Friday, February 03, 2006

Office 2000 under Linux

Well my transformation to a completely Windows free desktop is almost here. I have 2 problems that have kept me from completely removing Windows from my Desktop PC

1. Impress is incomplete and missing a few features that I commonly use in PowerPoint. Simple things like printing handouts with 6 slides on a page

2. PocketPCs w/ Windows Mobile are not so well supported plus the fact that I sync my PocketPC with AvantGO everyday causes a problem as well.

Well I found the solution to the first problem and here it is:

a) Working Linux Desktop installation (I am using Mandrake Linux 10.1 right know with KDE 3.2.3)

b) WINE 0.9.6 or higher
c) wine-config-sidenet-1.9.1 or newer

d) A legit copy of Microsoft Office 2000

1. Install WINE and make sure it is working correctly. You can test your install by using trying the following command: wine notepad This will pop open the Windows Notepad application
If you already have WINE installed, backup your ~/.wine directory, then delete it. You can than recreate your WINE data directory by typing: wine notepad

2. Run the Sidenet WINE config script once you unpack it. This is a key part of the installation since Internet Explorer is required for Office 2000 to install properly. The script will optionally install Windows Media Player as well, but it is not required for Office 2000 to install correctly. My suggestion when installing Internet Explorer is to select a Minimal install with only the base components, to minimize hassel.
You will probably see some errors related to Windows Updates as you are going through the install, just ignore them and keep on trucking.

3. Installing Office 2000 is the next step. Mount your cd drive as Root to the /mnt/cdrom folder with the following command: mount -o unhide /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom Now execute the installation program: wine 'z:\mnt\cdrom\setup.exe' Run through the Office setup as usual. You will again probably see some errors popup about Windows Update, but just ignore them.
For my install I only needed PowerPoint and thought I would try out Word as well, so I did not install anything else, including the extra components (Office Shared Components, Office Tools, etc). When it asks to restart Windows I just ran the following command: wineserver -w I am not sure if it did anything, but PowerPoint worked afterwards.

To run PowerPoint I just created a script and linked it to my desktop:

wine "c:\program files\microsoft office\office\powerpnt.exe"

And it worked like a charm.

A Few Notes
- Office XP does not work and has been reported not to work under WINE (of course I tried this first). It will give "Corrupt Source" errors during the install because there are files that Linux cannot read.

- Printing from PowerPoint and Word worked without a hitch since CUPS was already installed and working on my Desktop.

- Complete install of Office 2000 should work and was reported here, but it is not what I required so I did not test it.

- Thanks to a posting on the WINE Wiki that pointed me in the right direction.

That is all for today folks : -)

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