Doing a WordPerfect 8.0 install on Linux

This is a brief description of how I installed WordPerfect version 8.0 on my Linux machine. I initially had some problems with the installation, so I posted a request for help on the DC-area Linux user's group listserver. Quite a few people offered suggestions, and some people told me of similar problems, so I decided to tabulate my experiences:

History: The targeted Linux machine is currently a stand-alone (non-networked) desktop (actually, a Toshiba 435CDS laptop) 120 Mhz Pentium, with 48 MB of RAM, running Redhat 5.2 and a 2.0.36 kernel. I had some old Wordperfect 5.0 graphics files which I wanted to examine, so I installed the non-licensed version of Wordperfect 8.0. Worked fine, but I knew that the non-licensed version was time limited, so I decided to get a licensed version. When I saw the licensed version for sale for 20 bucks, I bought it. I un-installed the non-licensed version, and this is where the fun began.

The "official" version would not install. No matter how I tried, I wound up with a whole bunch of error messages, most of which said something like

chmod: /wplib/xyz: No such file or directory

So, what to do? I posted a help request to the DC area linux user's group, and various individuals suggested the following websites:
They offered some help, but only the last one was really applicable.

But, even this last site was not an acceptable solution; it recommended that I create a tar file on my hard drive which was a duplicate of the info on the CDROM, then untar the tar file, and then do the install from the hard drive. It stated that 750 MB of free space would be required on the hard drive to pull this off. I only had about 434 MB available, but I decided to try it anyway. I got as far as creating the tar file, but the tar file wound up being about 372 MB in size. I then realized that the "recommended" 750 MB of space was probably legitimate, as I would probably generate some 370+ MB of files on the hard drive if I was to attempt to untar the tar file (in addition to the already-created 372 MB tar file). So, I deleted the tar file (getting my 434 MB back), and decided to dig a little bit deeper.

What I discovered was that the bulk of the info on the CDROM was graphics files and "extra" stuff. I then worked out the following scheme to do a successful install. To pull this off, you will have to have root priveliges:

The only remaining issue is security; some of the mentioned websites provide some info on this. Apparently, the standard WordPerfect installation has some security holes. These were not a concern for me, since I'm working in a standalone (non-networked) environment, but I recommend you review the security issues. One individual, in particular, provided some additional insight into security issues, and sent me a suggested script file, you can view his suggested implementation, described below, or contact him directly by emailing to peterw ["at" sign] usa ["dot"] net [the preceding garbage inserted to foil some of the dumber spambots.]:

******** begin quoted message ***********
WordPerfect does have tmp dir problems, in general (*not* just at installation time!) -- it likes to make wpc-$HOSTNAME dirs every time it starts. But it respects the TMPDIR environment variable. I recommend adding the following to /etc/profile to help avoid such problems (because other apps have similar problems that are solved with a good $TMPDIR):

# TMPDIR for safety
if [ -z "${TMPDIR}" ]; then
        # TMPDIR not set
        if [ $TMPDIR = //tmp ]; then
                # holy smokes! This user's home dir is "/"? SysV-root?
        if [ \! -d ${TMPDIR} ]; then
                mkdir -m 0700 ${TMPDIR} 2>/dev/null && export TMPDIR \
                        || echo "Warning: unable to create safe TMPDIR"
                export TMPDIR

And here's an old shell script I use to launch wp8, which refuses to run the app if there's an obvious problem with TMPDIR:

if [ -z "${TMPDIR}" ]; then
if [ ! -d "${TMPDIR}" ]; then
   /bin/mkdir "${TMPDIR}" && TMPDIR_TEST="ok"
   if [ ${TMPDIR_TEST} != "ok" ]; then
        /bin/echo "Unable to create safe tmp directory ${TMPDIR}"
        exit 1
    /bin/chmod o= "${TMPDIR}"
# Set $TMPDIR for the wpc-$HOSTNAME junk
export TMPDIR
# Clear LD_LIBRARY_PATH to prevent reported seg faults
# Set the PATH and exec the app, passing any command-line args
PATH=${PATH}:/path/to/wp8/wpbin export PATH
exec xwp "${@-}" &

Since I've recently installed the boxed WP 8 and don't have any "wpc" dirs in /tmp, I assume that the install also respects TMPDIR.

*********** end quoted message (from peterw) **************

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