Guide : How-to Install Microsoft Office 2003 in Linux

this time we will talk about the installation and the use of Microsoft Office 2003 in whatever linux distribuction…
It’s a brief and fast guide ! Dont’worry ! 😀
First of all I need to be thankful to the REVIEW by Twickline,  one of the useful, but IMHO uncorrected guides about the installation of Office 2003 under Linux I’ve found surfing; so this lack of “easy knowledge” made me create the guide you’re about to read…but now…stop talking around…let’s start ! 😀

First, what will work using this procedure:

Word 2003
Excel 2003
Power Point 2003
Publisher 2003

Than what will NOT work
Access 2003 (IMHO anyway it’s USELESS)
Infopath 2003
Outlook 2003 (Useless this one too. 🙂

So let’s start:

Download, or install Wine 0.9.37 DO NOT install the lastest version of Wine, because is NOT working…

So DO NOT use your packet manager, (Apt, Synaptics)…but download this “old” version…
For Example at this link you can find the .deb (Ubuntu & Debian Packages) files.

Go to your home folder (aka /home/sorcerer01) then go to .wine/drive_c/windows/system32
EX : “cd /home/sorcerer01/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32”

Rename richedit32.dll and richedit20.dll to richedit32.bak and richedit20.bak
EX:“mv richedit32.dll richedit32.bak” & “mv richedit20.dll richedit20.bak”

Make richedit*.dll “native”
EX: give “winecfg” to bash, go to “Libraries”, insert the dll names, into the mask

Download the richedit30 update to desktop
Download Link

Install richedit
EX: “wine richedit30.exe”

Download the XML Parser
Download Link (only msxml3.msi)

Install the XML parser using wine
EX: “msiexec /i msxml.msi”

Follow the on-screen instructions

Set “msxml3”, “msxml3” and “msxml3.exe” to native
EX: use “winecfg” as before described

Add Owner and Organizaion Informations to Wine
EX: give “regedit” to bash,
      go to [HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version]       
      add your name to the keys “RegistredOwner” and “RegistredOrganization”
      then go to [HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version] and
      and proceed as before


Mount the Office 2003 CD with the option to see the hidden files…

EX “Insert the cd-rom into the drive”
      “Make sure it is not auto-mounted (umount /dev/cdrom as root)”
      “give this or something similar to bash (it depends on your distribution…you probably should know the right                                                                       command if are reading this guide)
       “mount -t iso9660 -o unhide /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom”

Start the installation procedure
EX: go to the cdrom directory and give
          “wine setup.exe”

Follow the onscreen procedure to install Microsoft Office 2003

Try to start an application
EX: ” Probably you got into a new main menù voice called “Wine” where you can find the Office programs, anyway the bash command is…
       “wine “/home/sorcerer01/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Microsoft Office/OFFICE11/winword.exe” “

       and so on…

FGA (Frequently Given Answers)

YES, you really need that old version of wine. (newer version are not working…at least up to 0.9.48)

Yes, you have to change “sorcerer01” to your home directory name…(usually it’s you user name)

Yes, if you’re using Ubuntu the installation works with the “sudo” command…

You shouldn’t need be root for make wine running and – or – install MS Office…

You just need to be root to install wine and maybe to mount the cdrom…

I am not sure, I’ve heard of people activating Office 2003 in linux…probably you should know what to do about the problem….

No, Wine-doors CAN make it working…but only if you’ve installed Wine 0.9.37

No, Wine programs, are NOT shared between different users

No, If you are using Beryl or Compiz, you probably DON’T NEED to disable them.

No, I don’t know how to run Access 2003

No, at this time I don’t how to make Office 2007 running

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Why to install 0.9.37 and now the lastest one ?

A: The problem is a common error, probably related with the implementation of the msi.dll into the newer and older versions od Wine; this error makes EVERY Office Application to hang up with this error code

“Microsoft Office Word has not been installed for the current user. Please run setup to install the application”

more informations about the bug are here , here , here, and here.
The only, current, solution is to downgrade to 0.9.37

Q: I’ve already got a newer wine installation, what to do ?

A: Well…It depends…simply try to remove the program…and install the old one…(all your files wil be kept), If everything is working anyway…you’re okay… !
If your applications aren’t working anymore you probably need to keep two different installations of wine..but I think this is really OT…

As usual, hope this was helpful…to someone…


40 thoughts on “Guide : How-to Install Microsoft Office 2003 in Linux

  1. Tom Wickline 10/07/2007 / 09:18

    What is “uncorrected” ? I tell people to do the exact same thing! I tell people to use 0.9.37 or they will receive a error that the product isn’t installed for that user.

    Richedit, MSXML install is the same on my blog… It is very possible to run Office 2003 with a current Wine release, you just have to know what to do 😀

    And since your posting correct howto’s and I’m posting shit, you can explain to people who want to use ITunes or another app that will only install and run with Wine versions higher then 0.9.37 how to do this…..

    So ill be the first to ask….

    I want to run ITunes 7.3 or newer and also at the same time run Office 2003 how can I do this if I install Wine 0.9.37 and ITunes requires 0.9.45 or newer?

    I await the answer…..

  2. Sorcerer01 10/07/2007 / 16:14

    Yes, READ YOUR COMMENTS…no one says it’s working…
    everyone talks about problems, so your guide is probably uncorrect…
    Msxml, is NEEDED to make Office 2003 working (info:
    Richedit is useful to make it looks better,
    so I decided to keep and make them
    Then, what wrote before applies even to your problem

    Q: I’ve already got a newer wine installation, what to do ?

    A: Well…It depends…simply try to remove the program…and install the old one…(all your files wil be kept), If everything is working anyway…you’re okay… !
    If your applications aren’t working anymore you probably need to keep two different installations of wine..but I think this is really OT…

    Keeping two different “wines” over the same machine can be difficult and long as installation procedure and using…it isn’t suitable for a guide…
    I’ve tought you should known..

    As requested I gave you the answers…

    Just one thing, please BE MORE KIND when you’re on my blog.

  3. Raul 10/09/2007 / 23:48

    I was referring to this page for office 2003 install guidance and found this info which could be helpful to others. It works and its from the Wine site for the versions 0.9.37 problem. With this tip you can use any version.

    “Simply install with Wine 0.9.46. When you launch any program, it will say that the program isn’t installed for the current user. Don’t panic. Remove Wine (“sudo aptitude remove wine” for me). Install Wine 0.9.37. Launch any program. It will work. Now update your Wine version to 0.9.46, relaunch the programs, and…. Magic! It works. Simply PowerPoint is slow, and I’ve not tested Excel very much, but it seems to work!!”

  4. Sorcerer01 10/10/2007 / 09:25

    Well…I’ve just tried…this sitem is NOT working, I’ve tried with Ubuntu 7.04, and Office 2003 Professional (English)…
    When I return to 0.9.46., Office tells me “not installed for the current user”…

  5. Raul 10/10/2007 / 12:17

    Hey, that’s strange, I followed the guide exactly as written, had wine 0.9.44 installed. Office 2003 installed perfectly. As expected on launching word got the ‘Not installed for this user error’.

    Uninstalled wine 0.9.44 but retained my .wine folder. Rebooted, installed wine 0.9.37. Started excel, didn’t get the error. Started word, didn’t get the error. Uninstalled wine but retained my .wine folder. Installed Wine 0.9.44 again.Tried word and excel and get no errors, so it works for me. There must be some registry entry that is changing with this procedure.

  6. Raul 10/10/2007 / 20:30

    Hey is anybody able to run Office 2003 without issues. Word keeps crashing on me when I try to save as for instance. Open and save work the first time only, the second time I try to open or save a file Word crashes, save as always crashes. Is anybody else facing this and any pointers on how to resolve it? A search on Google and WineHq has elicited little information on this so far.

  7. Sorcerer01 10/11/2007 / 09:21

    Well, PLEASE

    “Download, or install Wine 0.9.37 DO NOT install the lastest version of Wine, because is NOT working… ”
    I hate quoting myself…

  8. Shailen Sobhee 10/21/2007 / 17:04

    YES! It works..I started with wine-core-0.9.37.fc7.i386 and Office 2003 installed without hassles. However, my Yum package updater got it to wine 0.9.48 and everything was messed up.

    Well guys, follow what the sorcerer tells you. We know what we are talking about. I will probably write my own article about it.

    I would recommend you ppl having problems to unistall wine-0.9.4*;
    rpm -e wine-core-0.9.48.fc7 (or whatever package you have- try rpm -qa| grep wine to get your version).

    Then reboot.

    Then install the wine-core-0.9.37.fc.i386.rpm package. (If you can’t find it on the net, let me know, ill upload it for you).

    Reboot again. (This is a good measure if ur using ext2FS)

    Run ur winword.exe; it should be okay. (i’m ready to slap myself if it doesn’t : )

    And ….USE FEDORA 7!!!!
    And also USE FEDORA 7
    And FEDORA 7 as

    Don’t use Ubuntu..(uhhh..well its as you wish.)

    Shailen Sobhee

  9. Francois 11/01/2007 / 14:23

    Seems very nice.
    However, impossible to find the rpm of 0.9.37.fc on the web…

    regards, Francois

  10. Tsjies 11/02/2007 / 17:58

    Thanks very much for this tutorial, it really helped me to install these apps om my system.

  11. Sorcerer01 11/03/2007 / 14:49

    You’re right, as you say, I’m unable to find the rpm for Fedora…BUT

    ask Shailen Sobhee (“Comment 10”) for an upload

    try these others RpmS

    wine-0.9.37-1.rh9.rf.i386.rpm <- THIS

    these should be working too…

  12. Roland 12/04/2007 / 10:13

    Thanks for this nice HowTo!
    I followed it to the letter (or so I think) and everything works… except for excel! With excel I still get the famous “not installed for this user”.
    I am using xubuntu 7.10 and wine 0.9.37

  13. Roland 12/04/2007 / 10:18

    Sorry, I have to correct my previous comment: It Works!
    What I did: run the setup again and choose repair and now it works.

  14. Indijan 12/04/2007 / 23:59

    It works! It crashed at the end of the install (Office 2003 Prof (Dutch)) but I ran the installer again and it started up. I only need to add some TTF fonts for existing presentations.
    Thanks a lot for your HOWTO. I’ve been struggling with wine and office but never succeeded until now.

    Some minor remarks:

    Step 1: On a clean install the user should run winecfg once (to create default dirs and files)
    Step 7: Correct this: msxml3.msi instead of msxml.msi
    Step 9: Correct this: Says 2 times msxml3! My guess is, this should be only one time “msxml3”

  15. Shine 04/03/2008 / 18:15

    for the progress of linux operating system this article so good. i m a new user to linux. i know only the installation level of linux os like ubuntu, redhat, fedora nothing more. i have too much work to do in the ms office systems. if possible please send me a manual on my above address that how can i install the ms office 2003,2007 in ubuntu.

    with regard shine.

  16. experttease 04/07/2008 / 14:44

    Thanks for the guide, it seems to have worked, except that when it gets to the activation by internet (or phone) stage it won’t connect and says “A communication error has occurred. Your request cannot be processed at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.” There doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason for this. Any ideas?

  17. Sorcerer01 04/07/2008 / 16:24

    Ok, probably the problem is related with the Wine internet support… you’ve go anyway 2 possibilities..

    Activate by Phone

    Install using a OEM version … (bittorrent…is useful…)

  18. Randy 04/17/2008 / 02:25

    I tried this fix (using 0.9.37) & Wine Doors & it worked for me. Thanks alot for the info on getting it working.

    I also got the activate on-line or by phone choice but it wouldn’t let me connect to MS’s website & it didn’t let me enter any digits for the activation/registration code… It said it will let me use office 49 more times. ‘Any idea if it will really stop working? At the end of my 49 uses, will I get a 2nd chance to re-enter the code?

    Thanks again for the help

  19. Sorcerer01 04/17/2008 / 10:57

    Well, please use phone activation, if you can…

    I obiuvously, won’t tell you a thing about Office 2003 cracking.


  20. holla71 04/28/2008 / 06:11

    i want microsoft word 2007 and they wont let me install it! i want it but they wont let me get it and i really need it because i need to do my project and get photos from the internet and then copy them and put them on the microsoft word but i dont have microsoft word and that is why i want it! can you please let me get it or help me because when i go on there website it just gives me infomashion and i tryed to install it but is the wrong one coz its the viewers one

  21. gaurav 07/24/2008 / 19:59

    please somebody let me knw the solution to my problem. The problem is i hv installed microsoft office but i m nt getting microsoft office folder in defined path n no file named winword.exe. wat to do.

  22. Sorcerer01 08/26/2008 / 21:45

    for gurav

    try to restore or fix the installation

  23. Sillat 08/27/2008 / 05:30

    Hey Sorcerer BIG THANK YOU for this tutorial,
    of all the blogs i’ve read how to install office 2003 this is by far the simplest steps an most easy to follow.
    i must let u kno i follow your tutuorial an got it the 1st time, i’ve tried almost 10 blogs how to do this an i hav been so unsuccessful .. urs is the 1st i’ve done right
    thnx man

  24. fahmi 11/07/2008 / 11:56

    hello, i have a problem. hope someone can help me here. when i started everything went well, i even downgraded from wine 9.5 or something to 9.37. managed to install office. launched winword but i still get the message “not installed for this user” i am already using wine 9.37 so whats my problem? is there anything i missed? help help help 😦

  25. fahmi 11/07/2008 / 12:17

    okay nvm guys, i managed to fix that problem by running setup again and clicked repair installation. GREAT ARTICLE dude. helped me alot!

  26. Sorcerer01 11/07/2008 / 12:53

    Try deleting the cache. or try to reinstall… ah ok it’s fine now. thank you.

  27. charles 07/31/2009 / 08:41

    Thinstalled Portable Ms ( Microsoft ) Office 2003 Pro SP3 runs in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty

    After installing wine software in Ubuntu 9.04 ( ), right click office2003.exe (181 MB) file downloaded from
    minnova org com 2450754
    and select Open with wine.

    Small “loading Start.exe” screen appears in lower right corner. A small button like icon appears in top right corner and right click that to open word / excel / powerpoint. Home folder is automatically considered as My Documents.

    The following setting is needed for Word to start and close without showing any error about file. After opening Word, select Tools, Options, File Locations, User templates, Modify. Then select My Documents and click OK.

    After exiting Word / Excel / Powerpoint, right click the button like icon that appears in top right corner and select “Exit Office”, so that Word / Excel / Powerpoint can be run once again without any error message.

  28. InstallSoftware 02/02/2010 / 05:50

    Hi there.
    Great installation help…thanks, fixed my problem.
    Anyone reading this guys stuff should bookmark it.

  29. giuseppe 02/20/2010 / 15:04


  30. Nikko 02/22/2010 / 06:28

    how do you do the step #3

  31. James 11/04/2010 / 20:39

    Do you need to pay to install office?

  32. Muscle Man 07/22/2013 / 07:27

    whoah this weblog is fantastic i like studying your articles.
    Keep up the good work! You realize, a lot of individuals
    are searching round for this info, you can aid them greatly.

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