Tips & tricks for installing FreeOffice on a USB flash drive

FreeOffice for Windows

If you want to carry SoftMaker FreeOffice for Windows and important documents with you, you can copy FreeOffice to a USB flash drive. You can then run SoftMaker FreeOffice from the USB flash drive on any Windows-based computer (a borrowed or public computer, for instance). Once you unplug the USB flash drive, no trace of FreeOffice is left behind on the PC.

Here's how it works:

  1. Install SoftMaker FreeOffice on your regular PC's built-in hard drive. This lets you work with the applications in the regular way, even without a USB flash drive.
  2. Click on the Windows Start button, then select Programs > SoftMaker FreeOffice > Utilities > Install SoftMaker FreeOffice on a USB stick.
  3. Follow the prompts, and the program copies the complete SoftMaker FreeOffice folder and the complete folder My Documents\SoftMaker to your USB flash drive. This gives you access to SoftMaker FreeOffice program files, as well as all of your documents and settings from My Documents\SoftMaker on the USB flash drive.

When the program is done, your USB flash drive contains a fully functional copy of SoftMaker FreeOffice which does not register itself in Windows, in addition to all of your documents and configuration files.

To launch one of the programs, open the SoftMaker FreeOffice folder on the USB flash drive and click on the program you want to run (for example, TextMaker.exe or PlanMaker.exe).

FreeOffice for Linux

You can run SoftMaker FreeOffice for Linux from a USB flash drive, too. Here's how it works:

  1. Install SoftMaker FreeOffice on the built-in hard drive of your Linux PC. This lets you work with SoftMaker FreeOffice in the regular way, even without a USB flash drive.
  2. Create a folder on the USB flash drive and copy the contents of the SoftMaker FreeOffice application folder (for example, /usr/share/freeoffice) to this folder:
  3. mkdir /media/disk/freeoffice (replace /media/disk with the path of your USB flash drive)
    cd /usr/share/freeoffice
    cp -Rv * /media/disk/freeoffice (replace /media/disk with the path of your USB flash drive)
  4. In the new folder on the USB flash drive, create a file with the name portable.txt. Its content does not matter:
  5. cd /media/disk/freeoffice (replace /media/disk with the path of your USB flash drive)
    touch portable.txt

    The portable.txt file is just a "marker file" that informs SoftMaker FreeOffice that it should run in portable mode and not leave any configuration files on the host operating system.

  6. Then, launch TextMaker:
  7. ./textmaker

    TextMaker then creates two folders:

    /media/disk/freeoffice/SoftMaker – that's where the documents and templates go
    /media/disk/freeoffice/.softmaker – that's where the configuration files go

    TextMaker then installs its default document templates and configuration files into these folders. This can take up to half a minute. Once the installation is complete, TextMaker starts.

    At this point you can copy additional documents and templates to the flash drive, if you want. Put documents in /media/disk/freeoffice/SoftMaker and templates in /media/disk/freeoffice/SoftMaker/Templates 2012.

  8. To launch one of the programs, open the SoftMaker FreeOffice folder on the USB flash drive and double-click on the program you want to launch (textmaker, planmaker, or presentations).