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I am planning on making a new system of 6 computers for an office and wanted to use Ubuntu as the main OS.

Is there a program to either convert or be able to use those files so they can be used on Ubuntu?

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What files do you need to run? .exe files? – Alvar Apr 22 '13 at 21:40
@Alvar, I think he means converting Microsoft-Access database files to another format and use another application. – user68186 Apr 22 '13 at 21:42
What version of Ubuntu you will use? – Lucio Apr 22 '13 at 21:56
No matters what Ubuntu or MS Access Version will you use, there is not an efficient alternative to MS Access. There are such "good" alternatives that are handling databases but they are far from what you expect (Tables/Queries/Forms/Reports/Macros, etc.) in a single "Database file". Nevertheless, You can host your files on Ubuntu and open it from Windows XP in a shared folder. But forget about managing. It won't work efficiently. (note the "efficiently" word please), it MAY work. but it won't work as you wish. Good luck! – Geppettvs D'Constanzo Apr 22 '13 at 22:14
@luis-alvardo This question is not a duplicate of the linked question, which is about Office 2010 accdb files. This question is about Access on XP, which are probably mdb files. mdb files can be converted to LO. The other question mentions mdb but doesn't give what this OP is looking for: how and what else can be done to meet the requirement of converting XP Access files to something that can be used in Ubuntu. – chaskes Apr 23 '13 at 0:52

The best solution so far for accessing accdb files has been ucanaccess for LibreOffice 4.2

  1. I downloaded the latest version (was ""), and unzipped it to a place where I will not delete the files.
  2. Then in LibreOffice followed at:
    I just added the archives and closed LibreOffice, just like documented on ucanaccess pages.
  3. Opening first time requires bit typing. At jdbc: write ucanaccess:// and your mdb or accdb file path/filename.
  4. Then at Driver Class field: net.ucanaccess.jdbc.UcanaccessDriver
  5. Next give our name and possibly password, and then select where to save it. You are done.
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+1 I posted an answer to a similar question here which describes the process in detail. – Gord Thompson Sep 3 '14 at 12:35
IMPORTANT: The steps to configure LibreOffice Base with UCanAccess have changed for UCanAccess versions 3.0.1 and later. The answer here has been updated to reflect those changes. – Gord Thompson Oct 11 '15 at 23:39

You should be able to move these files to Ubuntu, but a lot will depend on the the files and your skills. Like all projects, you should think carefully about what your future requirements will be.

Using LibreOffice to an mdb file to an odb file

You said the files were "way back on Windows XP", so presumably they are mdb files. Access used mdb as the file format through Access 2003/Office XP. LibreOffice Base is able to convert these files to odb format; but doesn't have good instructions for this in the help and requires an additional package.

  1. Install mdbtools Install mdbtools or run in a terminal: sudo apt-get --reinstall install mdbtools

  2. Setup an odbc datasource. This is just a text file that tells LibreOffice how to open the file.

    a. Create ~/.odbc.ini

    b. Contents:

    Description = Old XP Invoices
    Driver = MDBTools
    Database = /path/to/accessfile.mdb
  3. Start Base. It will usually open to the open/import database wizard. You can also open the wizard from any other LibreOffice program through: File >> New >> Database.

    a. Choose Connect to an existing database >> ODBC

LibreOffice database wizard

b. Browse to your datasource

choose datasource

c. Click OK

d. On the next two screens, you can Test the connection, then save the database with a new name, and open it for editing.

LibreOffice is able to convert tables, forms, queries, and reports. It will not generally be able to convert any VBA modules.

Using Gnome mdb viewer

Install MDB Viewer [Install MDB Viewer]( Viewer) or run in a terminal: sudo apt-get --reinstall install mdbtools-gmdb2

MDB Viewer lets you view and export the tables, schema, forms, queries, macros, and modules. MDB Viewer

These tools are especially useful if you have an mdb file, but no longer have a licensed copy of Access.

Other options

If you were using Access 2007 on XP, you would need to first save the files in mdb format. There are currently no free tools available to convert or read accdb files.

You might also consider using Access to export the data as xml or csv files and then importing them into Base, MySql, or other freely available databases. Access and Base are good as quick methods to create front ends to data but can be limited as multi-user solutions. MySql and similar options allow you create a solution better suited for multi-users. You would then use Base to easily create a front end that can connect to MySql.

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You also need some libs for the first option to work. There are libmdb2 libmdbodbc1 libmdbsql2, not sure which ones of those you need to install, but I suspect the first two. Without the extra libs you will just get a "driver not found" error. – dieuwe Jun 28 '15 at 22:42

Ubuntu use libreOffice as the default office software package.

With this software, you will be able to open/edit any file that have a Microsoft Office format, so you don't have to worry about a conversion (in must of the cases).

NOTE: You may have format issues, like don't get the exactly same design. For example I draw a simple line in PowerPoint (MO), and then when I open it with Impress (LO) I saw an arrow.

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"any file" won't include MS Access Database Files. BTW. – Geppettvs D'Constanzo Apr 22 '13 at 22:18
LibreOffice comes with a decent support I think. Though, it all depends on the files @OP wishes to use. – Shiki Apr 22 '13 at 22:35
@GeppettvsD'Constanzo It can open MS Access files. But I cannot say it will work 100% in every single case, it really depends. This has been previously discussed – Lucio Apr 22 '13 at 22:54
I am making one test run before i install it on all. I'm just trying to save 600$ by not using windows – Nick Apr 22 '13 at 22:59
@Nick That is the beauty of FOSS :) – Lucio Apr 22 '13 at 23:02

If you only want to view or export the contained data you also could use an online viewer/exporter like . is using the already mentioned mdbtools for .mdb files and the jackcess library (java) for .accdb files. Disclosure: I am the creator of

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