Run OOo versions parallel

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How to run different versions in parallel

To participate in you do not need to be a programmer: you can help to fix bugs as soon as possible by simply installing a developer snapshot and using it as you usually do.

Usually every version comes in an installable file that installs in the same directory as previous versions: for example an stable version, let's say 2.3.1, will install on a directory like /opt/openoffice.org2.3/ (*nix systems) and C:\Program Files\ 2.3\ (Windows, where the folder "Program Files" has usually a localized name), while a developer snapshot will install in /opt/ooo-dev2.3/ (*nix systems) and C:\Program Files\OOo-dev 2.3\ (Windows).

This has some drawbacks: you may want to install different developer snapshots, or also want to keep your "old" stable version of A new stable or developer version will install in the corresponding folder, replacing the current installation (on Windows this will be made be the installer, on *nix systems you will have to deinstall old versions before installing new ones).

To avoid this we will explain how to install different versions and run them in parallel.


In this section we will show how to "install" any version distributed in a compressed file. In fact, we won't install it but rather extract the files in an RPM version. Notice that we use an RPM version, but as we are extracting the files, it works also for Debian based distributions.

Before starting, you will need GNU tar ( and GNU cpio (

# cd to the folder where you downloaded the *.tar.gz file
# in this example we downloaded 
# the file OOo_SRC680_m231_LinuxX86_install_es_rpm.tar.gz
# in the folder /home/user/download/ooo/
~> cd download/ooo/

# make a temp dir to extract the file content 
~/download/ooo> mkdir INSTooo231 

# cd to that temp folder 
~/download/ooo> cd INSTooo231/ 

# extract the file content 
~/download/ooo/INSTooo231> tar zxvf ./OOo_SRC680_m231_LinuxX86_install_es_rpm.tar.gz 

# now we have to create another temp dir to extract all the RPMs 
~/download/ooo/INSTooo231> cd RPMS/ 

# make a temp dir where to extract installation root directory
~/download/ooo/INSTooo231/RPMS> mkdir TEMP_ROOT 
~/download/ooo/INSTooo231/RPMS> cd TEMP_ROOT/ 

# extract the RPMs 
~/download/ooo/INSTooo231/RPMS/TEMP_ROOT> for i in ../*.rpm; do rpm2cpio $i | cpio -id; done 

With this procedure we will find in /home/user/download/ooo/INSTooo231/RPMS/TEMP_ROOT all the root directory: ~/download/ooo/INSTooo231/TEMP_ROOT/opt/openoffice.org2.3/

Now you just have to copy or move that root directory wherever you want.

User directory configuration

Before running this new version, we have to make some changes in the configuration.

By default, an version will read and write in the corresponding user directory (for example, a stable 2.3 version in /home/user/.openoffice.org2/, a developer snapshot in /home/user/.ooo-dev2/). This means that you can not run in parallel two versions that install as openoffice.orgN, or two as ooo-devN, because this could lead to inconsistencies.

To avoid this we must change configuration to look for the user's directory somewhere else: we will indicate the same installation root directory, this way we will have all together, being easier to deinstall later.

To do this we must edit the configuration file located in $OO_INST_ROOT_DIR/program/bootstraprc

Edit the line starting with UserInstallation= as follows:


This way the user directory will be in the root directory of, and you can run several version in parallel.


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