is the freely available and freely developed
successor to Sun’s StarOffice and is a full office suite available for Linux,
Windows, and Mac OS X. Recently, the latest major version, 2.0, was made
available. As a result, most Linux distributions available now ship with version 1.1.x rather than the latest 2.0 release, which offers
an amazing amount of new features and capabilities that truly put it on par
with commercial offerings such as Microsoft Office. The 2.0 version also brings
better compatibility with Microsoft Office and is a must-have upgrade for
anyone who uses with any regularity, particularly if you often exchange
documents with Windows users.

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Downloading and installing is very easy. For
Linux, the installation tarball is a bundle of RPM packages, although it is a
hefty 100 MB-plus, single-file download. To grab the latest version of
, visit the Web site and do either a direct download or use

Once you’ve downloaded the tarball, execute:

# tar xvzf OOo_2.0.0_LinuxIntel_install.tar.gz
# cd OOO680_m3_native_packed-2_en-US.8968/RPMS

You will need most of the packages here, although some you can
remove. For instance, if you only use KDE and don’t use GNOME, you can remove
the package. In the desktop-integration/ subdirectory
are some special packages for particular distributions such as Mandriva, Red
Hat, and SUSE, which will allow to integrate with the desktop
menu system. When you’ve removed the packages you don’t want to install,

# rpm -Uvh *.rpm

This will install into /opt/openoffice.org2.0/.

For anyone using an office suite for text editing, the new
version of far surpasses the previous 1.1.x series, and the
increased compatibility with Microsoft Office is a definite boon to those
required to work with Word or Excel documents.