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Hi :)
As you've probably noticed this mailing list often pulls in at least 2,
often surprisingly opposite directions.

*  Technical Support
*  User Support

Often those who do an excellent job near the extremes of one find
themselves infuriated by those who work near the extreme of the other.

I tend to aim at "User Support" but i am painfully aware that i often fail
at this.  I aim to stand-up for individuals, especially new ones because
they often bring in new ways that might well succeed where current or old
strategies may have failed at some old problems.  Again i'm aware that i
often fail at this and that it's often even back-fired somewhat painfully.

So i like the community here on this list and i like it that this mailing
list's unique community sometimes has a different viewpoint than the other
mailing lists.  I've also been very impressed by people who came in here
thinking they knew nothing but then found their way into other teams, such
as Marketing, Design, Documentation, QA, List-Moderators or/and just ended
up helping people here.

TDF needs people who can't code to help in the many other things that need
to be done.  Even QA can usefully do with more non-coders and not just for
admin type roles.  Each of us could probably find some other team where we
could help TDF quite a bit with surprisingly little effort.

Also each of us could probably find a niche in one of the other teams where
we get a lot of reward and satisfaction - maybe even learn quite a bit in
the process.

Many people here already do so.  Some tried out a few different teams
before finding somewhere they felt most comfortable.  Some are still on
many other teams.  Some liaise between different projects, such as between
us and the Caligra Office Suite (a fork of KOffice).

Regards from
Tom :)

On 11 October 2015 at 15:40, Tom Davies <> wrote:

Hi :)
Although we often disagree with each other and have heated arguments at
times i have a lot of respect for the technical support Andreas gives and
also for his links to or suggestions of other places that give good

He is a classic example of someone who works in both communities.  Not all
have the same attitude (of course) but his way has a lot of energy about
it, which is not always easy to be comfortable with, but his way does seem
to be an effective driving force at times.

I really like Zen-Wiz's script that does the same job as Andreas'
command-line.  Instead of having to type in the same commands each time you
would just double-click on the script file.  If the script is not already
in the "Extensions" library;
then i hope he is is generous enough to add it in.  It is not really an
Extension as such but having a 3rd "App Store" type of place might be
tricky to arrange.

I keep meaning to add his script to the wiki-page;
if that hasn't been done already and i hope it gets added to the relevant
page on the official website too - preferably as both a downloadable file
and as just plain text on the page itself.

I'm fairly sure ZenWiz would be happy with that but it would be nice to
know that we can do that and use the Creative Commons CC-by-SA or similar
license (such as LGPL or MPL) so that people can modify and re-release in
other places as well as just using it.

Wrt the 3 "package managers" you named;  The Software Centre, Synaptic and
"apt-get" - Yes they are 3 ways of doing the same thing.  Each has it's own
advantages.  The 2 Gui ways are easier for point&click users.  The Software
Centre is good for installing entire programs that consist of many parts;
such as LibreOffice, MegaGlest, Wesnoth and so on.  Synaptic and "apt-get"
are better for adding individual add-ons, extra libraries for extra
functionality, codecs, specific fonts, command-line tools.  Apt-get has
commands to clean and remove temp files created when downloading and
installing things.

Synaptic and "The Software Centre" actually use "apt-get" to do a lot of
their work but they 'just' put a prettier face on it to make it easier for
point&click users.  Ok, they often do a lot more than that but it's the
easiest way of thinking about it.

So i might use The Software Centre to install LibreOffice, a camera and
Gimp - then turn to Synaptic to add extra features and fonts - and then use
"apt-get" to clear all the cruft away.  I could probably do the whole job
from any 1 of them but this way i have used each package-manager for what
it does best.

Regards from
Tom :)

On 11 October 2015 at 14:11, Virgil Arrington <>

Setting aside the discussion that followed, I would like to thank Andreas
for his explanation of installing Debian packages from the command line.
I've been using Ubuntu for about a year now, and I've learned how to use
the Software Center and Synaptic as well as the "sudo apt-get..." commands,
which I sense are just three different ways of doing the same thing. Beyond
that, however, I've never learned how to install a Debian package without
using the PPAs.

Thank you Andreas for this explanation. You've expanded my knowledge of
Linux. And after upgrading my Windows partition from 7 to 10 with less than
satisfactory results, my reliance upon Linux is only that much greater.


On 10/09/2015 05:58 AM, Andreas Säger wrote:

And this is the non-PPA way of installing an archive of Debian packages
downloaded from as described and supported on all
OpenOffice support forums since the days of OpenOffice2:

cd ~/Downloads

If you downloaded the md5 checksum file as well, you can check the
integrity of your downloaded archive:

md5sum --check <text file with check sums>

Extract the downloaded archive:

tar -xvzf downloaded_package.tar.gz

or use your graphical file manager to unpack the archive. I don't know
any way to do the following with a graphical tool:

go to the extracted directory of debian packages which depends on the
langauge version. In case of en-US:

cd en-US/DEBS

Install the packages as root:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

This installs/updates the whole suite to /opt and you can start the
fully featured program by calling the executable file

For any "desktop integration" you can install an additional package go
to subdir of en-US/DEBS:

cd desktop-integration

and start a simulated installation

sudo dpkg -i --simulate *.deb

This simulation _may_ fail due to a conflict with /usr/bin/soffice which
is a symlink pointing to the executable and belonging to the
installation package of some other ODF suite.
If no such error is reported, re-run the command without the --simulate
switch. In case of conflict, it is safe to overwrite this single symlink
file /usr/bin/soffice:

sudo dpkg -i --force-overwrite *.deb

Now you have LibreOffice and its components in your Ubuntu dash and/or
menues. ODF files will be opened by default with your new suite.

As far as I know, "desktop integration" can be installed for one version
of OpenOffice and LibreOffice in parallel. There were times when I had 5
different versions of both suites in parallel but only one Open and one
Libre Office can have the "desktop integration" and only one particular
suite can own the /usr/bin/soffice symlink.
You are free to modify this symlink as needed but your package managers
is very picky about the ownership of every single system file outside
your home directory. Every single file installed remotely via apt or
locally via dpkg belongs to exactly one software package.
As long as this symlink is the only conflict, I think it is perfectly OK
to use the --force-overwrite switch.

Any additional language and help packages can be installed in the same
simple way:
0. run md5sum -check <text file> to check the integrity
1. extract .tar.gz  with tar -xzvf ... or the graphical way
2. change to the extracted directory, subdir DEBS
3. sudo dpkg -i *deb
They refuse to install if their version does not match with any
installed office suite.

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