Lodahl's blog: 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011

25 May 2011

Administrating LibreOffice

Professional use of LibreOffice requires the ability to manage and control the installation from the IT department. I have written earlier on how to install LibreOffice silently http://lodahl.blogspot.com/2011/02/silent-installation-of-libreoffice-on.html .

In many organizations restrictions is made enforcing that no data can or may be stored on the local hard drive, so all documents and other data are stored on the network. There can be many different reasons for this, and the most often used excuse is that its easier to back up the data from a server on the network, but its also much easier to exchange the local hardware without consequenses for the user.

LibreOffice stores quite a lot of information on the local harddrive under ..\[username]\Application Data \LibreOffice\3\user\… . This is among many things the users own settings, autotexts and user dictionaries. Not all these settings and data can be redirected in Tools - Options - Paths, but it is possible to redirect the whole user catalog to e.g. a personal drive on a network server.

It's done by changing the content of the file “Bootstrap.ini” (on Linux “bootstraprc”) that is found in the program folder (E.g.. C:\Program files\LibreOffice\program\bootstrap.ini”). The file is a text file like this:

ProductKey=LibreOffice 3.3

The line “UserInstallation=$SYSUSERCONFIG/LibreOffice/3″ kcan be replaced by e.g., “UserInstallation=File:///p:/Application Data/LibreOffice/3″.
If this change takes place in conjunction with a first time installation you don't need to do more than changing the path. But if LibreOffice has been installed (or is installed), you must remember to copy or move the user library from the local harddrive to the new position on the network.

I have noticed that this method can result in errors if you are using a Citrix Terminal server with Roaming profiles. In this case you can exerience an errer; “fatal error. The Application cannot be started. [context="user']Caught Unexpected Exception!“.
If anyone can tell me the reason for this and perhaps also a solution, I would be happy to hear from you.