Apache OpenOffice is a free open source office suite. Apache OpenOffice can be run as a Windows Service using FireDaemon Pro, which allows you to have the application start automatically at boot prior to login, start multiple instances of the application and more. This HOWTO will show you how to set it up. You can also use Fusion to manage FireDaemon and other Windows services via a web browser.

OpenOffice Setup Under FireDaemon

Download the latest OpenOffice files from the OpenOffice website.

During installation, OpenOffice asks what directory you want to unpack the files to. You don't need to pay attention to that directory, but you do need to pay attention to the installation directory which by default is C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenOffice 4\.

Start the application manually first to register OpenOffice. You do not need to provide any information if you do not want to, just click the next and finish buttons.

Download and install FireDaemon Pro into the directory of your choice, typically C:\Program Files\FireDaemon.

Next start the FireDaemon GUI from the desktop shortcut. Click on the "Create a new service definition" button in the toolbar (or type Ctrl+N) and enter the information into the fields as you see below. Adjust the paths to suit your installation. Note there are no required parameters.

  • Executable: The path to the soffice.exe file. For the purposes of this HOWTO, the path is C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenOffice 4\program\soffice.exe.
  • Working Directory: The directory containing the soffice.exe file. For the purposes of this HOWTO, the path is C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenOffice 4\program

You do not need to fill out the parameters if you are just starting the application. If you are running OpenOffice as a server, then you will need to enter the following in the parameters:

-headless -accept=socket,host=0,port=8100;urp;

Now click on the Settings tab. If you DON'T want to see your Apache OpenOffice console running, uncheck the Interact with Desktop check box & select “Hidden” from the “Show Window” dropdown. You must run Apache OpenOffice as the user you installed it as. In the Logon Account field type your username (e.g. Administrator) and then enter the user's password twice in the Password and Confirm fields. You can change the Process Priority to allocate more CPU time to OpenOffice or specify which CPU or core Apache OpenOffice will run on (in the case of multi-processor, hyperthreaded or multi-core CPUs). You must change the "Job Type" to "Global Job", otherwise when Apache OpenOffice is restarted, the child processes will not be terminated properly.

Now click on the Lifecycle tab. Uncheck Graceful Shutdown as leaving it checked might delay the shutdown of Apache OpenOffice.

Now click on the OK button to install and start Apache OpenOffice!