Getting started with StarOffice under Linux

By Steven Gould, LinuxWorld.com |  Software



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To take advantage of some of StarOffice's more advanced features, you'll need to have the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) already installed and the environment variable JAVA_HOME set to point to the JRE directory. (See Resources for the Linux port of Java). You don't need this to use StarOffice; however, it will provide access to some additional features and make Java applications available directly from the StarOffice desktop. If the JAVA_HOME variable is set, the StarOffice setup interprets it automatically.


For the Linux version of StarOffice, you'll need approximately 160 MB of hard disk space, 2 MB per user for a multiuser installation, and 32 MB of RAM, though 64 MB is recommended.


Our testing setup consisted of a Pentium Pro 200 MHz machine, as well as a Compaq Presario 1260 notebook, both running Slackware 4.0 Linux (which includes the 2.2.6 kernel, and XFree86 3.3.3.1).



Obtaining StarOffice



There are two ways to get StarOffice:



  • By downloading it from Sun's Website (see Resources).
    This is a free download; however, you must register to access it. Other Websites from which you can download StarOffice include CNET.com and ZDNet.com.

  • By ordering on CD (see Resources).
    When Sun purchased StarOffice, it offered a promotion whereby you could order the StarOffice CD with no printed manuals and pay only the shipping and handling costs. That promotion appears to have ended, however, and the StarOffice CD can only be obtained by purchasing the StarOffice full media kit, which includes user documentation, for $39.95 plus shipping and handling.

The advantage of purchasing the CD is that, in addition to the Linux version of StarOffice, the CD also includes versions for Windows 9x/NT, OS/2, Solaris (SPARC), and Solaris (Intel).



Getting started



StarOffice uses both the new glibc2 (libc6) and the Linux-Kernel-Threads libraries. According to the installation documentation on the CD, Sun tested StarOffice with the versions libc-2.0.7.so and libthread-0.7.so (glibc-2.0.7-7-7.i386.rpm). Before beginning the installation, check that the corresponding libraries are set up in your system. To see whether your Linux system contains the appropriate libraries, type:



ls -l /lib/ld-linux.so.2

ls -l /lib/libc-2.*.so



If these files exist, you probably already have the required libraries, though you should still check the version numbers. If in doubt, go ahead and try to install StarOffice.

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