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HOWTO: Installation of OFFICE2K using WINE

(c) Anand Jayaraman (yahoo mail ID anandjayaraman ) - 2005-03-15

One of the most commonly used software among the business community is the Office software. Although Linux has a good Office software in the OpenOffice, it hasn't quite gotten enough acceptance in the general community. This could be becaue of the fact that, MSword documents are often read correctly by the OpenOffice package (there are often a lot of formatting problems). This is mainly due to the fact that MSword format is proprietary and OpenOffice developers have had to reverse engineer the format specification. So its only natural that when the OpenOffice reads MSword documents things aren't perfect. This document shows how to install MSOffice 2000 in your Linux desktop using wine. This should help making the transition into Linux easier for newbies and non-experts from the business community. Although the document mainly talks about Office2K installation, once the main setup is done, other windows software can me made to work. The softwares that I have working on my desktop include Office2K, Photoshop 7, TMPEGEnc, IE6, Windows media player, WinAmp, DVDShrink etc.

I have a Dell inspiron 1100 laptop running fc3. The following steps lead to a working installation of MS Office 2000 on this machine. Your mileage may vary.

1) First download a suitable wine rpm for your system. I have wine-20041019-1fc2winehq.i386.rpm on my machine. You can get this version of wine rpm from

2) Install the wine (as root)
rpm -i wine-20041019-1fc2winehq.i386.rpm

A note on exec-shield is probably appropriate here. In FC2, exec-shield and earlier versions of wine used to have conflicts. My current installation of wine with fc3 does not have any such issues. However if you run-into such problems, then as a root issue the command
echo 0 > /proc/sys/kernel/exec-shield
You can put this line on your /etc/rc.local file so that this is executed every time your machine starts up.

3) Install 'xdialog' software. If your yum is already configured to get packages from Dagwieers repository, then you can install it by just typing (as root)
yum install xdialog
Else, you can get the corresponding rpm from http://dag.wieers.com/packages/xdialog/

4) Download winetools rpm from winetools webpage.
I am using winetools-2.1.1-jo.i386.rpm

5) Install the package (as root)
rpm -i winetools-2.1.1-jo.i386.rpm

6) As a regular user, run winetools package using the command 'wt2' (DO NOT RUN WINE OR WINETOOLS AS SUPERUSER)

When winetools starts up it might give you a warning that you are not using a recommended wine version if you are using some other version. The recommended version of wine for 2.1.1 version of winetools is 20041019.

The winetools will also ask you to click on 'Base setup' before you start installing software.

7) Click on 'Base Setup' and click ok. Click on'Create a fake Windows drive' and click ok.

Even if you have a dual boot system, you can not use the current windows instation to work with wine. You need to have a seperate fake c_drive for wine to work with. Wine creates a seperate registry files where it stores information regarding the software thats installed through wine. This is exactly what is happening when you ask winetools to create a fake windows drive.

Winetools creates a fake windows drive in ~/.wine/drive_c and also populate your ~/.wine/dosdevices directory with appropriate links to different directories and devices. On the way it might ask you to point at the correct device for the CDROM. If you are not sure about what to enter, check your /etc/fstab file and find out where your CDROM is mounted by default. (usually /mnt/cdrom in FC1/FC2. In FC3 its usually /media/cdrecorder etc)

It is important that the fake windows drive is created in a Linux filesystem. Winetools tries to make symlinks for temporary directories and symbolic links can not be done if your fake c_drive resides in a FAT32 file system. If don't have a lot of space in your Linux partition and you want to use the space in FAT32 or NTFS for installing the windows software, you can setup wine to identify the windows partition as a seperate drive. The way to do it would be to make a symbolic link of the FAT32 directory in ~/.wine/dosdevices directory. For eg: My ~/.wine/dosdevices directory looks like this.

aditya[/] 76 > ls -l ~/.wine/dosdevices/
total 4
lrwxrwxrwx 1 anand anand 10 Mar 13 22:51 c: -> ../drive_c/
lrwxrwxrwx 1 anand anand 17 Mar 13 22:52 d: -> /media/cdrecorder/
lrwxrwxrwx 1 anand anand 4 Mar 13 22:52 e: -> /tmp/
lrwxrwxrwx 1 anand anand 21 Mar 16 11:50 f: -> /home/anand/winetools/
lrwxrwxrwx 1 anand anand 11 Mar 13 22:52 h: -> /home/anand/
lrwxrwxrwx 1 anand anand 62 Mar 13 23:03 t: -> /mnt/windows/WINE
I install all my software on the "t:" drive, which is really in the FAT32 partition.

8) Once the fake windows drive is installed, click on "TrueType Font Arial" and install it

9) Next install DCOM98

10) Install Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1 (Otherwise office 2000 will automatically install an older, unsafe version of IE). IE is required several wine applications, since they won't be able to see your default browser in Linux. Installing IE6 through winetools will also install Windows Media Player.
Having IE6 installed can be helpful sometimes. For eg: the secured password protected section of US patent office doesn't support firefox/mozilla. Wachovia connection express is an example of a bank where firefox/mozilla is unsupported. I have been able to use wine installed IE6 in these sites.

11) Go back to main menu and click on "Install Windows system software"

12) Install 'Windows Installer' (this is required to install Office 2K)

13) Back to main menu and install 'Microsoft TrueType core fonts' if you want.
This will give you more font options once Office is installed.

14) Next click "Install tested software" on the mainmenu.

15) Click on "Tools" and then click on "Splash Screen Killer" and then click ok. "Splashscreen" installer will download and install it and place appropriate links in your ~/bin directory. This application is required for the Office install to be successful (I don't understand the reason for it... but without it my installation failed). [ SplashKiller lets you hide those splash screens that appear when an application is loading. ]

  1. Next click on "Office" and click on on "Microsoft Office 2000" and click "ok".

Winetools will next try to mount your cdrom. Make sure that Office 2k Cdrom is already inserted.

17) Once the setup starts, you will be prompted to enter to Key information for the Office 2K CD. Once that is done, choose "Custom Installation". By default Office 2K installs 'Office assistant' (that irritating pin which offers helpful suggestions). But this office assistant has potential to mess-up the working of Office under wine. So when the option to choose different components comes up on the screen, choose 'do not install' for office assistant.

I also chose not to install MS Outlook and MS Access.

18) This should allow for the successful completion of the Office installation. Winetools also places scripts to start excel and winword in your ~/bin directory. These scripts will work provided, you did not change the default location of the installation. If you had chosen a different location to install Office2K (say in D: drive instead of C:) then you will have to modify the scripts appropriately.
Here is a screenshot showing the various applications running.

20) Enjoy!