Automatic Installation of OpenOffice.org on Using the Windows Installer

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Documentation caution.png This document may no longer be completely valid for OpenOffice.org 3.x Also See: Create an unattended / silent install of OpenOffice.org 3 on the OpenOffice.org User Forum. Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2010


Introduction

OpenOffice.org can be easily installed on a central location in a network. This How To shows which parameters and properties of the installation program can be used to cooperate with an existing corporate software distribution process. A re-packaging ("snapshot") is not required.

Documentation note.png Installation of Updates works correspondingly as long as the major version is the same (updating from 2.2 to 2.3, for example).

System Requirements

OpenOffice.org 2.x distributes standard MSI files for installation on Windows platforms using the Windows Installer technology. Supported platforms are Windows 2000, Windows XP or Vista. It is strongly recommended to install the latest Service packs and all available Windows Updates before starting the installation.

Documentation note.png Some of the parameters mentioned below require Windows Installer version 3.0 or higher. If required, download this version from the Microsoft web pages.

Additionally, a software distribution program is needed to control the distribution of the software in the corporate environment. This is beyond the scope of this How To since their operation differs considerably from product to product. However, all of them can distribute MSI files in a network. The parameters required to control this will be described in this How To.

Documentation note.png If you are using a Terminal Server, you can install OpenOffice.org using the same parameters as described below. OpenOffice.org can be used by multiple users – provided the corresponding user profiles exist.

Downloading and Unpacking OpenOffice.org

First step is to download the installation files for OpenOffice.org. You can get them for free from http://download.openoffice.org. Save the downloaded file in a folder of your choice. You will get one single executable file:

OOo_2.3.0_Win32Intel_install_wJRE_en-US.exe

The actual file name may differ according to the selected language and software version.

This file contains the installation package in compressed format. It has to be unpacked first:

  1. Double-click the filename in the Explorer
  2. Click Next >
  3. Select the folder for unpacking, for instance, [/C:/OOo_Install C:\OOo_Install]
  4. Click Unpack
  5. Click Cancel to terminate the installation routine at this point.

If you would continue the installation routine, OpenOffice.org would be installed for one user on this machine. However, the scope of this How To is a Silent or Unattended installation of OpenOffice.org in a network. After unpacking you are safe to delete the downloaded exe file.

Unattended (Automatic) Installation

After unpacking, you will get a number of files, one of them being openofficeorg23.msi which is the central installation file. MSI files are installation programs that make use of the Windows Installer technology from Microsoft. There is a central installation utility called msiexec that manages the installation and can be controlled using parameters.

For a first test installation you should select a client that has no OpenOffice.org installed:

Documentation note.png The user who starts the installation process must have administrator privileges.
  1. Open a command window (Start > Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt)
  2. Change to the folder with the unpacked installation files, for instance
    cd C:\OOo_Install
  3. To start an installation that requires no user interaction, issue the following command:
    start /wait msiexec /qn /norestart /i openofficeorg23.msi
Documentation note.png To view all parameters for msiexec issue the command: msiexec /?

The parameters used above are:

start /wait
Since installation will be performed in the background (no output on the screen) we do not know when the installation is completed and we can move on. By using start /wait in front of the msiexec command, the command line will pause any other task until the installation routine has finished. Then, the cursor will be visible again.
msiexec
This is the Windows Installer utility
/qn
This parameter specifies that no user interface will be displayed during the installation: no progress bar, no dialog boxes, but also no error messages! Variations of this parameter are
/qb for a simple interface displaying only a progress bar in Windows Installer design
/qr for a reduced interface displaying only a progress bar in OpenOffice.org design
/norestart
Some installation programs attempt to reboot the system automatically after installation. This parameter avoids that. However, after installing new software under Windows it is generally recommended to reboot the system at the earliest convenience.
/i
This is the parameter that starts the installation

After calling the command you either see a progress bar or nothing (depending on the /q parameter used). After the installation has finished, the cursor will reappear on the command line. Depending on the system this may take several minutes. We have just successfully performed our first unattended installation of OpenOffice.org.

If you open the Windows start menu now, you will see an OpenOffice.org 2.0 entry in the Programs section, and you are ready to start OpenOffice.org. This installation is for all users on that client. A separate user installation step is not required.

To deinstall OpenOffice.org at a later time use the following command:

start /wait msiexec /qn /norestart /x openofficeorg20.msi

Using /x instead of /i starts the deinstallation process. After deinstallation you should reboot the system at the earliest convenience.

MSI Properties

This section might be invalid for OOo 3. See the Specification Document
http://specs.openoffice.org/installation/filetyperegistration/foreign_file_type_registration.odt

The example installation above does not allow to change default settings like the installation path for OpenOffice.org. To use other than the default settings you can use MSI properties that are specified when msiexec is called on the command line:

start /wait msiexec /qn /norestart /i openofficeorg20.msi PROPERTY1=Value1 PROPERTY2=Value2

The following overview lists the available properties.

Property Description and allowed values
SELECT_WORD Use OpenOffice.org as default application for MS Word files?
  • 0: No
  • 1: Yes
SELECT_EXCEL Use OpenOffice.org as default application for MS Excel files?
  • 0: No
  • 1: Yes
SELECT_POWERPOINT Use OpenOffice.org as default application for MS Powerpoint files?
  • 0: No
  • 1: Yes
INSTALLLOCATION Installation path for OpenOffice.org, enclosed in double quotes ("). If the path does not exist it will be created.
COMPANYNAME Name of the company that OpenOffice.org should be registered to, enclosed in double quotes ("). Can stay empty.
USERNAME Name of the user that OpenOffice.org should be registered to, enclosed in double quotes ("). Can stay empty.

ADDLOCAL and REMOVE

This pair of properties controls which software components are to be installed.

ALL: Installs all OpenOffice.org components (ADDLOCAL=ALL)

If ALL is not used, the core components have to be specified manually, as

ADDLOCAL=gm_Root, gm_Prg, gm_r_Files_2, gm_r_Files_3, gm_r_Files_4, gm_r_Files_5, gm_r_Files_6, gm_r_Files_7, gm_r_Files_8, gm_r_Files_9, gm_r_Fonts_OOo_Hidden

in addition to non-core modules that are to be installed.

The following list shows the components that need to be installed to install a given module:

Writer
gm_p_Wrt, gm_p_Wrt_Bin, gm_p_Wrt_Help
Calc
gm_p_Calc, gm_p_Calc_Bin, gm_p_Calc_Help, gm_p_Calc_Addins
Draw
gm_p_Draw, gm_p_Draw_Bin, gm_p_Draw_Help
Impress
gm_p_Impress, gm_p_Impress_Bin, gm_p_Impress_Help
Base
gm_p_Base, gm_p_Base_Bin, gm_p_Base_Help
Math
gm_p_Math, gm_p_Math_Bin, gm_p_Math_Help
Additional graphics filter
gm_Optional, gm_o_Grfflt
Test tool
gm_Optional, gm_o_Testtool
English language module
gm_Optional, gm_o_Oo_English
XSLT example filters
gm_Optional, gm_o_Xsltfiltersamples
Python UNO bridge
gm_Optional, gm_o_Pyuno
Email form letter
gm_Optional, gm_o_Pyuno, gm_o_Pymailmerge
Filter for mobile devices
gm_Optional, gm_o_Javafilter, gmo_jf_Palm, gmo_jf_Palm_Aportisdoc, gmo_jf_Pocketpc, gmo_jf_Pocketpc_Pocket_Word, gmo_jf_Pocketpc_Pocket_Excel
Quick starter
gm_Optional, gm_o_Quickstart
ActiveX control element
gm_Optional, gm_o_Activexcontrol
Windows Explorer Shell Extension
gm_Optional, gm_o_Winexplorerext
Documentation note.png The values must not be enclosed in quotes. If multiple components are listed they are separated by a comma (no spaces allowed). Note that the examples above contain spaces for screen layout reasons!

If multiple modules are installed that require a common component, the component only needs to be specified once, for example:

To install the Quick starter and ActiveX Control Element, the components would be:

gm_Optional,gm_o_Quickstart,gm_o_Activexcontrol

and not

gm_Optional,gm_o_Quickstart,gm_Optional,gm_o_Activexcontrol

Always use ADDLOCAL=ALL and then specify the unwanted components using REMOVE to avoid missing required components.

Documentation note.png These parameters only need to be used on installation. Deinstallation works without these parameters.

Examples

Example 1

To install OpenOffice.org with the following options

  • use OpenOffice.org as the default application for DOC, XLS and PPT files (recommended if you want to open MS Office files with OpenOffice.org seamlessly)
  • use C:\Open Office as the target installation folder
  • install all components except for the Database module (Base)

you have to issue the following command:

start /wait msiexec /qn /norestart /i openofficeorg20.msi SELECT_WORD=1 SELECT_EXCEL=1 SELECT_POWERPOINT=1 INSTALLLOCATION="C:\Open Office" ADDLOCAL=ALL REMOVE=gm_p_Base,gm_p_Base_Bin,gm_p_Base_Help

Example 2

To install OpenOffice.org with the following options

  • do not use OpenOffice.org as the default application for DOC, XLS and PPT files (for example, if you have MS Office already installed on your system)
  • use C:\OOo as the target installation folder
  • only install the Writer component

you have to issue the following command:

start /wait msiexec /qn /norestart /i openofficeorg20.msi SELECT_WORD=0 SELECT_EXCEL=0 SELECT_POWERPOINT=0 INSTALLLOCATION="C:\OOo" ADDLOCAL=gm_Root, gm_Prg, gm_r_Files_2, gm_r_Files_3, gm_r_Files_4, gm_r_Files_5, gm_r_Files_6, gm_r_Files_7, gm_r_Files_8, gm_r_Files_9, gm_r_Fonts_OOo_Hidden, gm_p_Wrt, gm_p_Wrt_Bin, gm_p_Wrt_Help

Documentation note.png Note that the example above contains spaces for screen layout reasons! The component list behind ADDLOCAL must be separated by commas only!
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