Is FreeBSD simple enough for Novices, Will FreeBSD accept Office 98 + Publisher?

Zhang Weiwu zhangweiwu at
Sat Apr 28 06:34:29 UTC 2007

Dear James

I am afraid the answer is no. FreeBSD is simple enough on its technical
structural but not the kind of "simple" as to novice user (so the right
question might be if FreeBSD is novice-user friendly enough or easy to
learn enough).

The OS best fitting your requirement could be Ubuntu Linux or SuSE,
while both can run Office 98, but you probably need to buy and install a
software called CrossOffice (around 65$) before you can run Office 98.
However the OpenOffice office suit which by default installed in SuSE
and Ubuntu is superior than Office 98 in functionality, and can open
your old Office 98 documents just fine (except, if you are in China, the
Chinese compatibility is not very good for both Office 98 and

If you install CrossOffice, Microsoft Publisher 2000 can run on it, but
better check with CrossOffice sales people first, this company designed
and sells CrossOffice:

The interface of Ubunti Linux is very easy to learn and is not very
different from Windows.

I myself use OpenOffice Draw for making publications. For me it's
enough, however it lack the feature of template publications which
Publisher offers, so if you think templates are very important (e.g.
being able to use template to create a Christmas Card in minutes without
having design knowledge like match color) then maybe you still need

I myself use OpenSuSE for desktop, making publication and doing
spreadsheet for business, writing documents, contracts and invoices,
using email etc. (Right now I am using it). I know many friends use
Ubuntu that can do these things just fine. FreeBSD is used as server
system here in my office. FreeBSD also can run a lot of desktop software
but all through the years I generally see much more Linux users using
desktop software.

Best Regards

On Fri, 2007-04-27 at 22:20 -0400, james thompson wrote:
> How difficult is FreeBSD to use in place of MS windows, say compared to 
> Apple OSX?  I believe it may be able to run Offide 98; can Office 98 
> with Publisher be ran on FreeBSD?  I want to use FreeBSD to compose 
> articles, and combine them into a Book for publication, as a Home Office 
> Operation by a person with little experience beyond windows.   In 1995, 
> I took a MicroComputer Operating Systems course in Windows 3.11 and DOS 
> 6.22.   I have used Windows 95, 98, and XP Home & upgraded to Media Edition.

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