[Fwd: Bug#224498: A recipe of potential use to MS Office 97
aspiring users on Debian]
ovek at arcticnet.no
Fri Jan 16 16:03:52 CST 2004
From: Emmanuel Charpentier <charpent at bacbuc.dyndns.org>
To: 224498 at bugs.debian.org
Cc: ovek at arcticnet.no
Subject: Bug#224498: A recipe of potential use to MS Office 97 aspiring users on Debian
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 23:16:44 +0100
Dear Ove, dear Wine users and w(h)iners,
First, a big "Thank you" to Ove : maintaining a Debian package is work, and
maintaining a beast such as Wine is *hard* work. I feel very grateful to
Debian maintainers, and to Ove.
I have read the bug report about MS Office and the consecutive somewhat
heated argument. While I won't delve in the "necessities" of using MS
programs, I agree that there is not yet a free tool able to reach into .mdb
databases sent by people you can't demand another format. (Yes, I'm aware
of the .mdb tools. They crash on me any time I try to use them on a French
.mdb ...). Ant that might be justification enough to try to get Wine
working with that piece of s...oftware.
The following recipe *might* help people not yet able to get rid of MS
Office. Start by getting the latest (20031212) version of wine (that's in
unstable for you, Debian users ...). This version seems to be a *vast*
improvement over whatever I tried before (last time was summer '03, IIRC).
You will need a working Windows 98 installation (for which, of course, you
have a valid license...). But you'll have to start with a fresh no-windows
installation. The simplest way I found is to rename any previous
.wine/config file and .wine/fake-windows directory, then to call winsetup
and to ask for the creation of a new config file without Windows installation.
Starting from here, install from the MS cdrom : wine /cdrom/install.exe.
This installation will copy a lot of files, then FAIL. That's not a problem.
You'll then grab the following files from your working Windows installation:
- stdole32.tlb (This one is the only one needed for Winword, Powerpoint and
- vbajet32.dll (and maybe vba332.dll (that's not a typo), can't recall at
- (maybe) odbc.dll
IIRC, all of this, except vba332.dll come from the \Windows\System
directory of your native Win98 installation and go to
In the .wine/config file, mark these libraries as "native,builtin" in the
Restart the installation of MS Office from the CD. This time, the
installation should work (and be much faster than the first time around,
since almost all file already exist). It will complaint that it cannot
DDE-connect to the desktop (in order to create the shortcuts), but that's
harmless : just hit "Ignore".
The first launch of the applications may be painful : at first run, MS
Office apps try to launch a "helpful" dialog box "presenting" the
application, which have trouble communicating with the main program. I
found that minimizing and restoring the main window may help. Don't ask me why.
As far as my limited test can tell, Winword and Powerpoint work fine. With
the relevant fonts in xfs and a correct CUPS setup, printing is automatic
and gives very good results.
MS Access still gives me guff : I have Cyrillic characters in place of
Western accented characters, form creation dialog boxes have serious quirks
(e. g. the "Properties" dialog box fights for focus with the "Save as"
dialog box in Design mode), I had a crash trying to display an "outer join"
view, etc ... But that is infinitely better that no MS Access at all ... I
have now some hope of solving some of these hurdles.
The SR1 and SR2 "service packs" can be installed with no problems.
Hoping this helps,
PS : Ove, if you think this might be of interest elsewhere, and does not
step too rudely on the (very) sensitive toes of DFSG and Social Contract,
please feel free to forward to any relevant place, cut and paste or
paraphrase at will ...
PPS : Mandatory disclaimer : I found this by trial and error. I might be
wrong. But that's my problem. Now, I won't accept *ANY* responsibility for
the (mis-)use you may make of this information, either technical or legal.
In other words, you're on your own : if this blows your system, drowns your
basement, launches against you a thousand of ships full of angered
Microsoft lawyers, shaves your cat or rapes your grandma (or vice-versa),
that's *YOUR* problem, buddy, not mine.
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