Using GWT Dev Mode with Windows Virtual PC

Today I needed to research an IE 8 issue found by someone running IE8 on Windows XP.  I am running Windows 7 Ultimate, I am only able to install IE 9.  I tried using IE9 Developer Tools (accessed by hitting F12) to change the Browser Mode and Document Mode to IE8.  But even in IE 8 mode, I could not duplicate the issue that was found on WinXP/IE8.

It turns out, it was rather easy to get a Windows XP VM with IE 8 up and running.  And then with a minor tweak to my Eclipse Run/Debug configuration to set the bindAddress, I was able to easily run (and debug) my GWT application in Dev Mode.

Here are the steps I followed:

1.  Install Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode

There are a number of options to get a Windows XP Virtual Machine, but I decided to use Windows Virtual PC since it comes installed on Windows 7 Ultimate (and probably other versions).  I followed these instructions to get Virtual PC installed and configured.

2.  Open Windows Virtual PC in Windows XP Mode

Start Menu -> All Programs -> Windows Virtual PC -> Windows XP Mode

3.  Download and install IE 8

In my Windows XP VM, I downloaded and installed IE8.  In my case, I did not need IE 6 or IE 7.

4.  Change the Eclipse GWT Run Configuration to include bindAddress

This is a key step.  Without the bindAddress parameter, I was not able to run my GWT application in Dev Mode.  In Eclipse, to my GWT Run/Debug Configuration, I added the following to the end of my “Program arguments” on the Arguments tab:


5.  Start your GWT application from Eclipse (Use the configuration you just changed)

6.  In IE8, run your application using the Dev Mode URL

If you started your application in Debug mode in step #5, then your breakpoints should work too now.


About stevewall123

I am a Lead Software Engineer in Minneapolis working for Thomson Reuters. I am currently working on projects using Java, JavaScript, Spring, Elasticsearch, Hazelcast, Liquibase and Tomcat. Previously, I used C#, GWT, Grails, Groovy, JMS and JBoss Drools Guvnor. In the past I have worked on projects using J2EE, Swing, Webwork, Hibernate, Spring, Spring-WS, JMS, JUnit and Ant.
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