Libmwaw glitch?

I am trying to migrate an elderly friend to a new Mac. He has been using AppleWorks since forever, and now finally he is going to have to give it up. He has lots of AppleWorks documents floating around in his documents folder, and not all of them even have the correct file extension, since they date back to the Classic Mac OS days. Regardless, when I try to open any one of them in LibreOffice, I get “General error. General input/output error.” This happens even when I open an empty text file. Most of these files are very simple in format, so the problem isn’t that the mwaw filter is gagging on a difficult file to parse in terms of formatting. I checked: LibreOffice seems to be using libmwaw v 0.3.3; that is the glib included in the app. Any assistance in getting this unwedged would be greatly appreciated!

as you find libmwaw-0.3.3 in the LibreOffice’s repository, this means that you use LibreOffice 4.3.

Even if the message does not seem directly related to (*), are you using LibreOffice 4.3.0 on OSX ? If so, you must either download LibreOffice 4.3.1 ( release candidate, …) or an older version of LibreOffice 4.2.

If this does not work and if some files are not confidential, it may be useful to see a problematic file…

(*) normally, the default filter must be called and the document must be opened with gibberish characters…


  • the naming of libmwaw-0.3.3 is confusing, it only means that LibreOffice is compiled with libmwaw-0.3.*. In fact, LibreOffice 4.3 is compiled with libmwaw-0.3.1 (which was the latest version of libmwaw when the sources of LibreOffice 4.3 were frozen).

The problem with “General error. General input/output error.” is that it is not indicative of what has occurred. It may be an error related to libmwaw or it may (and IMO is more likely to) be an error relating to file handling at the operating system level. Note that not all AppleWorks file types are currently supported (refer this question).

The indicated library is maintained by LO developers, so LO should always be using the latest available version. All I can suggest is contacting one of the project admins (listed at the bottom of the Home page).