Introduction to OpenOffice

OpenOffice is an office suite, the open source sibling of StarOffice.

Package information

Additional downloads

Installation of OpenOffice

OpenOffice does not create a directory when you extract the TAR ball. Create a build directory and extract the source with the following commands:

mkdir OOo-build &&
cd OOo-build &&
tar -zxf ../OOo_1.1.4_source.tar.gz

Optionally, untar and move the gpc files, and apply the downloaded patches:

tar -zxf ../gpc231.tar.Z &&
mv gpc231/* external/gpc &&
rmdir gpc231 &&
for patch in ../OOo_1.1.4-*.patch
  do patch -Np1 -i $patch

STLport looks for the c++ headers in the wrong location. Put a temporary symlink in place to satisfy STLport:

ln -sf /opt/gcc-3.3.4/include/c++/3.3.4 /usr/g++-v3

OpenOffice fails to build with gcc-3.4.1. Set your path to include gcc-3.3.4:

export PATH_HOLD=$PATH &&
export PATH=/opt/gcc-3.3.4/bin:$PATH

If you want to optimize the build, edit solenv/inc/ and add the desired optimization flags to the CFLAGSOPT variable. Some users have reported problems with -fomit-frame-pointer. The best option is to not use any custom optimizations. The following command removes an incorrect -mcpu option in the above file:

sed -i "s:\-mcpu=pentiumpro::" \

Configure OpenOffice using the following commands. You may build install sets for specific languages based on your preferences. Supply a comma separated list to the --with-lang= switch. If a particular component is not available in the language of your choice, the default will be US English. If you need other languages, be sure to add ENUS to the list; otherwise the build will fail:

cd config_office/ &&
./configure --with-lang=ENUS \
    --with-dict=ENUS --without-fonts \
    --enable-libsn --with-system-zlib \
    --with-system-freetype &&
cd ..

OpenOffice fails to compile if umask is set to something exotic. The build can also fail if the LANG or LC_ALL environment variables are set. Use the following commands to change your environment accordingly:

umask 0022 &&

Compile OpenOffice using the following commands:

./bootstrap &&
bash -c "source; dmake"

If you have downloaded localized help content tgz files, you will need to untar them to the appropriate directory as shown below and then recreate the installation set:

for i in ../helpcontent_*_unix.tgz
  do tar -C solver/645/ -zxf $i
  done &&
rm -rf instsetoo/ &&
bash -c "source ; dmake"

Install OpenOffice using the following commands to install the US English language set. To install a localized version, replace the 01 with the international telephone country code for your country:

cd instsetoo/ &&
sed -i "s:^oo_home=.*:oo_home=openoffice:" install &&
./install --prefix=/opt &&
for appl in sagenda scalc sdraw sfax simpress slabel sletter \
    smaster smath smemo soffice spadmin svcard sweb swriter
  do ln -sf /opt/openoffice/program/$appl /usr/bin/$appl

If you have installed desktop-file-utils-0.10 and use KDE, there is no furthur configuration necessary. If you use Gnome, you should copy the *.desktop files to /usr/share/applications with the following commands:

install -d /usr/share/applications -m 755 &&
cp /opt/openoffice/share/gnome/net/ooo645*.desktop \
    /usr/share/applications/ &&
rename ooo645 ooo /usr/share/applications/ooo645*.desktop

Finally, return your environment to it's original state:

export PATH=$PATH_HOLD &&
rm -f /usr/g++-v3

Command explanations

mv ../gpc231/gpc.* external/gpc: Copy the gpc files to the appropriate location.

--with-lang=ENUS: Make install set for the US English language.

--with-dict=ENUS: Install dictionaries for the US English language.

--enable-libart: Use libart instead of gpc for polygon clipping.

--with-libsn: Use startup-notification.

--disable-java: Do not build components that need java.

--without-gpc: Do not use gpc. Removes polygon clipping capability.

--without-fonts: Do not install Bitstream Vera fonts since they are already bundled with X.

--with-system-curl: Use the system installed curl.

./bootstrap: Create packages required to bootstrap the build.

dmake: Compile the package.

sed -i "s:^oo_home=...: Remove version specific installation directory.

for appl in sagenda scalc sdraw sfax ...; do ...: Create links so that the package can be started from the command-line without changes to the existing path.


The OpenOffice package contains sagenda, scalc, sdraw, sfax, simpress, slabel, sletter, smaster, smath, smemo, soffice, spadmin, svcard, sweb, swriter, OpenOffice libraries and support utilities.



Create an agenda template and start swriter.


Spreadsheet application.


Drawing application.


Create a fax template and start swriter.


Presentation application.


Create a label template and start swriter.


Create a letter template and start swriter.


Creates a new master document.


Mathematical formula editor.


Create a memo template and start swriter.


Opens a base window with access to all OpenOffice applications.


OpenOffice Printer Configuration. You may need to run this if you are having any printing problems.


Business card application.


An HTML editor.


Word processing application.

Last updated on 2005-03-09 22:37:19 -0700