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Environment Variables

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OpenOffice.org runtime environment variables

This page documents environment variables you can export in your environment to change the OpenOffice.org behaviour at runtime. It does not include variables used by the configuration system, or by the build system in general.

What's an environment variable and how do I edit them?

Environment variables tell your operating system how things should act or look. A user can change the values of those variables, undefine them, or define new ones.

How to set or change variables in Linux & Windows XP

(When typing, replace "varname" with the environment variable.)

  • Linux Terminal/Console
    • Display all set variables: 'export'
    • Set the variable's value (put " around value if it has 1+ spaces): 'export varname="value"'
    • Make sure it's right: 'echo $varname' (Echo shows what varname contains; $ tells Linux it's a variable.)
  • Windows XP
    • Display all set variables: 'set'
    • Set the variable's value: 'set varname="its new value"
    • Make sure it's right: 'echo %varname%'
    • Set variable through XP's graphical interface:
      • Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Environment Variables
      • You can change user & system variables separately.

Environment variables for users

Variables that users could use or should know about.

"Users" includes people developing macros or UNO applications based on OpenOffice.org.

Name OS Belongs to Description
AUDIODEV unx ooo Tells which audio device to use if your sound support is of type /dev/audio.
AUDIOSERVER unx ooo Tells the server to connect to if your sound support is of type rptp.
AVOID_BURN_IN_FOR_GALLERY_THEME all gallery When putting shapes into the gallery, normally style-governed attributes are converted to hard attributes and stored at the gallery object. If you want to create your own custom gallery, whose objects should adapt to style changes, use this variable.
DISPLAY unx system X11 display string (ex "localhost:0")
GALLERY_ENABLE_ID_DIALOG all gallery Adds a new menu elemet to the Gallery context menu to assing themes with IDs. IDs are added in the source when you want to create localized gallery in build time.
GALLERY_SHOW_HIDDEN_THEMES all gallery Show the hidden gallery element like AutoShape, Web, Fontwork gallery. You can add more element by selecting the object, press CTRL + click and drag it into gallery.
GALLERY_SHOW_PRIVATE_TITLE all gallery Shows the internal gallery title, instead of the translated UI name.
HOME unx system User's personal directory
LANG unx system This variable determines the locale category for native language, local customs and coded character set in the absence of the LC_ALL and other LC_* (LC_COLLATE, LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, ...) environment variables. This can be used by applications to determine the language to use for error messages and instructions, collating sequences, date formats, and so forth. See environ(5) for details.
LC_ALL unx system This variable determines the values for all locale categories. The value of the LC_ALL environment variable has precedence over any of the other environment variables starting with LC_ (LC_COLLATE, LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, ...) and the LANG environment variable. See environ(5) for details.
LC_COLLATE unx system This variable determines the locale category for character collation. It determines collation information for regular expressions and sorting, including equivalence classes and multi-character collating elements. See environ(5) for details.
LC_CTYPE unx system This variable determines the locale category for character handling functions, such as tolower(), toupper() and isalpha(). This environment variable determines the interpretation of sequences of bytes of text data as characters (for example, single- as opposed to multi-byte characters), the classification of characters (for example, alpha, digit, graph) and the behaviour of character classes. See environ(5) for details.
LC_MESSAGES unx system This variable determines the locale category for processing affirmative and negative responses and the language and cultural conventions in which messages should be written. See environ(5) for details.
MOZILLA_CERTIFICATE_FOLDER unx system Specify where digital certificates detection should look for, override auto detection in mozilla/firefox/thunderbird's user profile path.
OOO_CALC_USE_ENGLISH_FORMULAS all ooo Experimental (!) If set to 1 or Yes (or any other value starting with y) the UI uses English function names and decimal separator in spreadsheet formulas, and only in formulas, cell input and displayed values are not affected. Since milestone DEV300_m2.
OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP unx ooo Override the desktop detection (also implies usage of the appropriate plugin, see SAL_USE_VCLPLUGIN). Possible values: "kde" (KDE), "gnome" (Gnome), "none" (other)
SAL_ACCESSIBILITY_ENABLED all ooo Set to nonempty value enforce accessibility bridging.
SAL_DISABLE_OWN_IM_STATUS solaris ooo Set to nonempty value to disable OOo displaying an input method status window.
SAL_ENABLE_NATIVE_XFONTS unx ooo 0 will disable OOo's use of native X11 fonts
SAL_USE_VCLPLUGIN unx ooo The VCL plugin to use. Possible values: "kde" (KDE) or "gtk" (Gnome) or "gen" (generic X11)
SAL_DISABLE_NATIVE_ALPHA all ooo When set, disables usage of the new system-level alpha rendering. Use this if e.g. your Xrender implementation is flaky.
SAL_DISABLE_SYNCHRONOUS_PRINTER_DETECTION unx ooo If set to nonempty value disables synchronous printer detection. This can help on startup e.g. if your CUPS server is very slow.
SAL_DECIMALSEP_ENABLED all ooo Set to any value to force localized decimal separator in vcl settings.
SAL_NOOPENGL unx ooo Disables usage of OpenGL if set to "true".
SAL_VISUAL unx ooo Explicitly set the X11 visual id to use. See xdpyinfo(1) for information on available X11 visuals and the current default visual. There are only some very rare cases where an X11 server would offer multiple visuals and the default visual would not be suitable for use with OOo. But in these cases this variable provides a method to override the default visual for OOo.
SAL_WHEELLINES unx ooo Specifies the number of lines a wheel mouse event will scroll. Default is 3 lines. Setting this to something larger than 10 results in page-wise scrolling.
SystemRoot win system OS specific variable pointing to OS System Directory. If not set external UNO communication to the OOo process will not work. This is relevant when using OOo as component in other applications, for example.
USE_XOPENIM Solaris ooo Force use of XOpenIM instead of XvaOpenIM. Changes behaviour of X11 input method (used in generic and kde vcl plugin).
SAL_USEINPUTMETHOD unx ooo set to empty value to disable internationalized input (used in generic and kde vcl plugin).

Environment variables for OOo developers

For testing, debugging, getting system information, etc.

Name OS Belongs to Description
CFG_LOGFILE
all ooo Is used by the sample configuration logger implementation from configmgr/source/workben/logger. This logger service can be used to get diagnostic output from the configuration services. By default that logger logs to stderr. If CFG_LOGFILE is set to a file name or path, the log output is redirected there.
CFG_LOGLEVEL all ooo Is used by the sample configuration logger implementation (see CFG_LOGFILE) to control how much detail should be logged. See API documentation for com.sun.star.util.logging.LogLevel [1] for available values. Only numeric values are accepted. Default is to log messages from WARNING(=900) and up. Use lower numbers for more detail.
DISABLE_SAL_DBGBOX all ooo Disable the OSL assertion dialogs for the non-product builds
ENVCFGFLAGS all ooo Will be deprecated or obsoleted soon! Controls an older trace output facility in configmgr that is active only in non-product builds or debug versions of the library. Has a rather obscure syntax.
HELP_DEBUG all ooo Enables additional debug facilities of the help system. In particular, if you press Shift-F1 and hover over an element in the OOo UI, the tooltip will now show you the help id of the element, and the help module where its help text is looked up.
OOO_CALC_GENPARCLASSDOC all ooo If Calc's sc/source/core/tool/parclass.cxx was compiled with OSL_DEBUG_LEVEL defined > 1 and this variable is set, generate Calc's parameter classification documentation to stdout, similar to what's available at http://specs.openoffice.org/calc/compatibility/cac/parameter_classification.txt Available since SRC680_m67.
OOO_DISABLE_RECOVERY all ooo-build If set this stops the recovery dialog prompting you as OO.o starts up - instead the recovery files are just silently accumulated.
OOO_ENABLE_LOCALE_DATA_CHECKS all ooo Check locale data in product builds. For a full description see comment in i18npool/source/localedata/data/locale.dtd Available since SRC680_m109.
OOO_FORCE_SYSALLOC all ooo-build If set this disables the internal OO.o allocators, in favour of the system allocators - this means it is possible to get useful valgrind data out of a production build.
PROT_REMOTE all ooo Set the file name prefix for logging in bridges/remote modules
PROT_REMOTE_FAST all ooo Keep the logging file always open for logging in bridges/remote modules
PROT_REMOTE_ACTIVATE all ooo If existing in env activate logging in bridges/remote modules
RTL_LOGFILE all ooo Path to RTL log file name, see profiling how-to
UNO_ENV_LOG all ooo List of UNO components to be logged, see Uno/Spec/Log_Environment. Available as of CWS DEV300 dba32e  .
U_RBBIDEBUG all ooo For testing the "rule based break iterator" for ICU
SAL_ANTIALIAS_DISABLE unx ooo Disables all AA - useful for debugging
SAL_DISABLE_BITMAPS_OPTS all ooo Disables a relatively new templatized fast-path for outputting bitmaps (setting the variable reverts to the old, slow method)
SAL_DISABLE_STACKING_CHECK unx ooo Disables selecting events on the window manager's window.
SAL_ENABLE_GLX_XFREE4 unx ooo If set enables usage of OpenGL extension on XFree >= 4.0 servers
SAL_FLOATWIN_NOAPPFOCUSCLOSE all ooo Set to nonempty value to prevent floating windows from closing if the application loses focus.
SAL_HIGHPRIORITY_REPAINT unx ooo Forces quasi-synchronous paints if set. Only known use case: automated screenshots.
SAL_IGNOREXERRORS unix ooo if set X window system errors are ignored by soffice.bin (Use only if you know what you do. Handle with care!)
SAL_NO_NWF all ooo Set to nonempty value to disable native widget rendering. Widgets will be painted with the generic vcl methods.
SAL_PROPERTIES unx ooo If set contains a bitfield activating various bug Xserver bug workarounds. Not very useful nowadays.
SAL_RTL_ENABLED all ooo Unconditionally enable Right-To-Left layout of UI elements independently from language/script used.
SAL_SYNCHRONIZE unx ooo Reports X server errors on the calls that made them rather than asynchronously - vital for X debugging.
STAR_RESOURCEPATH all ooo resource files are searched in ${STAR_RESOURCEPATH} instead of the "resource" subdirectory next to the tools library
STAROFFICE_USERTYPE all ooo Used in crash report handling. Valid values are "qa", "developer" and "internal". Will be included in crash report if set and marks the report as belonging to a certain usertype group. The only usage of that setting is that the crash report database can be asked afterwards how many reports there where of those groups as opposed to normal users.
XLSDUMPER all ooo Path to the configuration file of the XLS file dumper. The XLS file dumper is built into debug versions of OOo Calc and allows to create text dumps of every MS Excel file loaded into OOo Calc. The configuration file is part of the sc module and can be found in the CVS repository: /sc/sc/source/filter/excel/xldumper.dat. If this environment variable is set and points to an existing configuration file, the file dumper is enabled (also dependent from the settings in the configuration file). Effective from SRC680m164.

Environment variables not classified yet

Remaining to be done

An authoritative version of this list can easily be generated from LXR by searching for 'getenv'.

Name OS Belongs to Description
all_proxy
ALL_PROXY
AUDIOHOST
BMP_COLLECT_FILE
BMP_FSYS_RESOURCES
BOOST_PRG_MON_CONFIRM
BOOST_TEST_CATCH_SYSTEM_ERRORS
CHARSET
C_INCLUDE_PATH
CLASSPATH all java Path with Directories and jar files to search for .class files.
COLUMNS
COMMAND_SHELL
COMP_ENV
COMSPEC win system Path to the batch file command interpreter eg. command.com or 4nt.exe.
CPLD_ACCESSPATH
CURL_CA_BUNDLE
CURL_DEBUG_NETRC
CURL_MEMDEBUG
CURL_MEMLIMIT
CURL_TRACE
CURL_TRACE
DBGSV_INIT ooo
DBGSV_LOG ooo debugging logfile (can be used within debug versions of OOo)
DB_HOME
DEBUG
DESKTOP_LAUNCH
DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH
EMXSHELL
EPMLIST
ERRORREPORT_PROXYPORT
ERRORREPORT_PROXYSERVER
ERRORREPORT_SENDERADDRESS
FT2_ALLOC_COUNT_MAX
FT2_ALLOC_TOTAL_MAX
FT2_DEBUG
FT2_DEBUG_MEMORY
FTP_PROXY unix system
ftp_proxy_password
ftp_proxy_user
GAI
GNOME_DESKTOP_SESSION_ID
GTK_MODULES
GUISTDIO_KEEPRUNNING
HelpEx
http_proxy unix system
HTTP_PROXY unix system
ICU_DATA OOo libicu related
INCLUDE
JAVA_HOME all java Path to java installation.
JPEGMEM
KDE_FULL_SESSION
LANGUAGE
LC_PAPER unix system
LD_LIBRARY_PATH unix system usage of LD_LIBRARY_PATH is a bad idea
LIBRARY_PATH unix system
LOCALINI
LOCPATH
MAKE
MALLOC_CKCHAIN
MALLOC_ERRFILE
MALLOC_FATAL
MALLOC_WARN
MIXERDEV
NAS_EMPTY_SIZE
NETPATH
no_proxy
NO_PROXY
NPX_PLUGIN_PATH
OLDSLOTHANDLING
OOO_PRINT_PS_DIRECTLY
OPENOFFICE_MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME
PA_LATENCY_ENV_NAME
PA_MIN_LATENCY_MSEC
PA_MIN_LATEWNCY_MSEC
PATH all system Directories searched for finding programs and depending on OS also shared libraries.
POSIXLY_CORRECT
PRODUCTNAME ooo
PRODUCTVERSION ooo
ProgramFiles
PSPRINT_ENABLE_TTF_COPYRIGHTAWARENESS
PYTHONCASEOK
PYTHONDEBUG
PYTHONDUMPREFS
PYTHONEXECUTABLE
PYTHONHOME
PYTHONINSPECT
PYTHONMALLOCSTATS
PYTHONOPTIMIZE
PYTHONPATH
PYTHONSTARTUP
PYTHONUNBUFFERED
PYTHONVERBOSE
PYTHONY2K
RESOURCE_NAME
RPMDIR
RSC_LANG_ISO
SAL_ACCESSIBILITY_ENABLE_MENU_SELECTED ooo
SAL_ANTIALIAS_DISABLE unx ooo font related debugging feature
SAL_AUTOHINTING_PRIORITY unx ooo font related debugging feature (prefer hinted scan-converted glyph shapes)
SAL_EMBEDDED_BITMAP_PRIORITY unx ooo font related debugging feature (prefer embedded glyph bitmaps if available)
SAL_ANTIALIASED_TEXT_PRIORITY unx ooo font related debugging feature (allows embedded glyph bitmap for monochrome text, hinted glyph for grayscaled text)
SAL_CHANGENOTIFIER_UPDATEINTERVAL ooo
SAL_DEBUG_UPDATES ooo
SAL_DISABLE_CUPS unx ooo Disable CUPS printing support
SAL_DISABLE_FLOATGRAB unx ooo Prevent grabbing the X pointer and keyboard when showing a float window (e.g. a menu)
SAL_DO_NOT_USE_INVERT50 unx ooo Graphics card related (maybe S3 Virge) workaround for a bug triggered by card drivers, do not use the 50 percent pattern used to show docking window positions
SAL_ENABLE_FILE_LOCKING ooo file locking related (a lockd must be running)
SAL_FONTPATH unix ooo the SAL_FONTPATH is added to X fontpath at application start. This allows the usage of private fonts
SAL_MAXFONTHEIGHT ooo some X11 servers have problems with huge native X11 fonts. Setting this environment variable can prevent the problems.
SAL_MOUNT_MOUNTPROG ooo
SAL_MOUNT_SU_DO ooo
SAL_MOUNT_UMOUNTPROG ooo
SAL_NOEXPANDFPICKER ooo
SAL_TRANSPARENT_FLOATS ooo
SAL_XKEYBOARDGROUP ooo
SESSION_MANAGER
SGML_CATALOG_FILES
SHELL unix system Command shell to use
SOLAR_JAVA ooo
SOLARSRC ooo
SOLAR_USER_RTL_TEXTENCODING ooo
SRC_ROOT
STAR_BSERVERROOT ooo
STAR_ENABLE_FILE_LOCKING ooo file locking related
STAR_INIROOT ooo
STAR_INIROOTOLD ooo
STAR_OVERRIDE_DOMAINNAME ooo
STAR_PROFILE_LOCKING_DISABLED ooo file locking related
STAR_RESOURCE_LOGGING ooo
STAR_SSCOMMON ooo
STAR_SSOLARINI ooo
STAR_STANDLST ooo
SWITCHAR
SW_NOBEEP
SYSTEM_REGISTRY_NAME_ENV
TCP_DEVICE
TCP_SERVER
temp
TEMP win system A pathname of a directory made available for programs that need a place to create temporary files.
TempFolder
TERM unix system The kind of terminal for which output is to be prepared.
THREADDEBUG
tmp
TMP unx system A pathname of a directory made available for programs that need a place to create temporary files.
TMPDIR unx system A pathname of a directory made available for programs that need a place to create temporary files
UPDATER ooo
USER
USER_REGISTRY_NAME_ENV
UTAUDIODEV
VERBOSE_RUNTESTS
XENVIRONMENT
XLOCAL
XML_CATALOG_FILES
XML_DEBUG_CATALOG
XMLLINT_INDENT
XML_MEM_BREAKPOINT
XML_MEM_TRACE
XMODIFIERS

Deprecated environment variables

Were used, but should not be used anymore.

Name OS Belongs to Description
SAL_WM unx ooo Used to force recognition of a certain window manager. Nowadays not used anymore.
SAL_NOSEGV unx ooo Used to continue after fatal errors. Not in use anymore.
XPDISPLAY unx ooo Used to set the display of the Xprint server. Today this is not functional anymore.
XPRINTER unx ooo Used to set the display of the Xprint server, taking priority over XPRINTER. Today this is not functional anymore.

Feedback and Explanation

This list is under construction. If you have information about the role of some environment variable(s), please modify this page (using "Edit" tab at the very top of this page).

To add information about some environment variable that is listed here, please move it from the "not classified yet" table to the "user" or "developer" table (use cut and paste). Try respecting the alphabetical order. Do not hesitate to add missing environment variables nor to remove any "variable" that appears here by mistake.

Reminder: these are runtime environment variables. Not build system ones.

Categories tables are:

Operating System ("OS") field is:

  • (empty) = not known yet
  • linux = GNU/Linux
  • mac = Mac OS X
  • solaris = Solaris
  • other = other UNIX-like system
  • win = Microsoft Windows
  • unx = linux + mac + solaris + other
  • all = unx + win

"Belongs to" field is:

  • (empty) = not known yet
  • ooo = introduced by OOo
  • system = belongs to the underlying operating system(s)

The original list of the environment variables was extracted from the OOo sources.

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