Knowledge Base

Managing virtualized IE6 with Catalyst and ThinApp

Applies To

Browsium Catalyst 2.0.x


Browsium Catalyst provides administrators with the ability to add custom browsers to any configuration so that browsers without a Catalyst extension can be the target browser for any Catalyst Rule. Custom browsers can be well-known browsers like Safari or Opera. But they can also be virtual browsers created in VMware ThinApp.

This article details the process for adding a virtualized instance of IE6, created with ThinApp, and managing bi-directional navigation to and from virtual IE6 using a combination of Catalyst and ThinDirect.


The following guidance assumes the user is familiar with VMware ThinApp and has already produced a virtual IE6 package, configured with ThinDirect. Complete details on this process can be found on the VMware support site in two parts: Virtualizing IE6 with ThinApp and Setting up redirection with ThinDirect.

Note: The ThinApp configuration used in this example assumes you’ve named your ThinApp IE6 package “VirtIE6.exe”. If you’ve chosen a different name, you’ll need to substitute the package name in the instructions below.

To provide specific guidance, this article will use a specific scenario on Windows 7 running IE10, Chrome, and IE6 virtualized with ThinApp (which we’ll call “ThinApp IE6”) with the following sites opened in the following browsers:

  • in IE10
  • in Chrome
  • in ThinApp IE6

1) Install current version of Chrome and ThinApp IE6 package that has been created via the guidance detailed above.

2) Open the ThinDirect directory at C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware ThinApp\ThinDirect and edit VirtIE6.txt so that and are listed as the only redirect URLs for ThinDirect.

(Note: It’s a good idea to also set the home page within VirtIE6.exe to be so that opening that program directly will not force a ThinDirect navigation back to Internet Explorer. If you haven’t done that, or can’t because ThinDirect continually navigates back to native IE10 whenever you launch VirtIE6.exe directly, then make sure you’ve included the IE6 homepage URL in your VirtIE6.txt file — it’s often by default).

3) Create a new Catalyst project and add a new browser for ThinApp IE6, pointing to the VirtIE6.exe package you had previously installed.

4) Create the following rules:

Ensure that the target browser for the rule is not Microsoft Internet Explorer, but is instead ThinApp IE6.


You may set the default browser to be either Internet Explorer or Chrome for this scenario.

5) Save Local Settings and take it for a test ride.

If you have everything configured properly, navigation to from any browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, and even Firefox if you install it on your test system) will open directly in ThinApp IE6. If you then navigate to from within ThinApp IE6, it will open directly in Chrome. If you navigate to from within ThinApp IE6, it will open directly in IE10.

Try a few different combinations of sites and browsers until you feel comfortable with all of the Catalyst and ThinApp/ThinDirect settings.

Posted in: Catalyst Knowledge Base,

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