VirtualBox IE11 image from on Ubuntu 13.04 (raring)

Posted on 2014-01-09

I needed to test IE11 on Windows 8.1 on my Ubuntu 13.04 (raring) workstation. Microsoft graciously provides VirtualBox images at, but I was getting the error:

Failed to import appliance VirtualBox VMs/import/IE11 - Win8.1.ovf.

when I tried to import it. I could not find more detailed messages about why it wouldn't import, but I was able to poke around enough to get it to run. Here is my workaround:

  • Extract the ova. This file is in the .tar file format, with an .ovf and a .vmdk file inside:
    tar -xvf IE11\ -\ Win8.1.ova
  • Create a new virtual machine in VirtualBox, type=Microsoft Windows, version=Windows 8 (64-bit). Do NOT add a virtual hard drive.
  • Once it is created but before you start it, go into the Settings -> Storage -> Controller: SATA and attach the .vmdk file from step 1.

VoilĂ ! A working virtual machine with IE11 on Windows 8.1. Obviously there is something wrong in the .ovf file, but this is simple enough that it isn't worth trying to figure out what it is.

Tags: ubuntu virtualbox ie11