Running OpenOffice on Linux

OpenOffice is an open source alternative to Microsoft Office that runs on Linux. This includes programs similar to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Front Page. Since SSCC staff have little experience or expertise with this program, we can offer only minimal support (for details about what minimal support means, please see our Software Support Policy). Documentation is available on the OpenOffice web site.

OpenOffice will attempt to read documents created with Microsoft Office, and with simple files it may be successful. You can convert documents by simply opening them, or convert whole dirctories at a time using the File Converter under AutoPilot. We do not recommend trying to switch back and forth between Office and OpenOffice, because fixing the problems created by the conversion process may take a great deal of time. However, OpenOffice does provide a way for dedicated Linux users to run Office style applications without having to use any Microsoft products.

Running OpenOffice

Before you can use OpenOffice, you must have X-Win32 running (or another program that displays X windows). If you need help using X-Win32, please see Connecting to SSCC Linux Computers using X-Win32.

Start OpenOffice by typing:

> ooffice

If you want to be able to use your Linux session at the same time, add an ampersand (&) to the end of the command so OpenOffice runs in the background. Once OpenOffice starts, you can then use whatever component you need by clicking File, New and then creating a new spreadsheet, presentation, etc.

In general you'll find that OpenOffice is is very similar to Microsoft Office, and if you're comfortable with Office you'll feel right at home.

Last Revised: 3/19/2007