21 August 2012

LibreOffice 3.6 “The Selected JRE Is Defective”

Having got past some initial installation hassles that required deleting my LibreOffice profile, I hit a problem with Java, while in Tools, Options.  Here’s how to test this if it happens to you; go to the MediaWiki section in Options…

If you have the problem, you will get this error dialog:

I “fixed” this by installing the 32-bit Java JRE 6 update 33, being the current most updated version of the fading Java 6 line.  It has to be 32-bit as LibreOffuce is a 32-bit application (and fair enough), and it has to be Java JRE 6 rather than 7, because for practical purposes, LibreOffice 3.6 doesn’t work with modern Java JRE 7.5

There’s a lot of “UI pressure” at the Oracle site to download and use JRE 7 rather than JRE 6, which I took to mean 7 is fairly mature and 6’s days are numbered, so I recently switched from the 6 update 31 I was using, to the current 7 update 5.

There’s also a lot of detail on LibreOffice 3.6 and Java JRE 7, claiming that the new Java is supported, why Oracle’s poor installation practices get in the way, and how one overcomes this.

Originally, the LibreOffice code base started as Star Office, which was acquired by Sun and user as a poster child for Java.  This continued with OpenOffice, but since the developers left after the Oracle takeover, the intention is to dump Java.  I’d be very glad if they did, because:

  • LibreaOffice already loads faster than OpenOffice after reducing Java
  • Java is edge-facing, frequently exploited and frequently updated
  • LibreOffice lags behind effective support for latest Java updates
  • Java installs tend to leave exploitable older versions in place

The last is a very old issue that still hasn’t gone away completely.

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