I have a Windows 10 64 bit machine with the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox installed (and Edge/IE of course).

I have the JDK installed too as I am a Java developer.

My employer would like me to use a Java applet as an RDP client for out-of-office support, but I really don't want to go to the trouble of getting the Java browser plugin working on my machine, as the browser manufacturers have (rightly) put a lot of barriers in my way to do do this.

I have VirtualBox installed, so could install a Linux machine, but I'm not sure how far back I need to go to get a browser that will run the Java plugin.

Are there other options? Could Portable Firefox help?

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    Firefox ESR still supports Java on the browser. Internet Explorer (iexplore.exe) also still supports java on the browser. You should be able to run either one to run java apps on the browser (probably with lots of warning about not running it on the browser, but it should work) – Darius Nov 6 '17 at 9:44

As Darius mentioned, Firefox ESR does support Java and various other NPAPI plugins at this time, however the next major version update will drop NPAPI in early 2018 (as estimated on this Mozilla support page). Firefox ESR will also interfere with your current standard version of Firefox, as the ESR version is designed to use the same user profile as the standard Firefox.

Thankfully, there are Firefox forks that'll continue to support NPAPI plugins. There is Waterfox, which is essentially the same as Firefox except with removed bloat, removed telemetry, and less restrictions regarding addons and plugins (including NPAPI support), and Pale Moon, which is based on an older version of Firefox and is maintained with feature and security updates (the theme is the one before the Australis theme was created for Firefox version 28).

Both of these Firefox forks have full support for Java and other NPAPI plugins, and will run your applets with ease. They also use their own user profiles and won't interfere with your current Firefox installation.

(I am not associated with either of these browsers; I used to use them as my daily browsers for a while)

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