Configuration testing is a special variant of Software testing to test the performance of a software product on a machine with different hardware or software configurations namely, operating system, browser, supported drivers, etc.
This form of configuration testing is carried out in labs. The labs have all the machines with varied hardware configurations. A testable version of the software to be released is installed on each machine in the lab and a suit of tests is performed. Since setting up a test lab with heavy duty costly machines can be hard on the pocket, many companies outsource the task of running hardware configuration testing to organisations which specialise in carrying out this form of testing.
This requires a virtual system to be installed on a host machine. A virtual system consists of a virtual hard drive which after installation on a host machine can simulate a real software configuration. Such virtual systems are installed for testing different software configurations on a host machine. There are many paid as well as freely available virtual systems in the market. Some of them are Virtual PC for Microsoft platforms and Virtual Box for UNIX platforms.
There are other platforms which require to be tested for configurations, such as: