NeoOffice Download and Installation Issues

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Contents

Before Installing

Do I need to uninstall a previous version of NeoOffice first?

Users often ask if they need to uninstall NeoOffice before installing a newer version. The short answer is NO; in fact, completely uninstalling NeoOffice using the linked instructions before launching the new version may actually cause your old preferences to be reset and dictionaries, macros and other user files to be deleted.

NeoOffice 2.x will install over top of an existing NeoOffice 1.2.2 installation, replacing the old version while preserving a number of "user" files that live inside of the application bundle. On first launch, NeoOffice 2.x will also offer to import your NeoOffice 1.2.2 preferences. After upgrading, you should be sure to install the most current version of any language packs and check for upgrades to any installed dictionaries.

Do I need to uninstall OpenOffice.org first? Can I please get rid of OpenOffice.org?

It would be great to know the answer for these two questions. If you know, please edit this.

Upgrading from NeoOffice/J 1.1

NeoOffice 2.x installs separately from NeoOffice/J 1.1 in /Applications and will offer to import the NeoOffice/J 1.1 preferences into its new preferences folder the first time it launches. You can use either version without affecting the other after this point. After installing NeoOffice 2.x, you should be sure to install the most current version of any language packs and check for upgrades to any installed dictionaries.

If you no longer want to keep one of the versions, follow the Uninstalling NeoOffice instructions; be sure to empty the trash or documents may fail to open in the remaining version (this is an Apple bug).

Installation Issues

When double-clicking on the .dmg file, there is an error about "No mountable file systems"

This error usually means that the NeoOffice .dmg was not completely downloaded. Some combinations of browsers and internet connections frequently cause large downloads like NeoOffice to stop before the entire file is downloaded but do not inform the user that the download has failed.

In this case, you might try using the command-line curl tool to complete the download (this tool is also useful if you are on a dial-up connection and may need to stop and start the download to use the phone line). Instructions on using curl to download NeoOffice can be found here.

When running the NeoOffice installer, the "test" returns with "NeoOffice can not be installed on this computer."

The BSD subsystem is installed by default on 10.3.x and 104.x as part of the BaseSystem.pkg. If this problem occurs on 10.3.x machines, your BSD subsystem may have been somehow removed or messed up. It is not recommended that you reinstall BaseSystem.pkg alone, since this may leave your system in an unuseable state. Instead, reinstall Mac OS X from your retail CD; select the "Upgrade" option to preserve all of your settings, documents, etc. Then reinstall the latest Mac OS X updates and security updates to return you system to an up-to-date state.

N.B.: Since this requires a fairly significant amount of work, and perhaps time, you should probably check the trinity forums first and see if someone can determine if something else is the problem and find another solution.

Installation stalls when it gets to the "Select Destination" screen

Installation sometimes stalls or hangs when it gets to the "Select Destination" screen (and no drives will appear to choose from). The Apple Installer is known to hang when probing all of the volumes on your system if any of your volumes are unreadable.

Try opening each of the volumes on your desktop in the Finder and unmounting any iPods. Once you can open all volumes, then try rerunning the installer. If opening any volumes causes the Finder to hang, you have found the cause of the problem and you might need to reboot to force Mac OS X to unmount the offending volume.

Installation fails with a "generic" error message

For some users, installation will fail and the following error message will appear:

There were errors installing the software
Please try installing again.

If you see this message, you need to open the System Preferences application (/Applications/System Preferences), click on the International icon, select the Languages tab, move English to the top of the list, log out, login again, and then rerun the installer. After installation, you can (and should) revert to your preferred language.

This behavior is required to work around a rare but serious bug in the Mac OS X Installer on some versions of Mac OS X; for more information, see this section of the Download instructions.

Why does the NeoOffice installer request my administrator password?

In this thread, Patrick Luby explains the reasons for this requirement:

Administrator access is required because Neo/J uses OpenOffice.org's multi-user installation. This doesn't require admin access, but in the early days of Neo/J testing, we found that the OOo code has a very bad habit of trying to edit the installed files if the files are owned by the same user that is running Neo/J. This can really muck up a Neo/J installation over time.
So, to prevent the OOo code from editing any of the files in the installation, the installer executes chown -Rf root:admin and chmod -Rf a-w all of the Neo/J files.

When upgrading from NeoOffice/J 1.1 Alpha or older to a new version, the old brown icon remains in the Dock.

For those of you who are upgrading from 0.x or 1.1 Alpha to 1.1 Beta or newer (including 1.2 Alpha), the new icon (a tan ship in a dark blue circle) does not show up in the Dock if the old brown one is already there. Drag the existing icon out of the Dock until it goes poof, then start NeoOffice. Now the new icon appears in the Dock. Choose Keep in Dock.

Patching Issues

The patch installation fails with a "generic" error message

For some users, installation will fail and the following error message will appear:

There were errors installing the software
Please try installing again.

See Installation fails with a "generic" error message in the Installation Issues section above.

The patch installer refuses to start the installation.

Under Mac OS X 10.3.x and 10.4.x, the installer will provide a red "stop" sign with exclamation point; clicking on the volume will produce the error message "You cannot install this software on this volume" as well as some further information about the problem (or on 10.4.x, "Could not find specified message for index 16", which is a bug in the 10.4.x installer).

There are two cases in which these messages might appear.

The patch is for a version of NeoOffice newer than the version installed on your computer

Patches for NeoOffice 1.2.x will not apply to NeoOffice/J 1.1 or below. Each time NeoOffice moves to a new version of the OpenOffice.org codebase (including OpenOffice.org minor point releases), the patches for the new version will be incompatible with older versions of NeoOffice. NeoOffice 1.2.x uses the OpenOffice.org 1.1.5 codebase while NeoOffice/J 1.1 (final) used the 1.1.4 codebase. As described in this thread, "It would be like trying to apply the Mac OS X 10.3.1 updater to Mac OS X 10.2.8...."

If you open NeoOffice and select "About" from the "Help" menu, the version reported in the About window should be NeoOffice 1.2.2 (as of March 2006).

To fix this problem, drag NeoOffice from the Applications folder to the Trash. Then download and install the latest version and the new patch that goes with it. See the NeoOffice Release Notes to learn which version is the latest.

NeoOffice is not located in the /Applications folder

The message will also appear if you have moved NeoOffice from your /Applications folder, or if you have renamed NeoOffice. The patch installer will only search the /Applications folder for NeoOffice installations; /Applications is the only supported location for installing NeoOffice.

To fix this problem, quit the installer and move NeoOffice back into your /Applications folder (or rename the application "NeoOffice"). Because the underlying OpenOffice.org stores a number of absolute pathnames in its configuration and preference files, you will also have to delete the <username>/Library/Preferences/NeoOffice-1.x folder or you will experience errors running NeoOffice in the future. Then run the installer again to install the patch.

Post-Installation and First Launch Issues

Check your language settings before launching NeoOffice

NeoOffice adopts the uppermost language of the Languages: box of the International pane of the Mac OS X System Preferences as its own language for spellchecking (assuming that the necessary language pack is already installed or the language is one of the default 12 languages).

Be aware that some languages have more than one form (e.g., English has US English, British English, Australian English, etc.) as the possible selection; click the Edit List... button in the Language tab of the International pane of the Mac OS X System Preferences to add your version of the language, and then drag and drop it to the top of the list in the Languages: box before launching NeoOffice for the first time.

See Activating Dictionaries and Configuring Spellcheck for further details on issues with certain languages.

Why does NeoOffice 1.2.x “hang” part-way through startup?

NeoOffice 1.2.x will appear to "hang" (the progress bar will stall between the "n" and "O" in "OpenOffice.org" in the tagline) during startup. This is normal behavior; the delay is caused by the initialization of native fonts. NeoOffice/J 1.1 and earlier initialized native fonts during the long delay prior to the appearance of the splashscreen, so the problem was less noticeable—although that behavior often caused people to wonder if the application was actually launching!

The length of this delay will vary depending on the number of fonts you have installed; you can shorten the delay considerably by using Font Book to disable fonts you do not use. (Make sure not to disable fonts required by Mac OS X [10.3.x list], of course.) Note also that every major update to OSX will automatically reenable all your disabled fonts, so in Font Book, it's worth setting up a new 'keep disabled' collection and adding to it all the fonts you want to keep disabled - then after you update OSX, you can simply select all the fonts in the 'keep disabled' collection and disable them all at once.

You may also experience slow startup after you rebooted your Mac. This is normal as the first time that NeoOffice is run, all fonts get fully loaded. This is because the OpenOoffice.org code needs data on all available fonts. This loading takes extends the startup phase the first time that NeoOffice is run (i.e. a cold start). Successive launches (i.e. warm restarts) will be much faster since all fonts are already fully loaded.

This is no longer an issue in NeoOffice 2.0 Alpha 4 with Patch-1 or higher; native fonts are now only initialized when they are needed (as a result of this change, the Font drop-down menu now displays font names using the standard UI font).

Why doesn't NeoOffice let me run it as “root”?

In this thread, Patrick Luby explains the reasons for this requirement:

Running as root is disabled on purpose. Over a year ago I added this code because we found that running as root causes the underlying OpenOffice.org code to act like it is in "single-user install" mode. In this mode, OpenOffice.org starts writing user preferences in the /Applications/NeoOffice.app files. This, in turn, makes Neo pretty much unusable for any other user account on your machine.

Also note that running as (or even enabling) root is discouraged under Mac OS X, and one should only use root if one is an experienced UNIX admin and has a good reason to do so.

Why does NeoOffice access the Internet after the first launch?

NeoOffice is regularly being improved. Bugs are being fixed and new features are constantly being added.

When you first install alpha, beta, or release candidate versions of NeoOffice, and about once a week thereafter, the application will check the Internet to inform you of any new recommended patches or updates so that you can be sure that your version is always up-to-date.

If a new patch is found, your preferred web browser should open and take you to the patch download page.

Staying up-to-date will not only increase the stability of your software, it will cut down on the large number of "duplicate" bugs filed that have already been fixed in released patches. This helps ensure that limited development time can be spent on unfixed bugs and adding new features.

This "patch-check" feature is often disabled in final release versions, such as NeoOffice/J 1.1, since they are relatively stable and well-tested, and because users wish to deploy final releases in computer labs and enterprise environments.

NeoOffice performance is rather lackluster and I see redrawing. Can I speed this up?

The redrawing is an unavoidable result of the combination of OpenOffice.org code and Java. Some of this will always remain. On a fast machine, it is so quick as to be barely noticable.

In order to maximize your performance (and security) with NeoOffice, you should download and install Apple's lastest Java 1.4.2 update. There is a version for Tiger and for Panther.

You can check your version by opening a terminal and typing java -version. If you get an output that says java version "1.4.2_09" (the latest at the time of writing) or higher, you should get good performance. You can find a chronological list of updates from Apple's website.

For other tips on improving performance, see the Performance section of the Troubleshooting Tips article.

Why does NeoOffice ask me to register when I first run it?

Registration is not required to use NeoOffice. It is simply a way for developers to get a sense of who is using NeoOffice and to connect you with the web site, support fora, and Bugzilla.

Do I have to make a donation?

If you would like to make a donation to help support continued software development, you are encouraged to do so. It is not, however, required.

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting tips for other common problems can be found on the Troubleshooting Tips page.

How do I get rid of NeoOffice?

You have tried NeoOffice and decided it is not for you. This happens sometimes. You can use these instructions to remove NeoOffice without leaving any trace. Please note that you will no longer be able to read any documents you may have saved in the OpenOffice.org file format.

Please leave a message in the NeoOffice Testing forum describing what you found lacking in the application so that we know what improvements people are looking for.


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