Installing WordPerfect 8.1 for Linux on a distro current in 2019

 

Revision 2.1

November 2019

 

WordPerfect 8.1 for Linux

 

WordPerfect of 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 Edition and a Deluxe Edition. Both version 1.0 and version 1.2 of Corel Linux include WordPerfect 8.1, and there is no difference between the versions of WordPerfect contained in these versions. But in each case there is a Standard Edition and a Deluxe Edition of Corel Linux, and the Standard Edition contains fewer fonts for use by WordPerfect than the Deluxe Edition. These editions of WordPerfect may conveniently be referred to respectively as the Light Edition and the Full Edition. Neither of them requires a password. WordPerfect 8.1 was released only as part of Corel Linux, and never by itself on other media.

 

There is also a Starter Edition of Corel Linux 1.0, which was included on a CD provided with a book entitled "Corel LINUX OS Starter Kit: The Official Guide", by Joseph Merlino and Katherine Wrighton, published by Osborne/Corel Press in 2000. This CD also contains WordPerfect 8.1, but with even fewer fonts. It requires a password to enable it to be run indefinitely.

 

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, although it is identified as WP8.1.0076 with the same release date - 11/1/1999. Apart from the repackaging, it is believed to differ little from WordPerfect 8.1. WordPerfect 8.2 installs its own support library and a pre-configured printer destination. It is installed via a script which no longer runs in current distros.

 

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 font-69 and fonts-115 (both included in the Full Edition only).

 

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 in subsequent distros of the location of the locales file; 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 rpm-based distros, and in both 64-bit and 32-bit versions of such distros. This method, involving the extraction of the WordPerfect code from the wp-full or wpx-free debs, 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.

 

Current distros

 

This page was written in July 2019, and references to current distros should be read accordingly.

 

Testing of the installation procedure specified here was carried out by Peter Stone and Leon Goldstein. Distros used in this testing were Linux Mint 17.3, 18.3 and 19.1; KDE neon 5.16; Kubuntu 19.04; MX-18; Antix 17.4; and OpenSuse 13.1, 15.1 and Tumbleweed.

 

No testing has been done on distros which are neither debian-based nor rpm-based; such as Slackware or Manjaro.

 

Summary of the 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;

- installing the fonts packages;

- extracting the WordPerfect code from the core 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, and whether it is a 32-bit or a 64-bit distro. But there are some differences in the procedure in the four cases, and these will be specified below.

 

The procedure constantly requires you to give commands in a root terminal. 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 user terminal (such as "konsole" in a KDE distro, and then give the command "sudo [terminal-name]" (for example "sudo konsole"). After you have given the password as requested, a new window will open as a root terminal, in which all commands given will automatically run as superuser.

 

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 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 on 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 the following Debian packages from the Corel Linux installation CD to a temporary directory (such as wp8debs): fonts-16_1.0-5.deb (not inclded 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).

 

Satisfying dependencies

 

The wp-full and fonts packages declare dependency on libc6, libc5, xlib6g, and type1inst. These dependencies can be satisfied by installing the following support packages from this page. These packages are either originals, once included in distros, or adaptations created by the present writer.

 

If you are installing on a 32-bit debian-based distro, the support packages are linked here as ldso, libc5, xlib6g-deb, and type1inst-32deb. They should be installed in that order, by means of a package manager, such as gdebi.

 

If you are installing on a 64-bit debian-based distro, you should first add i386 as an available architecture; see the Debian Multiarch wiki. Then you should install the support packages linked here as ldso, libc5, xlib6g-deb, type1inst-64deb and type1-64add. They should be installed in that order, by means of a package manager, such as gdebi.

 

It may be noted that the ldso and libc5 packages, which are from old releases of Debian, are designed to install the necessary libc5 libraries.

 

The xlib6g packages, which are the work of the present writer, are designed to create a needed symlink, enabling WordPerfect to find the locales files and thus avoid a segmentation error on loading, and to place "mkfontdir" in a suitable location. They also provide a useful installation script ("installpkg") from Slackware 14.2); and a menu-link (with an icon) for WordPerfect.

 

The 32-bit version of type1inst is from an old version of Debian, while the 64-bit versions of type1inst and wp81-64-utils were created by the present writer, to enable type1inst to run on a 64-but distro. Type1inst is need to create a list of scalable fonts.

 

If you are installing on an rpm-based distro (whether 32-bit or 64-bit), the necessary support packages are linked here as shlibs5, xlib6g-rpm, and type1inst-rpm. They should be installed in that order, by means of a package manager, such as yast2. Then you should edit /etc/ld.so.conf by (if necessary) adding a line: "/usr/i486-linux-libc5/lib" at the end of that file.

 

It may be noted that the shlibs5 package, which is derived from an old release of Redhat, is designed to install the necessary libc5 libraries. The xlib6g package, which is the work of the present writer, is designed to create a needed symlink, enabling WordPerfect to find the locales files and thus avoid a segmentation error on loading. The type1inst package from an old release of Redhat. Type1inst is need to create a list of scalable fonts.

 

After installing the ldso and libc5 deb packages, or the shlibs5 rpm package, it may be necessary to run in a root terminal the command "ldconfig" to get libc5 support loaded.

 

If you prefer not to use the revised xlibg6 package, you can create the necessary symlink by giving the following commands in a root terminal: "mkdir /usr/X11R6/lib/X11" and then "ln -s /usr/share/X11/locale /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/locale".

 

Installing the wordperfect fonts

 

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.

 

Whether one is using a debian-based or an rpm-based distro, and whether one is using a 32-bit or a 64-bit distro, the easiest method of installing the font packages is as follows.

 

First install the alien package from your distro's repository. It is usually present 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 a suitable directory, such as "/home/[[username]/Downloads".

 

Then, in a root terminal, go to the said directory, and give the following two 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 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 xlib6g package from this site, it will have installed installpkg in your usr/bin directory.

 

If you do not wish to use the above procedure, other methods are available. On a debian-based distro (whether 32-bit or 64-bit), you can install one or more the fonts-xx debs (fonts-16, fonts-69, and fonts-115) by means of a package manager (such as gdebi). Unfortunately the fonts-16 and fonts-115 debs have one duplicate font file: lego12bi.pfb. So, if you are going to install fonts-115, then proceed as follows. First install fonts-16 with a package manager. Then install fonts-115 from a root terminal, with the command: "dpkg -i --force-overwrite fonts-115". Then install fonts-69 with a package manager. Alternatively you can install all three using dpkg. That is, by giving (as root in a terminal), the successive commands "dpkg -i fonts-16", "dpkg -i fonts-69", and "dpkg -i --force-overwrite fonts-115".

 

On an rpm-based distro, an alternative procedure is to to extract the fonts from the deb packages. This can be done by means the Ark utility, by way of its option to "Extract here", which may be accessible by right-clicking on the package file in your file-manager (such as Dolphin). This should be done, for each fonts-xx package in turn, by first extracting the "data.tar.gz" file (using Ark to extract here) from the package,, which you have placed in (for example, your Downloads directory); and then (as root) copying this data tarball (using a file manager or the command-line) to the / directory (the top directory, not /root); and finally (as root) extracting the contents from the tarball (using Ark to extract here). Since each extracted “data.tar.gz” file has the same name, it is necessary to install the extracted tar file before extracting the next, since it will overwrite the first tar with the same name. Alternatively, rename the extracted “data.tar.gz” file to e.g. fonts1.tar.gz, then rename the next “fonts2.tar.gz” and so on. As a result, the fonts from the package should be visible in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts.

 

If you prefer to carry out the extraction by using a root terminal, instead of using the Ark utility, 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 Full 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 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.

 

Whether one is using a debian-based or an rpm-based distro, and whether one is using a 32-bit or a 64-bit distro, the easiest 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. It is usually present 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 -r wpx-free deb to a suitable directory, such as "/home/[[username]/Downloads".

 

Then, in a root terminal, go to the said directory, and give the following two 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 give the command: "installpkg [converted-package-name]" (for example, "installpkg wp-full.tgz". This utilizes from a script from Slackware 14.2 designed to install the contents of the tgz package. If you have already installed the xlib6g package from this site, it will have installed installpkg in your usr/bin directory.

 

If you do not wish to use the above procedure, other methods are available. On any debian-based or rpm-based distro (whether 32-bit or 64-bit), you can use the following procedure. This involves extracting the WordPerfect code from the packages.

 

This can be done by means the Ark utility, by way of its option to "Extract here", which may be accessible by right-clicking on the package file in your file-manager (such as Dolphin). This should be done by first extracting the "data.tar.gz" file from the wp-full package, which you have placed in (for example) your Downloads directory, using Ark to extract here; and then (as root) copying this data tarball to the / directory (the top directory, not /root); and finally (as root) extracting the contents from the tarball using Ark to extract here. Since each extracted “data.tar.gz” file has the same name, it is necessary to install the extracted tar file before extracting the next, since it will overwrite the first tar with the same name. Alternatively, rename the extracted “data.tar.gz” file to (for example) fonts16.tar.gz, then rename the next “fonts69.tar.gz” and so on. As a result, the WordPerfect code should be visible in /usr/lib/wp8.

 

Another possible method to carry out the extraction is by using a root terminal, instead of using the Ark utility, the process to be used is as follows:

 

(a) To convert the wp-full deb to a tar, 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.

 

(b) 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. First give the command: "cd /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1".

 

Then (as root) give the command: "type1inst".

 

Next (as root) give the command: "mkfontdir".

 

Finally (as root) 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 "/usr/share/fonts/Type1".

 

Installing an icon

 

The xlib6g deb and rpm packages 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 distro's menu. You can also run it by giving the command "/usr/lib/wpbin/xwp" or simply "xwp" in a terminal. To run WordPerfect as administrator, give the command "/usr/lib/wpbin/xwp -admin" or simply "xwp -admin" in a root terminal.

 

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, open WordPerfect as administrator. That is, in a root as root, give the command: "xwp -admin".

 

Then, in the small preferences menu at the top right corner of the display, click on "File Locking". Then click "Disable Unix File Locking". Thereafter WordPerfect should start normally for the user.

 

Adding printers

 

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 printers, 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. To achieve this, the following procedure should be followed. We are grateful to Jack (also known as DisneyDumbazz at youtube) for suggesting this method.

 

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 cups-pdf package from your distro's repository), especially if no actual physical printer is available.

 

Next, as superuser, in the "/usr/lib/wp8/shbin10" folder, copy "xwppmgr" to "xwppmgr.bin".

 

Then download the wrapper script. For a debian-based distro, the relevant script file is xwppmgr-deb. For an rpm-based distro, it is xwppmgr-rpm.

 

Next, rename the downloaded file to "xwppmgr", and (as superuser) move it into "/usr/bin", and ensure that it is executable (for example, by giving the command: "chmod +x /usr/bin/xwppmgr").

 

Then run the wrapper in a root terminal by giving the command: "xwppmgr". In many distros this will work. The WP Print Manager will load, and you will be able to install a WP printer. You will then be able to make the printer available as a user by using the print command within WordPerfect.

 

It should be noted that the wrapper has the following general syntax: "/lib/ld-linux-so.2 --library-path /[full path to libc5 files] /usr/lib/wp8/shbin10/xwppmgr.bin -admin". For current Linux Mint distributions and KDE neon 5.16, the syntax is: "/lib/ld-linux-so.2 --library-path /i386-linux-gnu /usr/lib/wp8/shbin10/xwppmgr.bin -admin". For OpenSuse releases the appropriate syntax and work-around are discussed below.

 

However on some distros (especially 64-bit rpm distros such as OpenSuse 15.1), the wrapper will fail, reporting a segmentation error. A workaround has been found for some rpm 64-bit distros. In such a case download the following files: ld-2.18.so and xwppmgr-rpm218. Then, in a root terminal, proceed as follow. Copy ld-2.18.so to /lib. Then rename xwppmgr-rpm218 to xwppmgr, and move it to /usr/bin and ensure that it is executable. Finally, try to run the wrapper by giving the command "xwppmgr". This may succeed where the earlier attempt had failed.

 

So far as is known, the wrapper cannot be made to work in Kubuntu 19.04 64-bit.

 

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".

 

A tutorial on the wrapper, kindly contributed by Leon Goldstein, is provided on the Tutorial page.

 

Some tweaks

 

Having installed WordPerfect, you may wish to carry out some tweaks to improve its usability. Further information (on printing; colour-scheme; the Euro-currency symbol; menus, abbreviations and dialog boxes; and keypad keys) is provided on the Tweaks page.

 

Other possibilities

 

WordPerfect for Linux 8.1 appears to be a development of WordPerfect for DOS rather than WordPerfect for Windows. Before version 8.1 for Linux, there had been version 6 for Unix (released in 1996), version 7 for Unix or Linux (released in 1997), and version 8.0 for Linux (released in 1998). Version 8.2 (as it may be called) appears to be a re-release in 2003 of version 8.1, with a new script-based installer and a new printing facility.

 

WordPerfect 8.2 will not be considered in detail on this site. It had limited availability. It cannot be installed on a current distro using its installer script. But an an installation on an earlier distro (such as Mepis 3.4-3) is possible, and from such an installation one can copy over the /usr/wplinux and ~/.wprc directories onto a recent distro (such as Mint 18.3), on which one has installed the appropriate support packages. These are the same as for use in connection with WordPerfect 8.0 as contained in the Caldera rpm package; in the case of installation into a deb distro, they are xlib6g-deb and shlibs5 (converted to .tgz). Installation in this way will enable WordPerfect 8.2 to run, and usefully to print with the automatically installed Passthru Postscript driver to a new WPSpool destination.

 

WordPerfect 8.0 was released by Corel in 1998. Its installation in current distros is discussed on the WordPerfect 8.0 page.

 

Passwords needed to run WordPerfect 7 beyond a short period are not now available. WordPerfect 6 can be installed and run with iBCS on Caldera OpenLinux 1.3, but this is not an attractive option.

 

The subsequent WordPerfect 9/2000 for Linux runs Windows-derived code on the Corelwine compatibility layer, but this is incompatible with Linux distros dating from 2003 or later, since they use libc6 2.3 or later. It can however be run on Slackware 8.1.

 

For practical purposes, only WordPerfect 8.1 appears to have current significance for anyone wishing to install and run a native version of WordPerfect on a Linux distro. A version of WP 8.0 Download Edition was bundled with Caldera Open Linux. It was packaged as an RPM, and can be installed when the appropriate support files are present. Its installation is discussed on the WordPerfect 8.0 page.

 

Other available possibilities for running WordPerfect on a Linux installation include:

- installing a version of WordPerfect for Windows (such as WordPerfect 12) on a Linux distro via the Crossover or Wine compatibility layers; or

- installing WordPerfect for MS-DOS via the Dosbox or Dosemu packages; or

- installing Windows 3.1 and WordPerfect 6.1 via the Dosbox package.

 

These last three possibilities are addressed on the emulation page on this site.

 

Further assistance

 

The author of this site, Peter Stone, may be contacted by email as "peter@xwp8users.com".

 

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Last updated in July 2019

(c) Peter Stone, 2019