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I have heard of people running Excel on Ubuntu using Wine, but my impression is that this can be more frustrating than it's worth. I suppose the top alternatives are to either just run Windows or else use something like OpenOffice.

Has anyone successfully used Excel on Ubuntu, and if so, what was your conclusion?

For reference, I'm currently using Excel 2007 and recently upgraded to Ubuntu 10.04, although I would be curious about any experience with this.

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Which versions of Ubuntu and Excel are you using? –  Shevek Jun 21 '10 at 14:23

6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The thread you linked to where people have trouble running Excel under Wine is relatively old. I've actually found that Microsoft Office 2003 has worked quite well with Wine for the last couple years. I haven't tried a more recent version of Office, but I wouldn't rule Wine out without trying it first.

You might also want to look up your particular software on refer to http://appdb.winehq.org/ which sometimes mentions specific tricks needed to get software running well under Wine.

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Depending on your version of Excel you might try CrossOver Linux

CrossOver Linux allows you to install many popular Windows productivity applications, plugins and games in Linux, without needing a Microsoft Operating System license. Once installed, your application integrates seamlessly with your Gnome or KDE environment. Just click and run your application, exactly as you would in Windows, but with the full freedom of Linux.

I have had good experience with these guys in the past (around 2002) but I don't suppose thay have gotten any worse since then.

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Have not yet tried Excel but I'm using VirtualBox (free software) under Ubuntu 10.4 to run Microsoft's C++ 6.0 compiler with excellent results. VirtualBox is supported by Oracle Corp (www.virtualbox.org). I'm using a virtual machine with Windows 2000 to host C++ but it should work similarly with XP or Win7. If you choose a newer OS there will of course be a larger host RAM requirement. Setup was about 30 minutes, including installing Win2K. Worth trying if you have a MS Win2K/XP/Vista/Win7 install CD available.

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I'm currently running MS Office 2007 Professional edition on Wine 1.2 RC5 without any problem with performance. The Save as PDF/XPS also works! Wine is improving greatly release after release... Try with latest Wine, Office works just fine!

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Ubuntu comes with OpenOffice, which can edit Excel files.

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but Open office can't run VBA macros... and formatting gets FUBAR when you save to Excel format... –  JD Long Jun 21 '10 at 20:43

I am running Sage, exporting to and from Excel, on Vista, using VirtualBox on Natty Narwhal. You can set up "shared folders" within VirtualBox so that you can see files from either OS. Sage wont install under Wine, and wont export to anything other than Office.

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