I have a dual boot system with Windows 7 and Ubuntu installed on my machine. I use Ubuntu much more often than Windows 7.

On Ubuntu I can use LibreOffice Calc, but I'm more used to Microsoft Excel and would like to be able to run it under Ubuntu.

Does anyone have a solution?

  • Best option of course, is to learn whatever tools are available instead of use all kinds of virtualisation to try to run another tool that is in essence the same. – GolezTrol Jun 22 '11 at 20:51

Your best option is to install a copy of Windows (preferably XP as it is much more smaller footprint) in a virtual machine (such as VirtualBox ) and install your copy of Excel inside that, from there you can run the virtual in seamless mode where it crops out the entire background and leaves just the running application on the screen. Quite beautiful actually.

I doubt that you will have much success using a product such as Wine as because the latest office suite relies on the .NET framework that is spotty supported only up to V2 (as opposed to the latest is V4.x)

There is then the commercial backers of Wine called CodeWeavers which support such products on a more professional level... but that is for a fee, and also I dont think even they are up to the latest MS office suite support yet.

EDIT 6-22-2011:

There are a few more options that I have thought of just recently:

With Microsofts latest office release I do believe they now have web apps that function fairly similar to the actual application albeit with limited functionality, but this may give you the flexibility and comfort you seek with the compromise of power.

If you do have windows installed on a home computer, such as a HTPC, you could install you version of Excel on that computer and then RDP/VNC into that computer from Linux and use Excel from there. This would work decently since excel is all text and little graphics.

The last option would be to explore other web applications that offer excel-like products which could offer you comfort better than libre office, and more like excel. I know that Google docs has a web application for excel content, along with completely cloud OSs such as eyeOS

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  • Thanks for your suggestions... I would prefer the "virtual machine" solution... Just want to double check that it is totally OK and normal to have a virtual machine under Ubuntu given that i have already a dual systems (windows 7 and Ubuntu), right? – SoftTimur Jun 16 '11 at 12:15
  • I use Windows XP in a VirtualBox VM under Ubuntu regularly. It isn't as fast as native Windows but it works fine, with one exception (I just posted it as a question here) which has nothing to do with Excel. Legally you would need to buy a copy of Windows in the "Pro" or "Ultimate" or "Business" versions to virtualize--Microsoft's licenses don't allow you to virtualize "Home" editions. – CarlF Jun 16 '11 at 16:06
  • @CarlF , I will take your word for this, as it sounds like something Microsoft would do. I believe this applies if you are trying to run the same license installed and virtual. But on a side note of this, if you did have 2 licenses of any version of windows, running the second license in the virtual should be completely legal, as you would be using your licenses in only one instance either way. @SoftTimur your way is how I run my home computer, although I am using two licenses, it is easy enough to find an old dead computer and just re-purpose that XP license. – CenterOrbit Jun 20 '11 at 13:39
  • @CenterOrbit, MS's license explicitly rejects virtualizing Home. Someone told me once that German courts have ruled this to be an illegal provision--I have no idea whether that is correct. – CarlF Jun 20 '11 at 13:41
  • @CarlF Not to get into a legal debate, as I myself am using only 7 Pro or XP pro in any virtual I run, but I would assume that the ruling in a German court would apply then to only Germany (but I would not doubt that that ruling would effect US ruling as well) and this is the very reason right here that I am running 90% Linux through my home and work systems; when in doubt Linux. IMHO, If you purchase a product, you should be able to use that product how you wish. – CenterOrbit Jun 22 '11 at 19:51

You can run a previous version of Excel using wine.

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The answer is that you can run Excel on Linux through Wine or VirtualBox, but you will incur a lot of overhead by attempting to do so. You are probably better off just using LibreOffice Calc. It has the same features and the same functions. It should be very familiar to you and I doubt you will miss anything. That said, if you would really prefer to use Excel, you could dual boot Windows and Ubuntu on your computer.

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You can use Play On Linux to easily install Microsoft Office on Ubuntu. Everything is well explained here:


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