LibreOffice in the corporate sector - ready to go

    In this article, we will consider the possibility of reducing the cost of office software by replacing the standard Microsoft Office 2003/2007/2010 office suite for many Russian organizations with LibreOffice 3.6.1, and describe the problems that have arisen and how to solve them.

    In the costs of supporting and developing the IT infrastructure, a significant share is occupied by the costs of software, which in turn consist of the costs of software for the “for all” category and specialized software that is necessary only for a number of employees. In turn, a typical set of the category "for all" consists of:
    • operating system;
    • office suite;
    • necessary service applications (archiver, set of multimedia codecs, PDF viewer).

    In different organizations, the set can be supplemented, for example, with the Skype application or corporate messenger (LiveMeeting, ICQ, etc.).

    In this article, we will not delve into the comparison of these packages, especially since good comparisons can be read here and here , but they relate mostly to the usability of these packages. Our task is to show the use of LIbreOffice from the point of view of corporate implementation.

    So, the conditions for implementation are an enterprise network with 50 workplaces, an Active Directory domain based on MS Windows 2008 R2 is deployed. Workstation operating systems - Windows XP / Vista Professional / 7 Professional.

    Deployment of LibreOffice began with the creation of an appropriate group policy for installing the official MSI package ( After a successful deployment to a test OU (Organization Unit), the following issues were identified:
    1. “By default” the entire set of software in the package is installed (including a set of dictionaries for all languages ​​of the world) - the installation takes a long time and a lot of programs unnecessary for the work appear on the client machine - Base, Python, PDF-Import, etc .;
    2. "Default" format for saving ODF files - the organization has developed DOC and XLS data storage formats for years;
    3. after installation, thumbnail generation of files in Explorer stops working. Explorer freezes;
    4. minor “inconsistencies” of the formats - somewhere the lines are slightly thicker than in MS Excel, somewhere the function is not brought to the panel, etc.

    The solution to problem number 1. Packet redundancy.

    To change the original MSI package, two ways have been tried:
    • Using MSI package command line arguments to eliminate unnecessary components. As a result, the received batch file cannot be executed, because command line length exceeds Windows limits;
    • Modification of an existing MSI package with ORCA . The received MSI package is devoid of dictionaries, a number of unnecessary software, and simultaneously problem 3 has been resolved (more about this later). The main problem is the lack of documentation, in fact it was necessary to analyze the MSI package provided by the LibreOffice developers using the “scientific poke” method. As a result, it was this method that led to success.

    The solution to the problem №2. Change the default format.

    By default, the LibreOffice settings file is located in the% USERPROFILE% \ AppData \ Roaming \ LibreOffice \ 3 \ user \ registrymodifications.xcu folder (for Windows Vista / 7)), and the easiest way is to distribute this file to all machines in the domain in Default User Directory. However, what to do with existing users, because the contents of the Default User folder are copied to the profile only when the user first logs in? The solution is simple - create a simple logon script and apply it with group policy when a user logs on to the system. At the same time, by the way, the unified LibreOffice configuration in the organization will be saved.

    The solution to the problem №3. Explorer freezes upon entering the document folder.

    In general, this bug is described in the corresponding tracker - . However, at the time of the deployment of LibreOffice 3.6.1, it was not fixed. The solution to this problem (disabling the Windows Explorer Extension) was implemented immediately when we figured out the ORCA for LibreOffice.

    The solution to the problem №4. Format discrepancies

    Here, unfortunately, only “manual” labor is applicable. For example, about an hour was spent on the formation of new collection templates for the bank, the open MS Excel file looked awful - “moved out” marking lines, fonts, etc. It helped to save this file in ODT format, opening and bringing it into the correct form. On the other hand, fears that there will be problems with uploading data from 1C did not materialize completely.


    According to the results of the implementation (which lasted for a total of about 2 months), we can confidently say that the LibreOffice 3.6.1 package is not inferior in terms of the functionality of MS Office 2003 in the field of preparation and work with documents. However, the weak point of the package is the mediocre support of documents with macros and complex internal calculations. However, if the organization does not use this functionality, or is used on a limited number of jobs, then using the LibreOffice package in the organization can seriously save on the purchase of an office package. The price of MS Office 2010 for Home and Office Use at the time of writing was about 6600-8000r per workplace.


    I posted ready-made MSI packages:

    The next version of the assembly is being prepared for release (for the latest version of LO).

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