Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Installing OOo 3.0 on Slackware

OpenOffice.org 3.0.0 has been released officially and it's time to upgrade to get the benefit of the new major version of the most popular Office suite application in GNU/Linux platform.

Just like the previous release, there are no native package for Slackware. The best we can get is the RPM compressed on tar.gz format. You have two options here, either using rpm2tgz to convert those RPMs into tgz's Slackware native format or use SlackBuilds script to get it done.

Using rpm2tgz
Slackware comes with rpm2tgz command which convert RPM packages into tgz, Slackware native format. For some package, it works but no guarantee that it will work forever. I have used this command to install OOo 2.4.x and Opera and so far, it works just fine. OOo 3.0 can be installed using this approach, but i ended with a system where i can't use my navigation keys (arrow keys, home, end, page up, and page down).

The problem lies due to truncation of file names. There are some files which should have .xml extension truncated into .xm causing the problem appeared. The solution is to look for this directory (/opt/openoffice.org/basis3.0/share/config/soffice.cfg/modules/) and rename the .xm files into .xml files. It's suggested that you remove your preferences (~/.openoffice.org) and restart your OOo to have fresh configuration.

If you also had problem with the dictionary, you should install the dictionary manually (See below).


Using SlackBuild
After rpm2tgz failed, i switched to SlackBuild script which works perfectly. They even modified the desktop menu shortcut to makes it integrate better with Slackware and also place the files on the standard directory just like any other Slackware packages. Other advantage of using this script is that you will get a single Slackware package instead of multi files if we used rpm2tgz (because the original files from OOo came with several files).

Installing Dictionaries Manually
One problem i encountered during using the first release of SlackBuild for OOo 3.0 was that the Spellchecker and thesaurus were broken (reported by Phillip in SlackBuilds-users mailing list). I rechecked my system and confirmed that it was broken. It didn't happened when i used rpm2tgz to install OOo. So here's the solution:
Open Extensions Manager (Tools > Extensions Manager) and then add the dictionaries manually from /opt/openoffice.org3/share/extension/install/. There are three files there, dict-en.oxt, dict-es.oxt, and dict-fr.oxt. Install the dictionaries you need. Restart OOo and voila... you have thesaurus and spellcheker works again.

I have put this tutorial on Indonesian Slackware's Wiki also (it's in Indonesian though).

Update (16 October 2008): The problem with SlackBuild script has been fixed by Robby Workman on the latest batch updates on SlackBuild mailing list. You must remove the previous package (including the preferences in ~/.openoffice.org) and rebuild the OOo 3.0 package with the updated SlackBuild script available on SlackBuilds Project (build number: 2 or above).

Update (17 October 2008): Thanks to Vinicius who give a hints on the truncation problem and thanks to akus from LQ forums for trying and confirming the solution for rpm2tgz.