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Apr 162009

Unfortunately I have to run Microsoft Office 2007 for work purposes. No criticisms please! I have tried OpenOffice 3.x and it is just a little too disruptive to the documents in question (although part of the fault may be sub-optimal document templates). Personally I would much rather use LyX which is little feature light, but absolutely brilliant for pure writing.

Anyway, when I first tried running Microsoft Office with WINE, I couldn’t get past the installer and I had to come up with the following recipe for getting it installed.

First of all, remove all traces of wine from your system (I’ll be assuming Ubuntu 8.10 which is what I’m running) :-

sudo apt-get --purge remove wine wine-dev
rm -rf ~/.wine

Note that I am removing the old ~/.wine directory which you may choose to keep if you wish (you may have installed something else after all!). However this document assumes that you are only installing Office and may not work if other software is also installed.

The next step is to download the right version of wine from WineHQ. Unfortunately the latest version of wine isn’t compatible with the installer. The version I tried (after reading numerous problem reports) was 1.1.16. The archive page can be found here.

After downloading, install manually with :-

sudo dpkg -i wine_1.1.16\~winehq0\~ubuntu\~8.10-0ubuntu1_amd64.deb

After this has been installed, you can mount the Office 2007 CD and start the installer. Incidentally it is well worth creating an image file from the real CD if you are going to be spending any time tinkering with this – which is why I’m using a CD image!

sudo mount -oloop,unhide /cdimages/office2007.iso /mnt
wine /mnt/setup.exe

The installation process should be fairly straight forward although you will need to ignore a few warnings about being unable to obtain some updates.

Once this has finished you can run Word with :-

wine ~/.wine/drive_c//Program\ Files/Microsoft\ Office/Office12/WINWORD.EXE


No guarantees that everything works properly of course, but it is a start.

At this point it may well be worth taking a backup copy of the wine directory with the installation of Office 2007. This can be done quite easily with :-

tar cvf ~/wine-drive-c-with-office.tar .wine
bzip2 ~/wine-drive-c-with-office.tar

If you no longer need to run the installer, it may well be worth removing wine again to install a later version of Wine. This can be done by repeating the first step (but not removing the .wine directory) and downloading a different version of wine from the archive page as given.

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