Linux Office Suites

I am looking for a linux office suite that is as near to Microsoft Office as possible, any ideas?

The reason is that I teach IT in schools and wish to convert to a Linux platform. I don't need the learning curve that goes with a new office suite for 11 to 18 years olds.They currently use Publisher, Word, Excel with very little Access.

Any help and advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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I assume you've looked at OpenOffice/StarOffice and deemed it to far removed from M$?

Crossover Office from CodeWeavers ( could be a nice option for you. Basically a wine guaranteed to work with M$ Office.
Should be close enough:-).

-- Glenn

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OpenOffice ( is a complete suite like MS Office.  StarOffice is a commercial branch of the same suite.

KOffice ( is a good suite for KDE (but of course, still works if you're not using KDE).

The combination of the following applications can also make a very good office suite:

Word Processor - Abiword (,
Spreadsheet - Gnumeric (,
DTP - Scribus (,
Diagrams - Dia (
Graphics - Sodipodi ( and Gimp (

Hope this helps :o)

Duncan Sample
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for my 2 cents...

koffice is a pretty bad product that is unstable as anything else.  it has problems (not of its own fault) writing files that can be read with M$ products and also lacks some of the bells and whistles M$ users like.  It also has stability issues.

OpenOffice does a great job of cloning M$ office's important features while giving other huge advantages.  I used koffice until one day I needed to load a M$ PPT presentation.  I installed openoffice and it worked beautifully.  I've worked with staroffice and I have to recomend it as well.  The star/open office suites rely heavily on XML and thats a very good thing and I hope they are even strong enough to ween users of the M$ smack.  
Open Office is a good option as mentioned earlier, Star Office is excellent,, too. I'm using it at our school, an easy choise, because the ministry of education did provide all schools of our level through out the entire country with a limitless Star Office 6 license, chew on that M$ ....

And the more Linux systems we've enterd into student use, the more I like it when compared to Windoze.
Forgot to mention, a certain company has apparently decided that Star Office is becoming too popular and added some tweks into XP to create difficulties with Star Office.

When installing Star Office 6 in a XP box, everything goes according to the book, but then you have to alter the permissions for the Star Office directories and icons so that the users of the ws are allowed to use the apps. No such problems in W2K, seems to be a deliberatley designed incompatibility, like the small surprises that you probably will run into when installing Adobe Acrobat 6 on a XP ws :D
I would like to add my vote for  It's closest to MS office.  Oh, and they REALLY want you to call it "" with the .org on the end...
I have to say OpenOffice is the way to go most likely as it is most compatibal with MS Office.  (StarOffice is better, but it is not free).

I have also tried the CrossOver Office package, and that worked fine....the latest version supports Office XP, but I'm not sure if it supports'd have to find out.  This solution may be the best for you as the office applications run as they do on windows.
You do have to pay for the software from Codeweavers though.

I'm not sure how important the database functionality is to you, but Star Office does have a database application called Adabas.  I've not looked into it properly, so I don't know if it will open Access files...again you'd have to check the Sun website out to find out.

Codeweavers do a CrossOver Plugin package too which enables you to use Internet Explorer plugins in Linux....for example shockwave, windows media, realplayer etc.

All this software I have had running on Mandrake Linux 8, 9 and 9.1.  I would definately recommend Mandrake over any other distro for your needs.  You can download it for free, or you can buy a pack from them with which you would get technical support.  They also have good web based support too.
donaskmiAuthor Commented:
Perhaps theres a niche in the market.

I have used the open office suite and it did not seem as intuitive as m$ and I had a few problems with adobe pdf file associations.

Star office is becoming more appealing especially as they are offering it free to edu. insts. but I'd have to try it first.
I was really interested in the crossover application by Codeweaver as that will enable us to wean our users away from running M$.
Firstly I could run M$ office on Linux, so that the users get used to the Linux OS.
Further down the road I could then move them over to a choice of two office suites, Star Office and M$ with crossover ?And then finally pull the plug on M$.
I suppose at the end of the day I'll have to try out all of the Linux Office suites and test them out. Now to see how crossover works!

You have all been really helpful but it was Gns who threw in the crossover link so Special Thank You to Gns. Sknslv was also very helpful.
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