Installing WordPerfect 8.1 for Linux manually on a distro current in 2021
This page deals with the manual method of installing WordPerfect 8.1. It may be useful if you are seeking to install WordPerfect 8.1 in distros which a script (available on another page) is not designed to support, or in cases where your attempt to install by a script for some reason fails. But the manual method of proceeding may be regarded as deprecated in cases where the script could be used.
Summary of the manual installation procedure
The procedure involves six steps, each of which is elaborated in a section below. These steps are:
- obtaining a copy of Corel Linux OS, and copying the WordPerfect core package and the fonts packages from it;
- obtaining and installing the necessary support libraries;
- extracting and installing the fonts from the fonts packages;
- extracting the WordPerfect code from the core WordPerfect package, and installing it;
- setting up the installed fonts, so as to be recognised by WordPerfect; and finally
- installing a wrapper enabling use of the WordPerfect Print Manager to manage printers.
Substantially the same procedure should be followed whether one is installing on a debian-based, or an rpm-based distro, or some other type of distro, and whether it is a 32-bit or a 64-bit distro. But there are some differences in the procedure in the various cases, and these will be specified below.
The procedure described below constantly requires you to give commands in a root terminal window. This means a terminal (such as "konsole") in which one is acting throughout as a superuser. In distros which use "sudo" (rather than "su") to give a command as superuser, you may find it tiresome to constantly precede a command by "sudo". A useful workaround is to open a normal user terminal (such as "konsole" in a KDE distro), and then give the command: "sudo su".
Obtaining WordPerfect 8.1
As mentioned above, the WordPerfect core package (wp-full or wpx-free) and the associated fonts packages (fonts-16, fonts-69, and fonts-115) are contained in the Corel Linux CDs. Such CDs are sometimes offered on ebay.
The present webpage is intended for owners of original CDs containing Corel Linux OS and WordPerfect 8.1, with a view to enabling them to continue legitimately using their paid-for software. It is assumed that the user is moderately familiar with Linux, and moderately experienced in using the current distro on which he is installing WordPerfect.
The packages intended to be installed should be copied from the Corel Linux CD to a suitable directory on your hard-drive. For example: "/home/[username]/wp8-install".
The Debian packages are located:
- in /dists/corellinux-1.0/corel/binary-i386, in CLOS 1.0 ; or
- in /dists/corellinux-1.2/corel/binary-i386/editors and /dists/corellinux-1.2/corel/binary-i386/text, in CLOS 1.2 .
You should copy the following Debian packages from the Corel Linux CD to a working directory (such as wp-inst):
- fonts-16_1.0-5.deb (not included in the Starter Edition);
- fonts-69_1.0-4.deb (not included in the Starter or Light Editions);
- fonts-115_1.0-4.deb (not included in the Starter or Light Editions); and
- wp-full_8.1-12_i386.deb (in the Light and Full Editions)
or wpx-free_8.0-78_i386.deb (in the Starter Edition).
If you are installing on a 64-bit debian-based distro, you should first ensure that i386 is an available architecture; on this, see the Debian Multiarch wiki. You should also install a 32-bit version of the libc6 package if it is available from your normal repository.
The wp-full and fonts packages declare dependency on "libc6", "libc5", "xlib6g", and "type1inst".
These dependencies can be satisfied by installing support packages which are available from this page. These packages are either originals, once included in distros, or packages adapted or created by the present writer.
First try to satisfy these dependencies by installing the present writer's "wp-utils" package, which is available from this page as a debian package or as a tgz tarball. It should satisfy all the dependencies. Then give the command: "sudo ldconfig -c old" to activate the libc5 library.
As well as supplying the necessary libc5 code, the "wp-utils" package is designed to satisfy the dependencies on "xlib6g" and "type1inst", as declared by WordPerfect 8.1.
Thus it provides the needed locales files, and includes code from the old "type1inst" package, which creates a list of scalable fonts, needed to set up the WordPerfect fonts.
It also includes:
- a useful installation utility ("installpkg" from Slackware 14.2) helpful for installing the WordPerfect core and fonts packages;
- a menu-link with an icon for WordPerfect;
- some files from "shlibs5" needed by WordPerfect 8.0 (but not by WordPerfect 8.1), which are not contained in the "libc5" package from Debian Sarge;
- a "wrapper" which restores to life the WP Print Manager.
But if you still have problems with these dependencies, then for as regards the "libc5" dependency you can try using packages which were once contained in distros, and are available from this page. The relevant packages are as follows:
(1) For debian-based distros, "ldso" and "libc5". These are available here in deb format, as released in the Debian Sarge distro.
(2) For distros other than debian-based distros, "shlibs5". This is available here in rpm format, as available in OpenSuse in 2001; and in tgz format, as converted by the present author.
The "ldso","libc5" and "shlibs5" packages are designed to satisfy the dependency on "libc5" as declared by WordPerfect 8.1.
After installing the shlibs5 package, it is necessary to run in a root terminal the command "ldconfig -c old" to get libc5 support loaded.
Unless you use the "wp-utils" package, you will also need to create a link for the locale directory. You can do this with the command:
"sudo ln -s /usr/share/X11/locale /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/locale"
Installing the WordPerfect fonts
(1) The easiest method
Having satisfied the dependencies, the next step is to install the available WP font packages: fonts-16_1.0-5.deb, fonts-69_1.0-4.deb, and fonts-115_1.0-4.deb. Only the fonts-16 package is available on the Corel Linux Standard Edition CD with WordPerfect LE, and none are available on the Starter Edition CD with WordPerfect SE.
The easiest manual method of installing the font packages is as follows.
First install the alien package from normal repository. In a debian-based distro, it is usually available there, but on OpenSuse Leap 15.1 you will need to get it from an additional repository; see software.opensuse.org.
Then copy the font-xx debs to your working directory, such as "wp-inst".
Then, in a root terminal window, go to the said directory, and give the following command for each font package in turn that you have available in turn: "alien -t [font-package-name]" (for example, "alien -t fonts-16_1.0-5.deb"). This will convert the package from deb format to Slackware tgz format.
Then, in a root terminal, for each of the tgz font packages, give the command: "installpkg [converted-font-name]" (for example, "installpkg fonts-16.tgz". This utilizes a script from Slackware 14.2 designed to install the contents of the tgz package. If you have already installed the wp-utils package from this site, it will have installed installpkg in your usr/bin directory. Otherwise you can download it separately from this page.
(2) An alternative method
An alternative procedure is to extract the fonts from the deb packages by using the "ar" utility (from the "binutils" package, usually available from your normal repository) in a root terminal window. The process to be used is as follows:
(a) To convert each deb to a tar, give the command (for example) "ar vx fonts-16_1.0-5.deb". Then rename the resulting data.tar.gz to (for example) "fonts-16.tar.gz". If the command using "ar" produces the response that "ar" is not found, the solution may be to install the "binutils" package, and then try again.
(b) Next copy all of these tarballs to / (the very top of the file system, NOT to /root), and then untar them by giving (for each of them in turn) a command such as: "tar -xvzf [fonts-16.tar.gz]".
Further understanding of the tar method may be gained from the explanation by George Notaras in the G-Loaded Journal, and from an earlier version of a page on this site relating to rpm distros, such as Opensuse, kindly contributed by Leon Goldstein, who devised this method of installing WordPerfect. Leon's instructions on installing WordPerfect on Libranet in 2005, which also illustrate the continuing efforts to keep WordPerfect useable on Linux, are available here.
Installing the WordPerfect code itself
The next step is to install the main WordPerfect code. This is contained in wp-full_8.1-12_i386.deb in the Light or Deluxe Editions, or in wpx-free_8.0-78_i386.deb in the Starter Edition.
Even on a debian-based distro, you should NOT attempt to install the wp-full package or the wpx-free package by means of a package manager. On a 64-bit distro it is not possible to do so with satisfactory results. In Linux Mint 64-bit, it may be possible to install the wp-full package with gdebi, but the package will be flagged as “broken” and its presence will prevent the software updater from working unless the “broken” wp-full package is removed. On a 32-bit distro it may be possible to install the wp-full or wpx-free package by means of a package manager, but you are strongly recommended to follow instead the procedure explained below.
(1) The easiest method
The easiest manual method of installing the wp-full package is as follows.
If you have not already done so, install the alien package from your distro's repository. In a debian-based distro it is usually available there, but on OpenSuse 15.1 you will need to get it from an additional repository; see software.opensuse.org.
Then copy the wp-full or wpx-free deb to a suitable directory, such as "/home/[username]/Downloads/wp-inst".
Then, in a root terminal, go to the said directory, and give the following command for the main WordPerfect code package:
"alien -t [package-name]"
(for example, "alien -t wp-full_8.1-12_i386.deb").
This will convert the package from deb format to Slackware tgz format.
Then, in a root terminal, give the command:
(for example, "installpkg wp-full.8.1.tgz").
This utilizes a script from Slackware 14.2 designed to install the contents of the tgz package. If you have already installed the wp-utils package from this site, it will have installed installpkg in your usr/bin directory.
(2) An alternative method
An alternative method is as follows. This involves extracting the WordPerfect code from the packages by using the "ar" utility in a root terminal to convert the wp-full deb to a tarball.
First give the command (for example) "ar vx wp-full_8.1-12_i386.deb". Then rename the resulting data.tar.gz to (for example) "wp-full.tar.gz" If the command using "ar" produces the response that "ar" is not found, the solution may be to install the "binutils" package, and then try again.
Then copy this tarball to / (the very top of the file system, NOT to /root), and then untar it by giving a command such as: "tar -xvzf wp-full.tar.gz".
Further understanding of the tar method may be gained from the explanation by George Notaras in the G-Loaded Journal , and from an earlier version of a page on this site relating to rpm distros, such as Opensuse, kindly contributed by Leon Goldstein, who devised this method of installing WordPerfect. Leon's instructions on installing WordPerfect on Libranet in 2005, which also illustrate the continuing efforts to keep WordPerfect useable on Linux, are available here.
Completing the installation of the fonts
At this stage, WordPerfect will have been installed, but it will still need to be configured so as to find its fonts. To achieve this, the following procedure should be followed on all distros (whether debian-based or rpm-based; and whether 32-bit or 64-bit). The commands should all be given in a root terminal.
The recommended procedure is as follows. In a root terminal window:
- First give the command: "cd /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1".
- Then give the command: "type1inst".
- Next give the command: "mkfontdir".
- Finally give the command: "/usr/lib/wp8/shbin10/wpfi".
If you wish to make the WordPerfect fonts also available to LibreOffice (with a view, for example, to printing .wpd files using LibreOffice, copy them from "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1" into either "/usr/share/fonts/type1" or "/usr/share/fonts/Type1" (as used by your distro).
Installing an icon
The wp-utils deb or rpm package which you have already installed earlier will provide a menu entry for WordPerfect in the Office sub-menu, along with a desktop icon, placed in "/usr/share/pixmaps".
Thus you can run WordPerfect from your Linux menu. You can also run it by giving the command "xwp", in a terminal window. To run WordPerfect as administrator, give the command "sudo xwp -adm" in a terminal window.
Possible "too many processes" error
After completing all the above installation steps, if running "xwp" as user returns an error about too many processes and/or not enough permission to run, run WordPerfect once as administrator. That is, in a terminal window, give the command: "sudo xwp -admin".
It may sometimes also be necessary, when you have loaded WordPerfect as administrator, to click, in the small preferences menu at the top right corner of the display, on "File Locking", and then click "Disable Unix File Locking".
Thereafter WordPerfect should start normally for the user.
At this stage WordPerfect has been installed. But no printer has been made available. Moreover the WP Print Manager, which is designed to add, modify and delete WordPerfect printer drivers, will not run in the normal way in a current distro. To enable it to run, it must be called by way of a wrapper. A wrapper, suitable for recent distros (whether debian-based or rpm-based), has been devised by the present writer, and is included in the wp-utils package. We are grateful to DisneyDumbazz at youtube for suggesting this method.
To enable the WP Print Manager on a recent distro, the following procedure should be followed.
First ensure that a Linux printer is installed on the distro; usually a CUPS printer. For testing at least, it may be useful to install the cups-pdf printer (by installing the "printer-driver-cups-pdf" package from your normal repository), especially if no actual physical printer is available.
Then check whether a file named "/etc/printcap" exists. If not, create it as a link by giving the command, in a root terminal: "ln -s /var/run/cups/printcap /etc/printcap", or "ln -s /run/cups/printcap /etc/printcap".
Next, in a root terminal, move to the "/usr/lib/wp8/shbin10" folder, and copy "./xwppmgr" to "./xwppmgr.bin".
Then, if you have installed the wp-utils package and it has satisfied the dependencies, you can use the wrapper, and thereby load the WP Print Manager, by giving in a terminal the command: "sudo xwppmgr".
If you have not succeeded in satisfying the dependencies by means of the wp-utils package, you will need to download from this page and install a separate wrapper utility, named "wppmwrap". The version for a debian-based distro is downloadable here. The version for other distros is downloadable here. Then you will be able to use the wrapper, and thereby load the WP Print Manager, by giving in a terminal the command: "sudo xwppmgr".
The wrapper command works because the wp-utils utility or the separate wrapper utility has installed "ld-2.27.so" (from libc6:i386 version 2.27) in your "/lib" directory, and a script named "xwppmgr" in your "/usr/bin" directory. The script is designed to use ld-2.27.so to access the libc5 utilities necessary to load the WP Manager.
The command, "sudo xwppmgr", should achieve the desired result of successfully loading the WP Print Manager, and thus enabling you to install a WP printer. After thus installing a WP printer driver, you will then be able to make the printer driver available as a user by using the print command within WordPerfect. The wrapper should work successfully in at least the following recent 64-bit distros: Linux Mint 18 to 20; KDE neon 5.16 to 5.19; Kubuntu 19.04 to 20.04; and OpenSuse 15.1 to 15.2.
A tutorial on using the WP Print Manager, once it has been loaded using the wrapper, has kindly been contributed by Leon Goldstein, and is provided on the Tutorial page.
If you have a monochrome printer, or do not wish to print in colour with WordPerfect, the Passthru Postscript driver, supplied as part of WordPerfect, should, when pointed to the Linux Cups driver for your printer, work well.
If you have a colour printer, you may find it useful to use the HP Color LaserJet 4600 (Postscript) driver. If you have installd the wp-utils package, the relevant prs file for this driver will have been placed in your /usr/lib/wp8/shlib10 directory. Otherwise you may obtain it from the WPdos website on its page entitled "New Printer Drivers for WordPerfect 6.x", by downloading from there a file named "WP60HPCO.EXE".
If you cannot get the wrapper to work, you may still be able to use WordPerfect to create and edit documents. You may then wish to print your WordPerfect documents using LibreOffice. For this purpose, as mentioned above, it may be useful to copy the WordPerfect fonts from "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1" into "/usr/share/fonts/type1" or "/usr/share/fonts/Type1" (depending on your distro's usage). This and other ways of printing .wpd documents are discussed on the Tweaks page.
Having installed WordPerfect, you may wish to carry out some tweaks to improve its usability. Further information (on printing; importing MS Word document files; colour-schemes; the euro-currency symbol; menus, abbreviations and dialog boxes; and keypad keys) is provided on the Tweaks page.
Last updated in March 2021.
(c) Peter Stone, 2021.