Building libreoffice headless

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James Carbine James Carbine
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Building libreoffice headless

Howdy,

We would really like to use either the --without-x or --disable-gui
options to build a headless LibreOffice. As shown here:
https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Development/HeadlessBuild. I
recognize that, the time of this posting, it says `WARNING: This is
broken in master and 4.4! Unless you plan to fix it don't use it`. I
attempted looking into fixing it. But the truth is, I don't have the
knowledge to fix it. I know nothing about building LibreOffice.

Can any one either point me in the direction I need to go in order to
build LibreOffice without X (or any gui dependencies)?

-or-

Are there any maintainers that the company I work for(Atomic Jolt) can
pay to fix the headless build option?

We want to make sure there are no gui dependencies.

Thanks!

-James Carbine

Software Developer

Atomic Jolt



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Jan-Marek Glogowski Jan-Marek Glogowski
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Re: Building libreoffice headless

Hi James,

Am 12.06.19 um 16:00 schrieb James Carbine:
> We would really like to use either the --without-x or --disable-gui
> options to build a headless LibreOffice. As shown here:
> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Development/HeadlessBuild. I
> recognize that, the time of this posting, it says `WARNING: This is
> broken in master and 4.4! Unless you plan to fix it don't use it`. I
> attempted looking into fixing it. But the truth is, I don't have the
> knowledge to fix it. I know nothing about building LibreOffice.

That info might be completely out of date. It refers to 4.4, which is a few
years old. But then I never build without GUI. As you may know there is the
LibreOffice Online version since a few years[1]. That can run in a docker
container on a server. But I don't know if it really is build without any GUI
libraries at all. I never used it.

> Can any one either point me in the direction I need to go in order to
> build LibreOffice without X (or any gui dependencies)?
>
> -or-
>
> Are there any maintainers that the company I work for(Atomic Jolt) can
> pay to fix the headless build option?

Please have a look at [2].
> We want to make sure there are no gui dependencies.

It's not clear what that means for you. No gui libraries linked or no running
gui reqired.

On Linux, the X11 libs might be linked to our VCL library (LO's own toolkit),
but X11 is not required to run even normal LO as a server background process. It
runs just fine when started with the --headless parameter and the SVP VCL
backend via SAL_USE_VCLPLUGIN=svp on a headless server. With the proper --accept
parameter you can control it remotely via UNO. That's what the Java unit tests
do. Start an background LO instance and control it. Same for Python an even UI
tests.

I used to run LO builds and tests on a headless server in a Tinderbox (a LO
build bot). I even implemented headless for MacOS, so I could run the tests and
builds via SSH without any windows, just bitmaps. But that was ~1.5 years ago -
code might have bit-rotted since then.

But this still required GUI libraries linked, as it's just a command line
switch, which replaces the OS GUI parts for bitmaps, simplified.

HTH

Jan-Marek

[1] https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-online/
[2] https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/
[3] https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Development/Tinderbox
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James Carbine James Carbine
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Re: Building libreoffice headless


> That info might be completely out of date. It refers to 4.4, which is a few
> years old. But then I never build without GUI. As you may know there is the
> LibreOffice Online version since a few years[1]. That can run in a docker
> container on a server. But I don't know if it really is build without any GUI
> libraries at all. I never used it.
I tried building with the flag and it failed. But it is also entirely
possible that I did it wrong.
> Please have a look at [2].
Thanks, I'll take a look at that list.
> It's not clear what that means for you. No gui libraries linked or no running
> gui reqired.

We are deploying to a shared machine that does not have the X11
libraries available(or rather are prohibited). We are trying to build
LibreOffice without X in a way that we can then replicate for a Debian
package build that does not require X11 as a dependency. The resulting
package will be deployed to a headless server environment.

Thanks,

-James Carbine



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Jan-Marek Glogowski Jan-Marek Glogowski
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Re: Building libreoffice headless

Am 13.06.19 um 20:07 schrieb James Carbine:
>
>> That info might be completely out of date. It refers to 4.4, which is a few
>> years old. But then I never build without GUI. As you may know there is the
>> LibreOffice Online version since a few years[1]. That can run in a docker
>> container on a server. But I don't know if it really is build without any GUI
>> libraries at all. I never used it.
> I tried building with the flag and it failed. But it is also entirely
> possible that I did it wrong.

I was told today that for 6.3 the build used to work with --disable-gui (I still
didn't test this). From "./configure --help":

Disable use of X11 or Wayland to reduce dependencies. Not related to the
--headless command-line option. Not related to LibreOffice Online functionality.
Don't use unless you are certain you need to. Nobody will help you if you insist
on trying this and run into problems.

Doesn't sound encouraging.

>> It's not clear what that means for you. No gui libraries linked or no running
>> gui reqired.
>
> We are deploying to a shared machine that does not have the X11
> libraries available(or rather are prohibited). We are trying to build
> LibreOffice without X in a way that we can then replicate for a Debian
> package build that does not require X11 as a dependency. The resulting
> package will be deployed to a headless server environment.

I see. Then I think it's the best to contract some LO professional support, if
you don't plan to do the development yourself. It would be nice to get this
fixed and supported upstream without this "scary" help comment :-)

Jan-Marek
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