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Installing ZK Spreadsheet in Debian Lenny

ZK spreadsheet is an online spreadsheet which enables users to import and export excel files and edit excel files within the browser. This can be thought to be similar to Google Spreadsheet. Only that it is open source and can be installed on your own server. Another very similar open source product which I came across was Sheetster but the setup was not very straight forward and also I was not really impressed with the UI and functionality.

Below, I give the steps for installing ZK spreadsheet on Debian Lenny:

  1. First we install tomcat5.5.
    # apt-get install tomcat5.5 tomcat5.5-webapps tomcat5.5-admin

    Accessing http://localhost:8180/ should display the default Tomcat home page.

  2. Download ZK Spreadsheet Demo (Executable) from During the time of writing this article, the beta version did not have Save and Import features enabled. So I proceeded to download the stable version from Either way the procedure for installation is the same.
  3. Extract it and move the war files to webapps directory.
    # unzip
    # cd zk-spreadsheet-demo-2.0.0-Beta
    # mv zssapp.war zssdemo.war /var/lib/tomcat5.5/webapps/
  4. Make the below modifications in /etc/tomcat5.5/policy.d/03catalina.policy.
    // These permissions apply to JULI
    grant codeBase "file:${catalina.home}/bin/tomcat-juli.jar" {
        permission "${catalina.base}${file.separator}webapps${file.separator}zssapp${file.separator}WEB-INF${file.separator}classes${file.separator}", "read";
        permission "${catalina.base}${file.separator}webapps${file.separator}zssdemo${file.separator}WEB-INF${file.separator}classes${file.separator}", "read";
    //added for zssapp webapp
    grant codeBase "file:${catalina.base}/webapps/zssapp/-" {
  5. Restart tomcat5.5.
    # /etc/init.d/tomcat5.5 restart

    The ZK spreadsheet should now be accessible at http://localhost:8180/zssapp/ and the demo at http://localhost:8180/zssdemo/.

  6. The spreadsheet documents are stored in the zssapp web application directory. To protect others from reading this data, you need to perform the below two steps:

If you face any issues or have any queries reg. ZK Spreadsheet, you can post in the forum at



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