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Alternate way to run FeenPhone on your Mac computer, using free software, VirtualBox

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Installing FeenPhone on Mac OS X and VirtualBox. Guest blog post by Anthony Lopez-Vito.

Alternate method to other post on running FeenPhone on Mac, that one using VMware.

===== Notes =====

I personally have FeenPhone running on a Mac using this configuration:

MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013)
Processor: 1.3 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory: 4GB RAM
Host OS: OS X Yosemite (10.10.2)
Guest OS: Windows 7 SP1
VirtualBox version: 4.3.22

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This tutorial covers installing FeenPhone on Mac OS X using Oracle’s free VirtualBox virtualization software.
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FeenPhone is currently only available for Microsoft Windows but you can use it on Mac OS X through a VirtualBox virtual machine running a free legal beta copy of Windows. To install Windows itself, you can use a physical Windows installation DVD if you have a suitable copy, or a downloadable disk image, such as the Windows 10 free beta Preview mentioned in Crab Crabinstein’s tutorial.
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Here I will take an alternative method for downloading a disk image that’s popular with web developers called the ‘xdissent ievms.’ It is a little technical because you will need to type in commands rather than use a nice graphical interface. However, a big advantage is that the tool automates most of the installation process. Free disk images are intentionally time limited by Microsoft; they are usable only for a certain number of days so it can be a hassle to keep finding a new beta preview, downloading and re-installing. The xdissent ievms leaves you free to do something else while it does the hard work.
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In summary, the VirtualBox-xdissent combination is useful because:
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* You do not need to buy any virtualization software licences at the end of a trial;
* You can repeatedly re-install the free time-limited Windows versions with a copy-and-paste command.
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===== Requirements =====
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Before you get started, first make sure you have everything needed to run this setup. It might also be useful to know some basic virtualization terminology:
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Host operating system: this is your Mac OS X installation.
Guest operating system: this is the Microsoft Windows installation you’ll run on top of OS X. It will appear in a self-contained window while you are running OS X.
Virtual Machine: this is the software that will allow you to run Windows and FeenPhone in Mac OS X. We’ll be using Oracle VirtualBox.
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As you can imagine, running an operating system inside another will require more resources that just running FeenPhone directly in Windows. Make sure that your Mac can support this set-up.
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VirtualBox requires any of the following host operating systems:
OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard, 32-bit and 64-bit)
OS X 10.7 (Lion, 32-bit and 64-bit)
OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion, 64-bit)
OS X 10.9 (Mavericks, 64-bit)
OS X 10.10 (Yosemite, 64-bit)
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OS X 10.10 Yosemite is not mentioned in the VirtualBox documentation but this is the version I’m running so I can verify it does work. A full list of supported hosts for VirtualBox can be found here.
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For your Mac hardware, you’ll need at least the following:
–30 MB hard disk space for the VirtualBox virtual machine
–15GB hard disk space for the Windows guest operating system
–1 GB of RAM
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For your guest operating system (the person you’re connecting to), FeenPhone requires any of the following Windows versions:
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 10
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This tutorial uses Windows 7.
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===== Installing VirtualBox =====
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Download VirtualBox for OS X at https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
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Note: although this tutorial is for Mac OS X, this same procedure will likely allow you to use FeenPhone on Linux and Solaris. Please let MWD know in the comments below if you get it to work on any of these other platforms.
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Once the download is complete, double-click on the downloaded disk image file. At the time of writing, this would be VirtualBox-4.3.22-98236-OSX.dmg. You will see a window with the VirtualBox.pkg installation package. Double click on it.
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1-virtualbox-package
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There’s no need to make any changes to the installation settings. Just click ‘Install’ at the installation window. Enter your Mac account password if prompted and wait for installation to complete.
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2-virtualbox-installation-complete
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When the installation is complete, close the installer window and open your Applications folder. There is a handy shortcut to this in the VirtualBox installation package. Look for your newly installed VirtualBox.app and run it.
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You will be prompted to install (or upgrade) the VirtualBox extension pack. This contains additional components for your specific operating system so you will need to download and install it too. Enter your Mac account password if prompted.
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3-virtualbox-ep-prompt
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At the end of this stage, the VirtualBox installation is complete but you’ll still need to install Microsoft Windows.
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Close VirtualBox now to avoid any complications in the subsequent steps.
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Note: If you encountered any problems along the way, take a look at the VirtualBox User Manual.
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===== Installing the Microsoft Windows disk image =====
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Open the Terminal application on your Mac. You’ll find this in the Applications > Utilities folder.
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4-osx-terminalapp
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A terminal window will open where you can type in commands. Type, or better yet, copy and paste the following command:

curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | env IEVMS_VERSIONS=”11″ bash

Press ENTER and the result should look like the following screenshot.
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5-xdissent-download
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You don’t need to know what it all means but if you’re curious, the command essentially runs the xdissent-ievms tool from a remote repository and downloads everything needed to run Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7.
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You’ll know it’s complete when there is no more activity on the terminal window. The very last line will display a message telling you whether or not the installation was successful. How long this takes depends on your Internet connection speed. According to the xdissent-ievms instructions, it can take “hours or tens of minutes to download, depending on the speed of your internet connection. You might want to start the install and then go catch a movie, or maybe dinner, or both.”
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For me, it only took about 15 minutes because the above command specifies a minimum installation. For more information, or to specify your own customisations, please see the xdissent/ievms page on GitHib.
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===== Installing FeenPhone =====
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At this point, you now have everything needed to install and run FeenPhone on your Mac.
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Re-open VirtualBox. You’ll find it in your Applications folder. If all went well with the xdissent-ievms installation, you will now see the VirtualBox Manager with an entry for IE11 – Win7. This is the guest Windows operating system where you’ll install FeenPhone. The actual name might depend on the xdissent-ievms package you downloaded but if this is your first installation and you used my command above, it will be the only one in the list.
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6-virtualbox-listing
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Select it, click the Start icon in the VirtualBox Manager toolbar and wait for Windows to boot up. If you’re asked to enter a Windows account password, enter “Password1″ (without the quotes). It will boot like a normal installation of Microsoft Windows but inside a Mac OS X window.
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From this point on, you can treat this like a regular Windows installation. Use the Internet Explorer browser installed on the guest Windows operating system, download FeenPhone (the yellow bird icon on this page) and follow the instructions in the FeenPhone Quick Start Guide. (Note: the volume sliders in FeenPhone may or may not work under virtualization.)
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You should now have a fully working version of FeenPhone running on your Mac.
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7-feenphone-on-windows
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If you have any questions that are not answered in the Quick-Start guide, , please see the Full Manual. If your answer isn’t there, go to the Troubleshooting page.
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Happy Feening!