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OpenOffice 3.4 Portable?

DannyJr - May 10, 2012 - 9:29pm
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The Apache Foundation has released OpenOffice 3.4. Will PortableApps release the new version, or are there still legal impediments to the use of the name?

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Still legal issues

And considering how long Apache have held the licence and there still has been no progress, your best bet would be to move on to LibreOffice.

It's not a bug, its a feature.


As Apache OpenOffice now uses the Apache Public License 2.0, the only issue remaining is the use of trademarks. We have requested permission to use the trademarks needed to package and distribute Apache OpenOffice, and are awaiting approval from the Apache Software Foundation. Assuming we receive their permission, we anticipate releasing Apache OpenOffice 3.4.x "soon".

As good as it is to hear that

As good as it is to hear that OO is finally out of the whole open source but closed dev community thing that Oracle brought about, I think it has been too long. I wouldn't be jumping back to OO anytime soon as LO is (at least for now) the more advanced product.

It will be interesting to see what the original OO dev community does, though. Will we see a face-off, a happy co-habitation, or will they eventually maybe merge into one project again?

It's not a bug, its a feature.

No Merging

There likely won't ever be a merging as they are of two different philosophies. The Document Foundation's LibreOffice is under the LGPL, so any changes made to LibreOffice itself must be contributed back to the community while still preserving the ability for it to be called by closed source code library-style. One of the goals is to prevent a Sun/Oracle-type entity from being able to control it. Apache OpenOffice is under the Apache license, which lets you take it and use it in closed code directly, so it's friendlier to commercial publishers who want to build additional functionality and sell it without giving it back. Very different philosophies.

One side effect is that LibreOffice can pick and choose any enhancements from OpenOffice they want and use them as the LGPL can absorb Apache licensed stuff. But it doesn't work the other way, not without switching it to LGPL. So, The Document Foundation has the advantage license-wise in terms of what they can add in.

LibreOffice also has over a one year head start and they started out by absorbing all the cool enhancements that Go-OO had already done and Apache OpenOffice can't have for licensing reasons. Both LibreOffice and OpenOffice needed whole new communities and resources built around them, but it's taken Apache longer. They did also have to recode a chunk of OpenOffice that wasn't compatible with the Apache license, too, so that took them some time (though less than you'd guess from their blog).

At the moment, LibreOffice is clearly out in front. In addition to the license, year head-start, and additional features, it is also being used by all the major Linux distros now (replacing As such, it has a much wider pool of volunteer devs to pull from. It's got far more people working on it overall. It also has a huge list of supporters. OpenOffice is supported by Apache, Oracle (to a small extent) and, I believe, IBM. It will be interesting to see how this all changes over time.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Thanks John

for the quick (or not so quick) overview!

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

Overview Chart

Here's an overview chart listing what's been added to each since the 3.4 Beta 1 release of (at which point LibreOffice split off and went into temporary hybernation):

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Thanks for the Summary

I've been wondering what was going on with Open Office Portable since the split & if the portable version was going to proceed beyond 3.2

While I'll patiently await for everything on the legal side to get cleared up (as I'm not quite ready to transition to LibreOffice), I have to thank you & the portable dev staff for your diligent work as well as giving users a heads up.

Game Monkey Likes You!

Just Try LO

I'd recommend just trying LO now. It has the same interface and document compatibility (actually improved since LO can write DOCX) and LO Portable has a MUCH better launcher and portability now. And you can have em both side by side.

You're welcome for the work and the updates. We already have AOO working and will likely be sharing the build with the Apache folks in the next couple days.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!


Unfortunately, this is not an option for us at my work. My computer, here, has a program called McAfee Total Protection Service. It came with this computer with the old ownership. They password protected it though, and failed to pass on the password (you don't know how bad I wish I could uninstall this bugger).

The problem here, is that it blocks and quarantines LibreOffice before it can finish adding to the PA menu. OpenOffice sets up fine. If this computer wasn't so locked down, I'd just remove McAfee, but I fear that will involve a reformat of the hard drive.

Oh well, OpenOffice 3.2.0 does work, so at least I can still use that. Smiling I will simply hope that Oracle can eventually allow PA to continue work with OpenOffice Portable. Thanks for all the hard work. Peace...

Bill G.
Frozen St. Paul, MN
land of the frozen mosquito

Have you tried installing it on another computer and copying?

I suggest that you use another computer and a USB key to download and set up LibreOffice. If you are using PA on the hard drive of your locked down system, then you can copy the whole LibreOffice folder to the appropriate location on the hard drive. It could be that the execution of the installer is blocked (LibreOffive uses a newer installer), but if the app is already set up, CrapAfee will allow it.

P.S. I'm a little confused - is this locked down computer owned by you or your company? If it's owned by you, you should consider planning to reformat the whole thing anyway at some point, I'm sure there's more junk that you'd like to get rid of. If it's owned by the company, your IT should be able to help you, unless you aren't allowed to remove ****Afee...

P.P.S. I'm pretty sure that Oracle is no longer the license holder of OOo, it's now part of the Apache Foundation. (That's the AOO that JTH was referencing in the previous post).

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.


I should have clarified a bit. I work at a hotel. The hotel was sold to a new set of owners about 2 years ago. The computer came with the hotel, but they only shared a login for a restricted user (no installs, no updates for java, etc.). I'm simply an employee here that's been with the company for about 4 month. Since we are a hotel, we have no in-house IT dept (just me, and I'm self taught). I'm actually night audit, though..

This computer is seriously locked down. It's on the list of computers to be replaced, but since it's back office, computers in the direct operations come first. Unfortunately, I tried using LibreOffice from my thumb drive, but "Crapafee" quarantined it right off my thumb drive, the moment it saw it.

Like I said, I can still use OpenOffice Portable, but "Crapafee" will not let me run LibraOffice from the hard drive, or from a thumb drive. The funny thing is "Crapafee" is expired to begin with. My boss never paid for it, so it hasn't been updating in at least 2 years. Smiling Gotta love it..

Bill G.
Frozen St. Paul, MN
land of the frozen mosquito

Well, maybe you'll get lucky

Well, maybe you'll get lucky and it will catch fire so they"ll have to replace it!

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

I wish....

God, if only I could get that lucky...

Bill G.
Frozen St. Paul, MN
land of the frozen mosquito

My guess is that it's the

My guess is that it's the lousy version of ****afee.

FORMAT C: [enter] sounds like the only solution, but you don't even have that permission ether I bet Sad

Right, you are

Not unless I can get it to boot from a thumb drive, and refomat it that way. That's the route I'm taking when they finally replace this machine. Then I'll be able to find out if the computer itself can be salvaged or not.

Here's a bit of humor for you all at my misfortune. This computer is so locked down, that not only does it not have acces to cmd, but Microsoft calc was removed too. My thoughs on this is...remove the calculator? On a comuter used to crunch numbers? Whoever the jackoff that did that was a flippin moron.

Um, like Microsoft calc is such a security risk. You cal like, check to make sure your paycheck is right. ROTF LMAO Figured I'd share and lighten the mood.. Sticking out tongue

Bill G.
Frozen St. Paul, MN
land of the frozen mosquito

Security Risk

Actually, technically it is. Windows XP versions and lower still wrote to C:\WINDOWS\win.ini (when you change from Standard to Scientific view for example)

Only with Vista did it change to a Per User setting and writes to HKEY_CURRENT_USER Smiling

Really..You learn something new every day...

Hmm, good to know RaggieSoft. Thank you..

Bill G.
Frozen St. Paul, MN
land of the frozen mosquito

LiveCD to the rescue?

bill_gagliardi, there are Linux based LiveCD tools that can help you recover administrator privileges on Windows, such as Offline Registry Editor or Ophcrack.

The first one is text based, boots fast and isn't very user friendly. It's able to erase the admin's password, so you can login as one and set a new password.

The second one is friendlier, boots an entire desktop environment and recovers the password, unless it's too strong. Hence the "crack" in it's name.

Use these tools (or not) at your own risk. Only a full OS reinstall would be recommended for your situation.

My posts are old and likely no longer relevant.


Alas, I've already tried both of these, as well as Kon-Boot, and a few others. As I've said, this system is thoroughly messed up. Looks like I'll be backing up what I can, and re-formatting. Oh joy..

Bill G.
Frozen St. Paul, MN
land of the frozen mosquito

Still Waiting

It has been almost two months since the Apache OpenOffice Project announced release 3.4. Perhaps a senior person could remind Apache that users are still interested and waiting for a portable version.


I'm pretty sure that we have. It's them where the communication breakdown is.

Bill G.
Frozen St. Paul, MN
land of the frozen mosquito

Just use LibreOffice

It's got features OpenOffice never will have (thanks to licences) and I can't really understand why OpenOffice is continuing except for fact that it can be re-packaged as paid for software BUT as LibreOffice is fuller featured for free I see no reason why bother with OpenOffice outside custom versioned business use

Further Thoughts

I like LibO and have been active in their community. But it is hard to ignore AOO. See “5 Million Downloads of Apache OpenOffice”, June 20, 2012, at

It would be nice to reach an agreement with Apache. But if there is a stalemate, perhaps should consider an alternative approach. I understand that the license governing AOO is permissive. If the only issue remaining is the use of the AOO trademarks, then why not release a portable version without the co-branded splash screen and other trademark usage that need their permission?

Other trademark usage...

"Other trademark" is a pretty tricky thing. As far as I know, it would cover any mention of "Apache OpenOffice" anywhere in interface elements and in the code, probably several icons and so on: very much work to do for software that is pretty hard to portablize as it is.

Furthermore, a new check for trademarked elements would have to be done for each release, so there would be a lot of work to do every time, not just for the first portablized release.

After all that is done, the result would have to be published under a different name, a name that would mean nothing to anyone.

No typin th las lette ca sav yo plent o spac

Are you getting our notes from Apache?

Hi John,

I'm Rob Weir, a member of the Apache OpenOffice project. We're very happy to work with you on getting your proposed use of our trademarks reviewed. We're very excited by the success of Apache OpenOffice 3.4.0 -- over 10 million downloads so far. A portableApps version would be a wonderful addition.

However, as far as we can tell, the ball is in your court. We're waiting for you. We've been trying to contact you for several weeks now but we have not received any response. If your contact info has changed, or you have not received these notes, please send us a note to our ooo-private mailing list.

I hope we can turn this around quickly for you and your users.



Just Emailed

I just responded to the latest one. I'd missed them in a filtered folder but hadn't thought anything of not hearing back since we've been trying to get permission from Apache since 2010 July 2011 (and Oracle since they took it over), so we'd figured there would be more legal/technical bits to do. My apologies on that, missing it is entirely on me. I've dropped a note back and will be posting our latest internal test build for your private review shortly.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!


Looks like there is some progress! Smiling

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate


Hello all,

Any update on OO3.4 portable, since John's last post from August?

Thx all
-an interested nerdly user.

Apache OpenOffice 3.4

Dear John,

first of all I would like to express my gratitude to you and your team for your superb work!

Furthermore I'd like to ask whether a portable version of Apache OpenOffice 3.4 will be available (soon)? I think that numerous users are looking forward to an up-to-date portable version of OpenOffice.

With kind regards, Mike

We're still waiting

On the Apache side we have not heard back from John. We're not asking anything onerous or being particular demanding. Other applications have successfully asked and received permission to use the OpenOffice trademark in their application. For example, the WinPenPack portable applications have distributed their X-ApacheOpenOffice 3.4.1 for many months now.

It has been one year since AOO 3.4 was released and we've had 50 million downloads. We just were awarded the Readers Choice Award for "Favorite Business Office Software", and this was a category not limited to open source applications only!

OpenOffice is extremely popular and continues to grow. I'd love for PortableApps users to be able to run the current version of Apache OpenOffice as well. You'll love our feature set and our commitment to quality and stability. So I'd encourage John to send a note to If he does, I'll try my hardest to help make sure he gets the needed approvals. I can even help promote the app via our blog once it is released.


Rob Weir
Apache OpenOffice Project Management Committee

Details Over Here

Hi Rob,

I posted the last update a few weeks ago in this comment:

The ball is in my court, but my plate is otherwise full with more pressing projects (like trying to ensure can remain supported and covering its bills... we keep getting more popular so hosting/bandwidth costs keep growing). As mentioned in the linked thread, I have a 95% complete build already done with none of the issues that the WinPenPack build has. Unlike X-ApacheOpenOffice, Apache OpenOffice Portable properly runs on Windows XP when you don't have the Visual C++ runtimes installed, it allows you to carry fonts with you, and it properly runs the Math component since it includes the OpenSymbol font. Unfortunately, I'm the only builder and tester since the other folks that can build OOo and LO are busy and I can't post it publicly for our testing team due to the trademarks (we don't have permission to use them yet).

We'd love to have a properly-functioning OpenOffice Portable available, but I'm swamped. Unless you can get us special permission to post the test build without trademark issues. The sad thing is, if Apache hadn't told me no when I asked the first time at OSCON, we'd have done it long ago.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Looking forward to it

Sorry, I missed your response in the other thread. Best to forget about any issues you had with Oracle or Sun or whatever in the past. OpenOffice is under new management now at Apache and we are (I believe) easy to work with. When you're ready to move forward on this, you know where to find us Eye-wink

And I'll make the same offer I made to WinPenPack: Once you have the app listed I'd be happy to help promote your version by doing an interview with you on our project's blog.



Any News?

Now it's more than one year after the original posting, and more than two months after the last reply from the Apache official.

Any news?

I would love using Apache OpenOffice portable. LibreOffice continues carrying some annoying errors, e. g. the chart frames are still not fixed. AOO is perhaps not the bleeding edge, but more robust. Which is more important to me.

Please include Java 7 JRE and the necessary MS Visual C++ lib. Thanks.

Kind regards


Otherwise Occupied

I am otherwise occupied trying to keep the site afloat financially. OpenOffice is a much lower priority than that. As previously mentioned, we'd have had it done as Apache launched it if we hadn't been entirely rebuffed due to our using the GPL. Until I have a chance to complete it, submit it for review and it goes through their approval process, you can freely use LibreOffice Portable whose publisher has been entirely supportive or our efforts from day one. You can use the partially broken WinPenPack build if you really need OpenOffice over LibreOffice for some reason (no Math, no portable fonts, won't work on Windows XP lacking the C++ runtime, etc).

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

"occupied trying to keep the

"occupied trying to keep the site afloat financially" Sorry to hear that. "partially broken WinPenPack [...] OpenOffice" Realized this issue already. But at least simple things like chart frames work flawlessly.

Maybe the LibreOffice people get their bugs fixed in 5.x or 6.x ... Seems I just have to wait a little while either way.

Thank you very much for all your efforts!

This Weekend

Tell you what, I'll take a stab at finishing the build this weekend since a few people have asked for it and the only portable version out there is severely lacking. There hasn't been much demand since most folks long ago switched to LibreOffice (myself included), but if a few people are still looking for it, it makes sense to have it, so I'll give up a bit of my weekend for it.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!



I have also downloaded & tried to use ApacheOO and have found that the portable version from winpenpack has a msg (with an accompanying and very annoying "Binnggg" sound), that pops up if you do not have Java installed on your PC, so you waste time replying or closing the msg before the pgm will even start!

But the one main difference 'tween it and LO from is that even with the wasted time & extra keystroke(s) in closing the Java msg, AOO starts "much faster" that LO!

;>) SueN


@sweetnuttin: If you put a portable Java install into "$user_lib\X-Apache OpenOffice\Lib\Java", you ain't no nasty msgs any longer. Eye-wink

In my case I put the WinPenPack AOO portable install into the PortableApps folder, and now I can start AOO even via the PortableApps Launcher.