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If I'm to leave Microsoft XP behind I need to work with my MS Access data files in Libreoffice Base or something similar.

How do I get LibreOffice Base to access MS Access 2003 data files?

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You may need to install mdbtools from the ubuntu software center to be able to access Access files.

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How do I get LibreOffice Base to access MS Access 2003 data files?

You can use the UCanAccess JDBC driver to allow LibreOffice Base to manipulate Microsoft Access database files. For detailed setup instructions see my answer to

Is it possible to open an Access 2010 database file without using Wine or VirtualBox?

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Simply open LibreOffice Base, and choose Open. Than change the filter to Any file (.) and choose your Accesss base file. However there may be some issues while importing bases.

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