Is there an easy to compile plain C XLS (Excel sheet(s)) to CSV (or other text delimited format) converter for Linux or the BSDs that doesn't rely on Perl and installing a bunch of module perl modules or using X, any kind of GUI, or Windows?

I've looked at http://search.cpan.org/~ken/xls2csv/script/xls2csv and it's just about right except that I don't want to have to use CPAN on every machine I need this on to build test and install the requirements.

2 Answers 2


No C but CPAN free ...

You can use pyExcelerator a python module to read/write excel files. As a bonus it comes with a nice converting tool: py_xls2csv. It is also packaged in debian (so probably in all debian-like and other distributions too) and freeBSD under the names python-excelerator and py-excelerator respectively.


If you're happy with xls2csv as it runs in one machine, you can use PAR::Packer to build a distributable package for all other machines with the same architecture. You can include as much of perl and its modules and dependencies as you want, to the point of creating a stand-alone executable with no perl dependencies whatsoever. Quoting from the forementioned perldoc:

   Stand-alone setup
           % pp -o packed.exe source.pl        # makes packed.exe
           # Now, deploy 'packed.exe' to target machine...
           $ packed.exe                        # run it

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