POSTS FOR 2004

OpenOffice.org, Mac OS X, and X11

Software294 words2 minutes to read

After realizing that the pre-installed copy of Microsoft Office was simply a 30-day trial, I had the wonderful experience of trying to get OpenOffice.org installed today.

Because there hasn’t been a native “Aquification” release of OpenOffice, I started reading directions about installing XDarwin — an open source version of the X-Windows X11 windowing system. Time to fire up the old command line. Woo-hoo!

I’ve spent a bit of time fooling around with both BeOS 5 and Red Hat Linux 8.0, so the Posix-compliant shell isn’t new to me. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time in MS-DOS, so that isn’t much of a problem.

After downloading the necessary .tgz files, figuring out how to run the Xinstall.sh file as ‘root’, and getting everything worked out, I’d get the dialog box asking me if I wanted to use Full Screen or Rootless mode, and as soon as I’d choose one, XDarwin would close. No explanation or anything.

Welcome to the world of Unix.

I then downloaded and installed OroborOSX. What I didn’t know was that OroborOSX requires XDarwin… and XDarwin kept crashing. Well crap.

I did quite a bit more digging around, and came across information on downloading Apple’s semi-open-source X11.app. Voila! OpenOffice was able to launch with no problems! The only thing I don’t like about it — which is extremely minor — is that the X11.app doesn’t minimize when Open Office starts.

The other thing is that it looks way more like Unix than it does Mac OS X. I was under the belief that OroborOSX adds some cool OSX-like widgets, but I could never get it to run.

This Mac OS X stuff is cool! I’m off to do more of it! Anyone got any insight about getting XDarwin to work?

Ryan Parman

Ryan Parman is an experienced Software/DevOps/Security engineer, currently living in Seattle. He is the creator of and , patented multifactor-authentication-as-a-service at , and came up with the idea of “serverless, event-driven, responsive functions in the cloud” while at AWS in 2010. Ryan's aptly-named blog, , is where he writes about ideas longer than . Ambivert. Curious. Not a coffee drinker.