, I think VMware’s commercial products can use these images. You would also need something that can handle self-extracting (EXE) archives — 7-Zip probably can.
And in case anyone is going to suggest IE Collection or other such methods of running multiple IEs side by side, Microsoft have warned against it:
I have discovered Browser Sandbox about 4 weeks ago and I find it really great project. Unfortunately it has been already using the plugin to download the executables.
First maybe second time too, everything worked fine but later when I tried to run any of the browsers the message saying “Errors occured while buffering…” popped up. I got it working by uninstalling the sandbox manager completely and manually deleting all the xenocode files under Documents And Settings.
Now this method failed too. No chance to make it working (maybe new version released is the reason).
Has anybody stored the former standalone executables for further usage and would it be possible to upload them somewhere please? I really need them for web testing.
The executables are not at this time even available in cache folder. There are only some xlayer files I dont know how to use so I can neither tell a friend to download them for me.
Thanx for help.
Yes, the Spoon.net plugin (formerly Xenocode) no longer caches regular EXE files. They now use an obfuscated proprietary format instead.
You can still retrieve some of the EXEs from their server, but the URLs in the article have changed. Here are some of the ones I was able to find:
If you need the EXE for another virtualized program not listed here, do this: (1) install the Spoon.net plugin, (2) run the program from Spoon.net, (3) look in the plugin cache folder (inside AppData on Windows), and (4) use the program name and version code you see listed in the cache folder to create a URL in the same format as above. You may need to decrease the last number until you get a working URL. Also, some of their very latest programs don’t seem to have any EXE files available for download (e.g. Opera 10).
Thank you, I updated the links in the article.
Thank you man. You helped a lot.
AVG 8.5 detected Trojan BackDoor Generic12.DCF
On a seperate note has anyone gotton Safari to work without completely disabling thier firewall?
I can’t seem to find what ports or app its using to get out.
It works fine on 127.0.0.1 localhost but just can’t seem to get out to the www even if I reset all my firewall app settings.
(although in hindsight its not a big deal for browser compatability checking on a local dev environment though it does suck for portable browser use)
Anyone able to solve the Buffering Error when trying to use the Spoon.net browsers plugin? I have the same error as mentioned in comment 9 and am unable to solve the problem. I would love to be able to utilize this plugin for web testing so any advice/help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Regarding the problem on comment #9. It happened to me too. I managed to restore my spoon browser vitualization.
This problem came up when I changed the proxy setting on my computer’s built in Internet Explorer, (IE7)
I have tried different things to restore spoon plugin (which why I got here) but no luck until I remembered that the problem only occurred after I changed the proxy settings in my Internet Explorer’s connection settings.
If you have this problem, try removing any proxy connection on your built in IE, it may also solve your problem.
First, fire up your built in IE.
Next, click on Tools -> Internet Options -> Connections (tab) -> click on LAN Settings button
Finally, uncheck “Use proxy server blah blah blah.”, click “OK” and you can now use Spoon Browser Sandbox again.
Hope it helps!
It seems that now it is really difficult (if at all possible) to get the .exes
Anybody has a working URLs?