Microsoft Office is a commonly-used, proprietary office suite. Because the Microsoft Office suite is designed for Microsoft Windows, it cannot be installed directly onto a computer running Ubuntu. However, it is possible to install and run certain versions of Office using the WINE Windows-compatibility layer available in Ubuntu. WINE is available only for the Intel/x86 platform.
Alternatively, Ubuntu offers a wide range of high-quality office software, some of which is compatible with the Microsoft Office file formats. Notably, LibreOffice is Ubuntu's default office suite and is installed/available on all platforms supported by Ubuntu. A brief guide to the office software available in Ubuntu can be found on the OfficeApplications page.
The following guide gives instructions on how to install and run Microsoft Office on Ubuntu by using WINE.
Checking if your version of Office is supported by WINE
This guide assumes that you have a copy of Microsoft Office, which seems to be the version which is best supported by WINE. All versions may suffer from stability issues when run using WINE, as Office isn't specifically designed to be run in this way.
To check if your version of Office can be run using WINE, view the Microsoft Office entry in the WINE Application Database. With some versions of Office, only one or two applications from the suite are supported, so it may be helpful to check the Application Database for each application individually.
If your copy of Office is not compatible with WINE, a commercial application called CrossOver Office (which is based on WINE) may still support it. Visit the CrossOver Office website for more information.
Installing the WINE Windows-compatibility layer
WINE allows Windows-only applications such as Microsoft Office to be run on the Intel/x86 versions of Ubuntu. You must first install the wine package, available from the universe software channel. See the AddingRepositoriesHowto for information on how to enable the universe software channel. See InstallingSoftware for information on how to install packages, or open a Terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and type
sudo apt-get install wine
More information on WINE is available from the Wine page.
NOTE: The newer development versions of Wine are not available directly from Ubuntu repositories, but may offer greater functionality for the particular version of Office you are using. Instructions for installation of the Ubuntu versions are at the Wine website.
Installing Microsoft Office
Ensure that you have all of the materials required to install your copy of Microsoft Office, including any documentation and licensing information which may be required during the installation process. The installation process should proceed as if the installation was being run on a Microsoft Windows computer.
First, determine which drive letter your CD-ROM drive has been assigned. To do this, open a Terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal), type
and then press the Return key on the keyboard. The WINE configuration application will start. Select the Drives tab and look for the entry /media/cdrom0 or similar and note the drive letter, for example e:. Put the Microsoft Office installation Cd into your Cd-drive, open a Terminal, type
(substitute 'e:' with the drive letter you noted down earlier) and press the Return key. The Microsoft Office set-up program should run normally.
Install additional DLL files
Several office programs or features may not work with Wine's code. However Wine supports loading native DLLs - those made to work in Microsoft Windows. To add a DLL override (force wine to use a native version): open a terminal window, type
and press the Return key. Then, click the Libraries tab and add the appropriate DLL override for the application as given below.
Most of Office 2007 actually runs out of the box. The following are taken directly from WineHQ's AppDB. Please also note that NONE of these DLL's need to be copied unless explicitly stated.
Wine's AppDB (Database) for Word
Wine's AppDB for Excel
Wine's AppDB for PowerPoint
Please check the AppDB entries for the latest overrides (remember - the less overrides, the better).
Running an Office application
Short-cuts that are added during installation should be located in the Wine menu under Applications.