I am looking for a good solution to collaborate on Microsoft Office documents, we currently just edit directly on a Samba share but it's one big mess because sometimes people leave the office with their laptops while docs are open so swap files remain there and then you nobody is sure what's going on.
Is there any good and simple open source solution based on Linux? I've tried Alfresco but it is much more than what I need, we got an internal wiki for most collaboration and I just need some solution for the stuff we need to do in Microsoft Office (mostly Excel files, the rest is in the wiki)

EDIT: Some more info as requested - we are very small group, 4 full time employees and a few freelancers.

The best idea I've got so far is just managing it in a subversion repository with a Lock-Modify-Lock policy but I'd love to hear about better solutions.


5 Answers 5


WSS (Windows SharePoint Services) is free... well, included with a server license anyway. It will take care of the shared editing problem though it is certainly not open source. I haven't seen any products that offer the same tight integration with Office (Word,Excel,Powerpoint) for web collaboration yet.

  • Thanks but we don't have any Windows servers around here :) we are a self-funded startup and we currently don't see any need for Active Directory/Microsoft Exchange and all that. Commented Aug 12, 2009 at 9:41
  • Oh, nice - there is a big need for nearl a zero price (MS BIzspark program - 100 USD after three years for all your needs).
    – TomTom
    Commented Dec 28, 2010 at 19:04

Google Apps? Depends on what your needs are. If your spreadsheets are complicated then no, but if you're dealing with simple stuff it may be an option.


I guess it also depends on your office size. In the office of 75 I manage we use Alfresco extensively. We find it easy enough to do just simple revisions all the way through to drop in replacement for SharePoint, document workflow and wiki.

We primarily use it via samba or webdav, but also use it remotely via the web interface and use the permissions for giving customers access to files too.

I have found the java engine to be quite a hog to run though and Microsoft domain integration documentation quite lacking at times.

Care to define your requirements any better?

  • I added the size of our office at the question. it is very small, we are 4 full time employees and a few freelancers who mostly work out of the office. I did not know I could use Alfresco in a Samba share, how does it manage its locks via Samba? Commented Aug 12, 2009 at 15:21
  • I have noticed locks are not handled as good as they should be. But that also could be to the basic ldap integration we used between Alfresco and AD. If you try to open a file already in use it does not tell you the name of the user with it open, and every couple of days I have to restart the alfresco-virt daemon to clear the file locks that do not get cleared.
    – AgentK
    Commented Aug 16, 2009 at 7:38

Personally I use Confluence Wiki for collaboration, Microsoft Office document support is excellent. I know it's not opensource and free, they provide 30-days trial. It costs only USD10 for 10 user, so it doesn't hurt to evaluate.


DocVerse looks like a promising solution for this. But we need to wait for google to include it :) http://www.docverse.com

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