Bringing CentOS Linux into MS Network (part 2)


Do not install IcedTea. Many Java-based stuff we’ll use is incompatible with it (either at compile or at run time).

Get Java 6 from Oracle’s web site (not Java 7!). You’d better get the whole SDK, if you plan to do at least some java coding. Do not get Java 7 – again, many stuff we use will not run on it.

If you install Java 6 from RPM (the .rpm.bin file) it will be installed in /usr/java and will be integrated with your system paths (via /etc/alternatives)


Do not install LibreOffice, it’s too buggy when coming to MS file formats.

Get Apache OpenOffice from Uncompress the archive and go to the en-US/RPMS directory. Do not install with yum as it will install IcedTea. Instead, install with rpm: as super-user, ‘rpm -Uvh *rpm‘. Next, install desktop integration: as super-user, ‘cd desktop-integration; rpm -Uvh*

Some nice things for OpenOffice:

  • Get the Bulgarian spell-checker extension from go to Extensions, then search ‘bulgarian’. Download the file, then start OpenOffice and go to Tools -> Extensions. Add it from there, then you can delete the downloaded file.
  • Fix dialogues for Gnome: go to Tools -> Setting, section ‘General’, un-check ‘Use Open Office dialogues’.
  • Install MS Fonts:
    • as superuser, ‘yum install cabextract’
    • wget
    • rpmbuild -bb msttcorefonts-2.5-1.spec
    • cd ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/noarch
    • as superuser, ‘yum install ./msttcorefonts-2.5-1’

For a slightly better .docx support you may also try IBM Lotus Symphony (a tweaked fork of OpenOffice). It’s main annoyance is that every time you run it it will install a pre-load applet in your system tray. Also, some keyboard shortcuts (most notably, Ctrl+C for ‘copy’) seem not to work.


With Skype you have two approaches:

  • The older 4.0 version had a static build which runs out-of-the-box, but is not available from Skype web site. Look around, you might find it somewhere.
  • The newest 4.1. version does not have a satic build and needs some tweaking.

Here is how to get 4.1. running on 64-bit CentOS 6:

  • Get the ‘dynamic’ build for Linux from Skype web site. Uncompress it and, as super-user, put the directory in /opt.
  • Because it is 32-bit, it needs some 32-bit librraies. To porperly get them: run ‘ldd‘ on the binary; get all dependencies; figure out which packages are needed; install packages with the .i686 extension.
  • Because Skype it is built against a very recent Qt version, it will not run on CentOS 6. Get the Ubuntu 10.04 package and uncompress it: ‘ar xv skype-ubuntu-lucid_4.1.0.20-1_i386.deb; gunzip data.tar.gz; tar xf data.tar‘. Move the binary to your Skype directory, but with a new name: ‘mv usr/bin/skype /opt/skype-
  • The Ubuntu build will also require 32-bit libQtWebKit properly preloaded. Get it from an Ubuntu repo, e.g. ‘wget‘. Extract the package: ‘ar xv libqt4-webkit_4.6.2-0ubuntu5.5_i386.deb; tar –lzma -xvf data.tar.lzma‘. As super-user, move the library to Skype directory: ‘mv usr/lib/ /opt/skype-‘.
  • Skype needs a 32-bit GTK theme. For the theme, in your home directory create a file named ‘.gtkrc-2.0‘ and put inside this line:  gtk-theme-name = “My Theme”
  • Remove the skype binary and create a start-up script pointing to skype.bin:

    export GTK2_RC_FILES=”/etc/gtk-2.0/gtkrc:$HOME/.gtkrc-2.0″
    $SKYPE_HOME/skype.bin –resources=$SKYPE_HOME “$@” 

Other Skype tips and settings:

  • Skype comes with a desktop file. Link to it from /usr/share/applications: as super-user, ‘cd /usr/share/applications; ln -s /opt/skype- .’ Then, edit the desktop file to prepend the path to the executable file. Then, link the icon to /usr/share/icons: as super-user, ‘cd /usr/share/icons; ln -s /opt/skype- skype.png’
  • When you run the script on console, Skype might complain about missing GTK2 engine and some related libraries. It will likely run without them, but you can still install them (not forgetting the .686 extension).
  • If you need Skype video, install the v4l1compat package for i686 and preload the library by setting prepending ‘LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/‘ to the skype execution line (last line of the script).
  • If your video is not working with compiz, prepend ‘XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS=1‘ to your skype execution line.
  • To get nicer font rendering with Skype (it uses Qt), create a file named ‘.fonts.conf‘ in your home directory and add these lines:

<fontconfig><match target=”font”><edit name=”hinting” mode=”assign”><bool>true</bool></edit></match><match target=”font”><edit name=”hintstyle” mode=”assign”> <const>hintmedium</const></edit></match><match target=”font”><edit name=”antialias” mode=”assign”><bool>true</bool></edit> </match></fontconfig>

Part 3

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