(solved) MS Office - best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

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bulevardi
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(solved) MS Office - best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by bulevardi » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:05 pm

Ok,

What's the best solution in Linux Mint to run MS Office ?

(I'm totally ok with LibreOffice, but my wife needs the MS version for work sometimes)


I ready about a few options:

- VirtualBox (no experience with this)
- PlayOnLinux
- installing Stealth VM in Linux Mint ? (I don't want to switch to Robolinux)

I think the PlayOnLinux is the best option, however, I had some problems with Wine before.
At this moment I have a clean Mint installed, currently without Wine. Should I install wine first before PlayOnLinux? Or will it be installed when I install PlayOnLinux?
Should I first copy the Office files from the cd to the harddisk, or install directly from the cd?

Are there other altenratives to these 3?

Thanks in advance and best regards!
-b-
Last edited by bulevardi on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by thx-1138 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:20 pm

"Best way" is a bit subjective, hence all the answers you'll receive will vary according to people's tastes & experiences around (eg. personally i'm way more in favor of Virtualbox than Wine / PlayOnLinux).

Note that you can also use Office Online and / or Google Docs as well, depending on your needs / 'sensitivity' of your documents:
https://onedrive.live.com/about/en/
&
https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by phd21 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:14 pm

Hi bulevardi,

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

+1 with user "thx-1138" suggestion, If you must use MS Office, then use MS Office online (Office 365).

Office 365 Login | Microsoft Office
https://www.office.com/

Tip: Some websites may require installing a "user agent" browser add-on or extension to allow your Linux system access because their website is purposely blocking Linux systems, or has an antiquated design that does not recognize Linux and Linux browsers. Basically, a "user agent" add-on informs the website that you are using a different computer operating system and or browser than what you are really using; for example, you can tell the user agent to inform websites that you are using MS Windows and Internet Explorer (IE) or Edge browser when in fact you are using Linux Mint and the Linux Firefox browser.

The Linux Wine or PlayOnLinux (POL) usually do not allow anyone to install the newest versions of MS Office, but from what I have read do allow installing some of the older versions of MS Office.

Obviously, installing Virtualbox (VB) with a version of MS Windows in that will allow anyone to install and use any Windows software from within Linux Mint without rebooting or "dual booting". But, you should have enough system resources (system memory "ram", drive space, decent video card) to be able to run VB with MS Windows and whatever application you want to run efficiently.

How to install Windows in VirtualBox - Easy Linux tips project (Great website)
https://sites.google.com/site/easylinux ... ct/oldgrub


Hope this helps ...
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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by bulevardi » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:39 pm

phd21 wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:14 pm
If you must use MS Office, then use MS Office online (Office 365).
Hmm I see. I'm afraid I won't be able to convince my wife to use the online version, as she is already suspicious with anything that runs in clouds and so. :D
phd21 wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:14 pm
The Linux Wine or PlayOnLinux (POL) usually do not allow anyone to install the newest versions of MS Office, but from what I have read do allow installing some of the older versions of MS Office.
It's the 2010 version. And as from a youtube video I've seen, it should be piece of cake to install it with POL.
(will probably try out this solution tonight)

The Virtualbox won't be the solution I'm afraid... as I switched to Linux because of Windows did crash all the time and I couldn't reïnstall it anymore (even the recovery backup couldn't be recognized), I can't see any point to reïnstall the Windows OS anymore. So here I am in Linux Mint.

I hope to be able to run other software I used in PlayOnLinux, like the Reaper DAW to create music. (I once read somewhere that someone was able to do so, I'm going to check that later on in a couple of days/weeks maybe)

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by thx-1138 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:46 pm

bulevardi wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:39 pm
... as I switched to Linux because of Windows did crash all the time and I couldn't reïnstall it anymore (even the recovery backup couldn't be recognized), I can't see any point to reïnstall the Windows OS anymore.
...note that you don't need to go through the windows re-installation ordeal, you can just use one of Microsoft's own VM images, aka download once, extract and load it in less than one minute...

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by scrognoid » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:51 pm

I've been using Crossover to run Office 2010 for years
https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtop ... ne#p837731
I'm having to upgrade my Office license, and 365 and 2016 seem to be the only buy-able options. Haven't pulled the trigger yet. Crossover tech support claimed that their latest version 17.1 ran well with 365 and 2016 (apparently they are the same software with different licenses, subscription vs pay once.)

Crossover allows me to seamlessly swap and edit Office documents from Linux. My only issue was that occasionally right-click options didn't work, but I could always find the same option in a toolbar.
Linux Mint 17.3 Mate; Dell XPS 13 (9343); Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-5200U CPU @ 2.20GHz; 4 GB RAM

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by majpooper » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:16 pm

This may be as simple as understanding how to manage the file extensions. My wife supposedly had the same issue until she understood she could change the file extensions to MS extensions. That said I do understand that the more complex documents and spreadsheets have macros that are not compatible between MS and Libre Office.

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by bulevardi » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:41 pm

This post on the bottom of this page should be the solution, to change the config.xml file...
https://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=30033

However, nowhere on the pc I could find this specific config file :(

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by Hoser Rob » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:11 am

PlayOnLinux is just a GUI for WIne. All it does differently is juggle Wine versions to try to find one that works. This should be a clue ... WIne is unreliable crap. It may work now but don;t count on that continuing. For business? Silly. The only reliable way would be in a VM or dual boot.

Virtualbox is one of the easiest and defintiely the best documented VMs. That's the most common recommendation.

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by bulevardi » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:57 am

I see, yes...

But I think I'm going further via the wine solution in POL.

Tried every possible workaround I found on the net last night, even reïnstalled everything, but without much success.

Office works perfectly though, it's only the activation that bothers me.

However, when starting Word, the activation pop-up shows up again.
But now a strange thing happened... before the HEU trick, the popup said: "29 days trial left", after the HEU trick, the popup says: "30 days trial left".
Oh boy.... Maybe it stays on 30 days, I will tell you in a couple of days if it stays stable. I can live with that.
I'm wondering, if the 30 days are over, and I deïnstall it and reïnstall it again, would it work again with a new 30 day trial?

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by Joe2Shoe » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:32 am

IMO, I think it's best not to use a Windows emulator such as Wine or PlayOnLinux or whatever. LibreOffice or SoftMaker FreeOffice (or the retail version) works just fine and either are nice M$ Office replacements. I stay away from ALL M$ items. "A leopard cannot change it's spots" (Benjamin Franklin).
"Tolerance is the refuge of men without conviction."
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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by scrognoid » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:28 pm

If you don't swap and edit MS docs with Windows users you might be able to get away with Libre, Open, or Free*. But in the real working world that's what you do, and something is messed up in the document every time**. You might be able to track it down and fix it but who has the time. And the Windows users are not going to want to, for example, go through an eighty page document converting tabs to spaces to fix the table of contents because you don't want to buy MS Office.

*FreeOffice by SoftMaker is the best alternative I've tried, but after a few doc swaps and export to PDF I ended up with a doc that could not go to the printer until I walked through and did "clear formatting" in a dozen places where text turned into abstract art.

**Maybe not every time but almost. In very simple documents with little formating you might get away with it. But things like Track Changes, which is basic to group document generation, are unreliable.
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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by dark » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:43 pm

Running MS Office in VirtualBox is the easiest way.

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by bulevardi » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:46 pm

The thing is that I'm not so familiar with VirtualBox/Machines.

Is there a Windows version included when installing this Virtualbox?
Because that's just the reason why I'm using Linux now: because my official Windows version doesn't want to reïnstall anymore.
Otherwise, I had installed the Windows again and not Linux.

And no, I'm not looking for any alternatives to Ms Office, my wife needs to use that, no argue ;)
It's just for less then a half year that she still needs it.

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by phd21 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:05 pm

Hi bulevardi,
bulevardi wrote:The thing is that I'm not so familiar with VirtualBox/Machines. Is there a Windows version included when installing this Virtualbox? Because that's just the reason why I'm using Linux now: because my official Windows version doesn't want to reïnstall anymore.Otherwise, I had installed the Windows again and not Linux.

And no, I'm not looking for any alternatives to Ms Office, my wife needs to use that, no argue ;)
It's just for less then a half year that she still needs it.

1.) It does not seem like you read that link on installing Ms Windows in Virtualbox that I gave you before, because it is pretty simple and there are "virtual machine" ready to use versions of Ms Windows in that link. Obviously, it may take you a little time to learn something about VirtualBox, but not that long. And it works well in Linux Mint, if your computer has enough resources. You can easily create a Linux Mint desktop shortcut from VB for running MS Windows.

2.) The Linux Wine system including POL (Play On Linux) has been undergoing many changes over the past 1.5 years and there are various versions of these. I would recommend using the "Wine Staging" version which may work for this, if you are going this route. Install Wine Staging, then reinstall POL.

How to Install Wine Staging on Ubuntu Linux - Make Tech Easier
https://www.maketecheasier.com/install- ... ng-ubuntu/

How To Install Wine Staging 2.4 On Ubuntu And Derivative Systems | LinuxG.net
http://linuxg.net/install-wine-staging-on-ubuntu/

Microsoft Office 2013 on Linux using PlayOnLinux 4.2.9 : linux
https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments ... ayonlinux/

How to install Microsof Office 2010 using PlayOnLinux On Ubuntu 15.04 | LinuxPitStop
http://linuxpitstop.com/install-microso ... ntu-15-04/

Install Wine Staging wrote: Wine Staging
https://wine-staging.com/installation.html#distro_mint

Linux Mint
Start by importing the key for our repository:

Code: Select all

wget -nc https://repos.wine-staging.com/wine/Release.key

Code: Select all

sudo apt-key add Release.key
Then use the following command to add our repository to a source file (located in /etc/apt/sources.list.d):

# For Linux Mint 17.x (Qiana, Rebecca, Rafaela, Rosa) run:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-add-repository 'deb https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/ trusty main'
# And for Linux Mint 18.x (Sarah, Serena):

Code: Select all

sudo apt-add-repository 'deb https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/ xenial main'
As a next step, please update the package cache and install Wine Staging:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get update

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-staging
If you want the 64 bit version of wine-staging also install the wine-staging-amd64 package:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install wine-staging-amd64
You should now be able to start Wine Staging. For more information about using Wine you can take a look at the Wine User Guide.

3.) FYI: I do not know if MS Office Online, Office 365, requires that your wife's files be located on their cloud. I would not think so, but there is a simple to install, safe and secure, cloud encryption application called "cryptomator" where all you do is install this application, and create a folder(s) on a cloud drive to store all related documents that you want encrypted.

Cryptomator: Free Cloud Encryption for Dropbox & Others
https://cryptomator.org/

Hope this helps ...
Last edited by phd21 on Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:45 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by KBD47 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:16 pm

May be worth trying Softmaker Office. They have a free version, but to use docx and other newer Windows file formats there is a paid version for Linux. Worth looking at:
http://www.softmaker.com/en/softmaker-office

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by bulevardi » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:14 pm

phd21 wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:05 pm
Hi bulevardi,

1.) It does not seem like you read that link on installing Ms Windows in Virtualbox that I gave you before, because it is pretty simple and...
To be honest, I read it very quickly diagonally, as I had only little time.
And the problem needed to be solved before the next morning. So I didn't have time to overlook all the possible solutions linux has to offer at once that night. I chose for the quickest way to get this MS Office up and running.

Before reading the article, I had my mind already set on PlayOnLinux (I saw a video that seemed so easy) and it would have been piece of cake to get it installed and running.
In the article, I came up with this phrase: "You can use this legal VM with Windows 7 for 90 days...", and that did stop me reading the rest, where is told that you can extend the activation 5 times... and then reïnstall.

And that is just the only question I'm now having: getting the MS Office activated. As it's now installed and works perfectly, without a VM, also my VBA macros work. I'm not going to switch to another method now this is up and running perfectly, except for the activation. Not even wondering what possible activation issues the VM could give... I'm not going to start all over again now.

In the article they also say:
"- Don't use the VM for random web browsing: it's much safer to use Linux for that...."
While that's just what my wife will be doing the whole time, switching between office and internet to search for lots of stuff to copy/paste. And she's not going to quit the VM all the time to browse withing Linux.


My goal is to make the whole transition from Win to Linux, so I won't need a VM or whatsoever in the future.
Meaning that I'll try to rewrite all my VBA macro's (years of work) to get them to work in LibreOffice or something like that.
Also for my other hobbies I'm looking for solutions, for photography, recording audio, midi... and I want it to work in Linux.
If I'm going to use a VM each time, to get all my stuff to work, why should I use Linux then to continuously switch to a VM to run Windows software?
When using a VM, it won't motivate me to look for solutions to get it to work in Linux, as it works in the VM.

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by jglen490 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:53 pm

by KBD47 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:16 am
May be worth trying Softmaker Office. They have a free version, but to use docx and other newer Windows file formats there is a paid version for Linux. Worth looking at:
http://www.softmaker.com/en/softmaker-office
KBD47's link to Softmaker is probably your surest solution. Yes, it costs money to get full compatibility, and while Libre Office does provide a lot of MS compatibility, only you (and more importantly) your wife need to make that call.
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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by thx-1138 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:54 pm

I chose for the quickest way to get this MS Office up and running.
The 'quickest' is not the 'best'. Question was rather clear: 'best'.
Before reading the article, I had my mind already set on PlayOnLinux (I saw a video that seemed so easy) and it would have been piece of cake to get it installed and running.
Well, it became obvious that you were already predetermined / 'fixed' on a certain solution...but then, why ask further for different solutions & thoughts about it? Just do whatever wished & decided in the first place...
In the article they also say:
"- Don't use the VM for random web browsing: it's much safer to use Linux for that...."
While that's just what my wife will be doing the whole time, switching between office and internet to search for lots of stuff to copy/paste. And she's not going to quit the VM all the time to browse withing Linux.
You can be fairly certain that running Wine / PlayOnLinux to run Windows executables directly is way way way even less safer.
My goal is to make the whole transition from Win to Linux, so I won't need a VM or whatsoever in the future.
Meaning that I'll try to rewrite all my VBA macro's (years of work) to get them to work in LibreOffice or something like that.
Also for my other hobbies I'm looking for solutions, for photography, recording audio, midi... and I want it to work in Linux.
If I'm going to use a VM each time, to get all my stuff to work, why should I use Linux then to continuously switch to a VM to run Windows software?
When using a VM, it won't motivate me to look for solutions to get it to work in Linux, as it works in the VM.
That's good thinking - although a bit too black & white i'd personally think. There are people who use linux for numerous years, and they still might have to use a VM (or an emulator) for this or that task, it's not a sin you know - if it was, those wouldn't exist or they wouldn't be recommended at least.
Even more, you are in day 1, and already asking for how to use windows programs under linux: the contradiction is obvious. Hence, my advise would be to try abandoning your pre-conceptions, and pay somewhat more attention to what people around have to say based on their own experience...

Last but not least - not to put you off, but...
And that is just the only question I'm now having: getting the MS Office activated.
This is NOT a Microsoft Office support forum. Contact them, ask how to activate it, and what the legal requirements / restrictions for such are.
Buy a newer licence, renew it, whatever - it's not up to us to tell you what to do after the 30 days-trial expires, or to present you with ways of bypassing such...

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Re: [MS Office] best way to run this windows suite in Linux Mint?

Post by phd21 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:10 pm

Hi bulevardi,
bulevardi wrote:In the article, I came up with this phrase: "You can use this legal VM with Windows 7 for 90 days...", and that did stop me reading the rest, where is told that you can extend the activation 5 times... and then reïnstall.
Installing MS Windows as a virtual machine file within Virtualbox is very quick (minutes), so much faster than installing MS Windows normally takes. VirtualBox has a built-in feature called "snapshot" which allows anyone to "go back in time" before any expiration dates, just make sure your documents are stored in the Linux host shared folder. And the 5 time activation method lasts for over a year.
bulevardi wrote:And that is just the only question I'm now having: getting the MS Office activated. As it's now installed and works perfectly, without a VM, also my VBA macros work. I'm not going to switch to another method now this is up and running perfectly, except for the activation. Not even wondering what possible activation issues the VM could give... I'm not going to start all over again now.
bulevardi wrote:In the article they also say:
"- Don't use the VM for random web browsing: it's much safer to use Linux for that...."
While that's just what my wife will be doing the whole time, switching between office and internet to search for lots of stuff to copy/paste. And she's not going to quit the VM all the time to browse withing Linux.
Linux and Linux Mint is far safer to browse the Internet than MS Windows or Mac. You can have MS Windows running in the Virtual machine with MS Office or any other MS Windows software as just another application window on your desktop while using Linux Browser(s) to surf the Internet. You do not need to close the VirtualBox VM application window to surf the Internet or whatever else you want to do, just minimize it (treat it like any other desktop application window), use the taskbar (or keyboard shortcuts) to switch between running application windows, or use the multiple workspace option to put the VB with MS Windows on workspace 2 while doing other stuff in workspace 1; it is super simple to switch workspaces.
bulevardi wrote:My goal is to make the whole transition from Win to Linux, so I won't need a VM or whatsoever in the future. Meaning that I'll try to rewrite all my VBA macro's (years of work) to get them to work in LibreOffice or something like that. Also for my other hobbies I'm looking for solutions, for photography, recording audio, midi... and I want it to work in Linux. If I'm going to use a VM each time, to get all my stuff to work, why should I use Linux then to continuously switch to a VM to run Windows software? When using a VM, it won't motivate me to look for solutions to get it to work in Linux, as it works in the VM.
This is a typical response from anyone coming from any operating system to another operating system. There are good to excellent applications for almost anything you can think of available right now in Linux Mint to replace those MS Windows applications, some applications are cross platform and will work with Linux, MS windows, or Mac, etc... and more being developed all the time. There are a lot of posts regarding this in this forum already. There are superb applications for photography, recording audio and music (midi), etc...

Like most people in this forum, I used MS Windows and MS office for years before switching to Linux Mint (since its creation) both personally and professionally as a businessman and software developer. It did not take long at all to find working Linux applications and utilities for everything I used before in MS Windows. The people here in this excellent forum can help you and others locate applications for practically anything you can imagine, just ask. The only real problems I ever encounter with Linux Mint that would necessitate using Virtualbox or VMware is if someone has some specialized computer hardware that cannot be recognized by the Linux Mint system and requires MS Windows only drivers, or some very specialized and usually proprietary MS Windows or Mac software, and even that is rare.

Originally you said that you just needed to get MS office 2010 working for your wife, and now you have various working options for doing this. I still think using MS Office online, office 365, is a safe and simple option for your wife or any other Linux, MS Windows, or Mac user (and it does not require installing anything just going to their website), as long as you can save and open files stored locally from her system, or use an encrypted cloud account option. You can also use a VPN network connection to provide an anonymous and encrypted connection to the Internet; I recommend using a VPN anyway.

As for activating the MS Office within Linux Wine or POL, I have never done that, so I do not know. Perhaps those links I gave you can help with that.
(2) How to Intall and Activate Microsoft Office 2010 on Linux - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWZHKVyg3ZY
Call Microsoft's automated registration service 1-866-421-7141 Have the screen up that is for registering it, choose the over the telephone. Give the number over the phone to the automated system and it will give you a code that you enter. It worked.
I personally try to use native Linux applications whenever I can, and to not use the Linux Wine system or Virtualbox, although these are excellent and very innovative options.


Hope this helps ...
Last edited by phd21 on Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:48 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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