Installing WordPerfect 8.1 for Linux by script on a distro current in 2021
The installation procedures presented in this webpage are intended for owners of original CDs containing Corel Linux OS and WordPerfect 8.1 for Linux, with the objective of enabling them to continue using their paid-for software.
This page underwent a major revision in July 2020, to introduce a simplified method of installing WordPerfect for Linux 8.1 on current distros. The new method involves use of an install script, recently written by Peter Stone (the operator of this site) and tested with the help of Leon Goldstein.
There are five versions of the script. They are named:
wp81in.sh (for debian-based distros);
wp81in-mag.sh (for Mageia or Fedora);
wp81in-suse.sh (for OpenSuse); and
wp81in-manjaro.sh (for Manjaro); and
wp81in-slack.sh (for Slackware).
They are available for download from this page. To download such a linked file in Firefox, you should right-click on the link, and then select "Save link As..." from the resulting menu.
The first-mentioned version is designed for debian-based distros (whether 64-bit or 32-bit). It has been developed on Linux Mint 20.1, and tested also on Kubuntu 20.04.1, Feren 2020.11, MX 19.2 32-bit, and Q4OS Trinity 3.12. It should work on most current debian-based distros, including Linux Mint 21.1.
(If you have installed WordPerfect 8.1 in Linux Mint 20, and want to move to Mint 21, retaining WordPerfect, it is safer to install Mint 21 on a separate partition, and then perform a fresh installation of WordPerfect 8.1 there, rather than using the official Mint upgrade utility to convert Mint from 20 to 21 on the same partition.)
The second-mentioned version is designed for and has been tested on Mageia 8 and Fedora 33. The third version is designed for and has been tested on OpenSuse 15.2. The fourth is designed for and has been tested on Manjaro 20 and 21. The fifth is designed for and has been tested on Slackware 14.2.
This page, "wp81gen", deals with general considerations relating to the installation of WordPerfect for Linux 8.1 on a distro current in 2021 or later.
Another page, "wp81script", deals specifically with the installation of WordPerfect for Linux 8.1, by means of a script provided on this site.
A further page, "wp81else", retain the information about a manual method of installation, given in earlier versions of this site. This may be useful to users seeking to install WordPerfect 8.1 in distros which the script is not designed to support. But the manual method of proceeding may be regarded as deprecated in cases where a script could be used.
WordPerfect 8.1 for Linux
WordPerfect for Linux 8.1 was released by Corel Corp in 1999 on boxed CDs as part of the Corel Linux OS, which was issued as a Standard or Light Edition and a Deluxe or Full Edition. WordPerfect 8.1 was released only as part of Corel Linux, and never by itself on other media.
Both version 1.0 and version 1.2 of Corel Linux in both the Light Edition and the Full Edition include WordPerfect 8.1, and there is no difference between the versions of WordPerfect contained in these versions and editions of Corel Linux. Neither the Light Edition nor the Full Edition requires a password. But the Light Edition contains fewer fonts for use by WordPerfect than the Full Edition.
The Starter Edition of Corel Linux 1.0 included on a CD provided with a book entitled "Corel LINUX OS Starter Kit: The Official Guide", by Joseph Merlino and Katherine Wrightson, published by Osborne/Corel Press in 2000. This CD contains WordPerfect 8.1, but with even fewer fonts. It requires a password.
All the editions of WordPerfect 8.1 are presented in the form of debian packages. But there are obstacles to installing them on current, even debian-based, systems.
On the CDs of Corel Linux, the core WordPerfect 8.1 code is contained in a deb package named wp-full in the case of the Light Edition and the Full Edition, or wpx-free in the case of the Starter Edition.
There are three accompanying font packages, designed to support WordPerfect, named fonts-16 (included in the Light Edition and the Full Edition; but not the Starter Edition), and fonts-69 and fonts-115 (both included in the Full Edition only).
There is also a repackaged version of WordPerfect, which was issued by Corel on a CD in 2003. This may conveniently be referred to as WordPerfect 8.2. Apart from the repackaging, it differs little from WordPerfect 8.1. WordPerfect 8.2 installs its own support library and a pre-configured printer destination. It is designed to be installed via a script, but this script no longer runs in current distros.
Obstacles to installation
It was possible to install WordPerfect 8.1 in the normal way via a package manager on a debian-based distro current in 2006 (such as Mepis 3.4-3), but various obstacles have subsequently arisen which prevent such a conventional installation. These include:
- changes made in later distros as to the location of the locales directory;
- their failure to include libc5 libraries in their repositories; and
- complications arising from the introduction of 64-bit distros.
So another method is now essential.
The main aim of the current website is to provide such a method, which will work successfully in current debian-based or certain other distros, and in both 64-bit and 32-bit versions of such distros. This method, involving the extraction of the WordPerfect code from a wp-full or wpx-free deb package, was originally devised by Leon Goldstein, after his method of installing WordPerfect 8.1 on later versions of OpenSuse, using packages converted to RPM by “alien”, had ceased to be reliable.
Much still useful information about WordPerfect for Linux may be gained from Rick Moen's WordPerfect FAQ, published in 2005. Also still useful, although they deal directly with WordPerfect 8.0 for Linux, are volumes entitled "WordPerfect for Linux Bible", by Stephen E. Harris and Erwin Zijleman, and "Using WordPerfect 8 for Linux Special Edition", by Roderick W. Smith, both published in 1999.
This page was initially written in July 2019, and has undergone major updating in July 2020 and further updating in March 2021. References to current distros should be read as referring to March 2021 and beyond.
Testing in 2019 of the installation procedure by the manual method was carried out by Peter Stone and Leon Goldstein. Distros used in this testing were Linux Mint 17.3, 18.3, 19.1, 19.3 and 20-beta; KDE neon 5.16 to 5.19; Kubuntu 19.04 and 20.04; MX-18; Antix 17.4; and OpenSuse 13.1, 15.1 and Tumbleweed. No testing was done on distros which were neither debian-based nor rpm-based - such as Slackware or Manjaro.
Testing in 2020 of the original version of installation scripts provided on this site was carried out by Peter Stone and Leon Goldstein. Distros used in this testing were Linux Mint 20, MX 19.2 32-bit, OpenSuse 15.2, Mageia 7.1, and Slackware 14.2.
Further development of the installation scripts was carried out by Peter Stone and Leon Goldstein in 2021, mainly using Linux Mint 20.1.
Obtaining WordPerfect 8.1
As mentioned above, the WordPerfect 8.1 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 the Light or Deluxe edition of Corel Linux OS and WordPerfect 8.1, with a view to enabling them to continue 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 directory on your hard-drive. A directory named "~/Downloads/wp-inst" must be used as the working directory by the scripts.
The Debian packages are located:
- in CLOS 1.0 in /dists/corellinux-1.0/corel/binary-i386; or
- in CLOS 1.2 in /dists/corellinux-1.2/corel/binary-i386/editors and /dists/corellinux-1.2/corel/binary-i386/text.
You should copy such of the following Debian packages as are available to you from a Corel Linux CD to the working directory used by the scripts.
As regards the fonts:
- fonts-16_1.0-5.deb (included in the Standard and Deluxe Editions, but not the Starter Edition);
- fonts-69_1.0-4.deb (only included in the Deluxe Edition); and
- fonts-115_1.0-4.deb (only included in the Deluxe Edition).
As regards the main WordPerfect code:
- wp-full_8.1-12_i386.deb (included in the Standard and Deluxe Editions, but not the Starter Edition); or
- wpx-free_8.0-78_i386.deb (included in the Starter Edition).
Obtaining and using the scripts
To obtain a script for installing WordPerfect 8.1 for Linux on a current debian-based distro, or Opensuse, Mageia or Slackware, and information about using the script, go to the "wp81script" page on this site.
To obtain information about installing WordPerfect 8.1 for Linux on a current distro other than these, go to the "wp81else" page on this site.
Other versions of WordPerfect for Linux are considered on the versions page. More specifically, version 8.0 is considered on the WordPerfect 8.0 page.
The use on Linux of a version of WordPerfect for Windows, or WordPerfect for MSDOS, through a compatability layer, are considered on the emulation page.
The author of this site, Peter Stone, may be contacted by email as "email@example.com".
Last updated in March 2023.
(c) Peter Stone, 2023.