StarOffice 3.1 Mini-HOWTO
Matthew Borowski v1.1, 28 November 1999
( http://tarp.worldserve.net/ )
Information on installing the
StarOffice 3.1Office Suite by StarDivision.
- 3.1 Libc Issues and Fixes
- 3.2 Installing the tar Files
- 3.3 Setup und Configuration
- 3.4 COL (Caldera OpenLinux) setup bug
- 3.5 Fixing the LANG variable problem
This document deals with installing StarOffice 3.1. The current
version of StarOffice is 5.1. Version 5.1 is considerably easier to
install and less buggy than version 3.1. In fact, in my opinion
there is no need for a HOWTO for version 5.1, since StarDivision
has written a fairly complete installation guide. The StarOffice
mini-HOWTO was useful while it lasted, but it is now being archived
only for the few who still wish to install StarOffice 3.1. For
information about StarOffice 5.1, check StarDivision's site at
The StarOffice Office Suite is a collection of office tools for Linux, written in C using the Motif toolkit.
- StarWriter, a word processor
- StarCalc, a spreadsheet
- StarImage, an image editor
- StarDraw, a draw program similar to Corel DRAW
- StarChart, a chart-making program
- StarMath, a math editor
The StarOffice Office Suite for Linux is free for non-commercial use. Commercial use requires a license. The cost for a commercial license seperate from Caldera's OpenLinux system is currently undecided.
StarOffice is written using the commercial Motif 2.0 GUI toolkit. The dynamically linked version will *not* work with Motif 1.2/LessTif.
The static version (with Motif 2.0 linked in) will work regardless of whether or not you have Motif. However, performance drops.
I run StarOffice on a Pentium 100 with 48 megs RAM, running Redhat 4.1 and Motif 2.0. Dynamically linked StarOffice takes about a minute to load. However, it is noticable that, once it loads up, StarOffice dynamically linked takes up much less resources than the static version.
- Version 1.1 991128 - updated URLs and changed references to StarOffice 4.0 to the new 5.1
- Version 1.0 980602 - added information on StarOffice 4.0 and about how this document is now outdated
- Version 0.8 971109 - added tips, installation w/o libc upgrade, etc.
- Version 0.7 970707 - changed section 3.1.1, changed license
- Version 0.6 970609 - added fix for the LANG variable problem
- Version 0.5 970608 - updated info to StarOffice 3.1 final
- Version 0.1 970505 - the initial release.
The release of StarOffice 3.1 for Linux is available for FTP at
README.StarOffice contains information on
downloading StarOffice 3.1 final. You will need to get three files:
StarOffice31-english.tar.gz(english) templates/demo docs or
StarOffice31-german.tar.gz(german) templates/demo docs
StarOffice31-dynbin.tar.tgz(dynamically linked) or
StarOffice31-statbin.tar.gz(statically linked) binaries
There is also version of StarOffice, available from Caldera. Check their website at
Installation of StarOffice consists of:
- Untarring the distribution files as root in
- running the
setupprogram as a user
- sourcing the
- reading section 3.5!!! (do this)
StarOffice is linked with
StarOffice 3.1 *will* work on
Unfortunately, the setup program requires 5.4.4 or higher. If you
libc 5.3.x, you might be able to get around this
by acquiring a copy of
libc 5.4.4+ and adding it to
your LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable before executing the
setup script. I haven't tried this, however, so you're
on your own.
If you attempt to run the
setup script on a libc older
than 5.4.4, you will get the following error message:
line 1: Syntax error at token 'I' expected declarator; i.e. File ...
To upgrade your libc, FTP to
sunsite.unc.edu and look in the
libc-5.4.33.bin.tar.gz (or whatever the
latest libc is). Extract the contents of this file in a temporary
directory. A new lib/ directory will be created. Su to root and
copy the file
libc.so.5.4.33 from this directory to
your /lib directory. Now, make the symlink from
libc.5.4.33 with the
then run the
ln -sf /lib/libc.so.5.4.33 /lib/libc.so.5
Dr. Romano Giannetti
...I want only to add that I could install (like you suggested) StarWriter in a redhat 4.2 system which has a libc5.3, without doing the upgrade.
The exact steps are:
1. get a libc.so.5.4.x. If you have a redhat rpm package (as the one you find in the contrib directory), you can extract the library by going in a scratch directory and doing:
rpm2cpio libc.so.5.4.x-y.rpm | cpio --extract --make-directoriesThe library will appear in ./lib subdirectory
2. move libc.so.5.4.x in your home directory. Then (assuming a sh-like shell):
ln -s libc.so.5.4.x libc.so.5
3. Now you can run setup.
After downloading StarOffice, su or login as root and place the
/usr/local/. Change directory to
/usr/local/ and extract the files. An example command
to decompress a gzipped tar file would be:
tar -xzvf filename.tar
Older systems may require you first use the
command to unzip the file, then use the
command to untar it.
The files will extract to their locations within the newly created
After you have extracted the StarOffice files as root, you will
need to login with your userid. Change directory to
/usr/local/StarOffice-3.1 and execute the
setup program. This program will install non-shared
files and symlinks needed for each individual user. The standard
installation is recommended. There *could* be problems if you do
not accept the default installation path.
StarOffice makes use of environment variables. The files
.sd.sh (formatted for the Bourne Shell) and
.sd.csh (formatted for the C Shell) provide the
environment variable settings for StarOffice. These files are
located in your home directory.
If you use
bash, edit your
add the line:
After doing this, restart
bash to bring the
environment variables into effect.
If you use a different shell, consult that shell's man page for information on sourcing a file.
Phil Reardon (
" I found a bug in the setup script for StarOffice that came with my Caldera COL standard release. It produces // in a path where there should only be one /. To fix it, remove the first slash from this line:There should be no / before linux-x86."
.sd.csh files set the LANG
variable. This causes problems with perl and man. Man will give the
" Failed to open the message catalog man on the path NLSPATH="Perl will give the error message
" warning: setlocale(LC_CTYPE, "")..."
.sd.sh file contains a line that sets LANG=us and
another that exports a bunch of variables, including LANG. Remove
the LANG=us line and remove LANG from the list of variables, and
this will be fixed.
.sd.csh file (which is formatted for the c
shell), you need to remove the line that says "setenv LANG us".
Thanks to Adam L. Klein (
informing me of this fix.
The StarOffice binaries are located in the directory:
The applications are:
svdaemon must be executed in order to use
online help. The program
svportmap must be executed to
enable application communication features between StarWriter,
StarCalc and StarDraw.
Contributed by Patrick D'Cruze
1. Instead of sourcing the .sd.sh (or .sd.csh) file in my .bash_profile script, I instead copied the .sd.sh script, renamed it to swriter and copied it to /usr/local/bin. I then modified it by adding a:
at the start of the script and a:
exec swriter3 $*
at the end of the script. Now all I have to do is run swriter and it automatically sets up the appropriate environment variables and then runs StarWriter. Saves having those environment variables pollute other applications/environments.
2. I noticed that for a lot of people, StarOffice takes quite a while to load (upwards of 60 seconds). The consensus on usenet was that a large chunk of this time was due to the symbol relocations that the dynamic linker has to do. ie, for each new symbol the dynamic linker has to locate the appropriate library. StarOffice dynamically links against quite a few libraries so the dynamic linker spends quite a bit of time searching through lots of libraries.
There is a solution to this. I run StarOffice in a chroot'd jail. In the jail, I just put the binaries and libraries that StarOffice uses (all the libs out of /usr/X11R6/lib, libc/libm and libg++/libstdc++). StarWriter takes approximately 15 seconds to come up on my P133/32MB. This is due to the fact that the only libraries present are the ones needed by StarOffice and hence the dynamic linker spends proportionately less time searching through all the libraries on the system (ie, it doesn't search through all the useless libs in /usr/lib etc looking to resolve symbols).
More information on StarOffice for Linux is available directly from
StarDivision. StarDivision maintains a website at
StarDivision runs a news server with support and user groups
related to StarOffice for linux. These newsgroups are the best
place to find up-to-date information on StarOffice and to ask for
help. Using a newsreader, connect to
or follow the support link on the StarDivision homepage.
Thank you to Werner Klaus
translating this document to sgml.
If you can contribute any additional information for this
mini-HOWTO, please contact me via internet e-mail. My address is
located at the top of this document. You may also wish to take a
look at my web page, located at
This document is (C) 1999 by Matthew Borowski.
Redistribution of this document in electronic form is permitted under the condition that the document remains unchanged. If you wish to include this document in a CD-ROM or book, please obtain permission from me beforehand (I prefer requests to be sent via e-mail).
The author claims no responsibility in anything that may occur directly or indirectly as a result of using this document. The author is not an employee of StarDivision, GmbH or Caldera, Inc.
Comments and questions may be directed to the author at