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Ubuntu 8.10 and OpenOffice.org 3.0

Those who have installed the new Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex (8.10) release have probably noticed that it does not include the new OpenOffice.
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Written by J.A. Watson, Member blogger on

Those who have installed the new Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex (8.10) release have probably noticed that it does not include the new OpenOffice.org 3.0 release. Apparently Canonical decided that the OpenOffice.org release date didn't give them enough time for testing and integration, so they are waiting for the OpenOffice 3.0.1 release, scheduled for the beginning of December. This is a sort of interesting role-reversal with Mandriva, who have typically been the more conservative about including new software in their releases, but they have OpenOffice 3.0.0 in their Mandriva 2009.0 release.

If you absolutely need (or want) OpenOffice 3.0 in Ubuntu 8.10, it is relatively easy to get it. Basically all you need to do is add the OpenOffice repository to your software sources, and then let Ubuntu notice that 3.0 is available, download and install it. Here are the few simple steps:

- Go to System / Administration / Software Sources

- Click the tab for "Third-Party Software", then "Add" (the one at the left, NOT Add CD-ROM at the right)

- Enter the following in the APT line:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/openoffice-pkgs/ubuntu intrepid main

- Click "Add Source", and then when it tells you that the software information is out of date, click "Reload". Wait for that to finish, it will probably take a minute or two.

- Close the Software Sources window

You should then (or very soon thereafter) see the Update Icon in the panel, and you can then proceed as usual with updates.

Performing the update in this way will keep OpenOffice 3.0.0 within the Ubuntu Software Sources and Update Manager system. That can be an advantage if you want to keep the menu integration looking the same, and you don't want to have to worry about watching for updates yourself. However, if you are more independent-minded, you want or need to have the latest complete distribution from OpenOffice.org, or perhaps you are managing several computers and want to deal with a download only once, you can remove the Ubuntu OpenOffice.org packages, and install it yourself:

- Go to System / Administration / Synaptic Package Manager and remove any and all of the OpenOffice packages that are installed.

- Go to OpenOffice.org and get the "Linux DEB" download. Note, if you go in through the top page at OpenOffice.org, don't accept the default download that it offers you, that will be an RPM package and you want the DEB package.

- Open a shell window, unpack the download, change to the DEB directory, and use "sudo dpkg -i *.deb" to install it. Then change down to the desktop-integration directory, and install the DEB file there the same way.

jw 7/11/2008

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