NeoOffice Download and Installation Issues

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Before Installing

Do I need to uninstall NeoOffice/J 1.1 first?

Users often ask if they need to uninstall NeoOffice/J 1.1 before installing NeoOffice 1.2 Alpha. The short answer is NO; in fact, completely uninstalling NeoOffice/J 1.1 using the above instructions before launching NeoOffice 1.2 Alpha will actually cause your preferences to be reset.

NeoOffice 1.2 Alpha installs separately in /Applications and copies the NeoOffice/J 1.1 preferences into its new preferences folder the first time it launches (because both versions are based on the 1.1.x codeline, which shares preferences). You can use either version without affecting the other after this point.

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).

Check your language settings before installing 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 for further details on issues with certain languages.

Installation Issues

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

Mac OS X 10.3.x "Panther" and Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger"

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.

Mac OS X 10.2.x "Jaguar"

There are two reasons you might see this message on Mac OS X 10.2.x.

The first is if you try to install NeoOffice/J 1.1 Patch-2, NeoOffice/J 1.1 Patch-3-With-Java-1.4.x or higher, or NeoOffice 1.2 Alpha or higher. These versions only support Mac OS X 10.3 and newer (the last version to support Mac OS X 10.2.x was NeoOffice/J 1.1 Patch-3 [no "dash-such-and-such"]); either upgrade your Mac to Mac OS X 10.3 or newer or use NeoOffice/J 1.1 Patch-3 instead.

The second reason you might see this message on versions of Mac OS X 10.2.x is if your BSD support is missing or corrupted. The NeoOffice/J 1.1 installer checks to see if you are running Mac OS X 10.2 or higher and checks to see if you have BSD support installed on your machine. If either test fails, Neo/J will not install.

The solution is to install the BSD support. If you have the retail version of Mac OS X 10.2 system it's on the first install CD. When you put the CD in, the Welcome to Mac OS X window pops up. Open the Optional Installs folder, where there is a shortcut to the BSD installer. Double-click, then follow the instructions.

If you believe the BSD subsystem is installed, you can also look for the file BSD.pkg in /Library/Receipts.

To check manually if the BSD subsystem is installed, try the following in a terminal window:

basename ihavebsd.test .test

If you see the text: ihavebsd, the subsystem is (at least partly) there. If you get an error, you should certainly install the BSD subsystem anew.

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'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 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 Alpha will not apply to NeoOffice/J 1.1 or below. Each time NeoOffice moves to a new version of the codebase (including minor point releases), the patches for the new version will be incompatible with older versions of NeoOffice. NeoOffice 1.2 Alpha uses the 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 Alpha (as of November 2005).

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 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

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

NeoOffice 1.2 Alpha will appear to "hang" (the progress bar will stall between the "n" and "O" in "" 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.)

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 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 starts (i.e. warm restarts) will be much faster since all fonts are already fully loaded.

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 code to act like it is in "single-user install" mode. In this mode, starts writing user preferences in the /Applications/ 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 regulary 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 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.

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 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 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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