Reflections and Projections

OpenLP Featured In LibreOffice 4.1 Release Notes

LibreOffice Impress

As some of our users will have noted, LibreOffice 4.1 was released on the 25th of July. Included in this release are a whole lot of bug fixes and improvements, but one that stands out is an option that was added to Impress to aid in integration with OpenLP.

As of LibreOffice 4.0, the presenter console extension became part of the core of LibreOffice, and OpenLP was not able to turn this off. Tim, one of our core developers, submitted a bug to the LibreOffice bug tracker, and an Indian student named Manik Malhotra picked it up for part of his Google Summer of Code submission to LibreOffice. Many thanks to Tim for his ongoing push to make folks aware of the bug, and to Manik for writing the fix!

As a result of being mentioned in the release notes, our website had a little bump in the amount of traffic it received on Thursday, Friday and Monday. Sundays are usually our busiest days (I wonder why?) but this past week it was Thursday, followed by Friday, followed by Monday. All three of those days beat the usual Sunday traffic.

OpenLP Website Traffic

Never heard of LibreOffice? LibreOffice is an open source office suite, a free alternative to Microsoft Office. LibreOffice runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, and can read and write most MS Office files. OpenLP supports displaying presentations using LibreOffice on Windows and Linux (OS X is unfortunately currently not supported).

Bug report:

LibreOffice release notes:

Tips on Android App Setup for OpenLP


The Android app for OpenLP adds some nice fexibility to the operation of OpenLP. I personally use this to add songs "on the fly" from the stage on Sunday mornings. It is also useful for speakers that want to control what is being displayed and I'm sure many many other uses. We have recently had a few questions about the remote feature and the setup. You can find detailed instructions in the OpenLP documentation and also info for the Android app.

Networking Basics

Before we get to the tips, we need to be sure have a good understanding of some basic networking terms.

IP Address: This is the unique number that is given to a computer on a network. Think of this as a street address of a house. On most local networks It will look something like this:

LAN: Local Area Network, this is the local network. If you have a typical home setup with a modem and a wireless router the wireless router connects all the computers and assings IP addresses on the LAN. Many users have confused the LAN with the internet. A LAN doesn not have to be connected to the internet at all, it simply provides a way for several close by computers to communicate. A LAN is all that is needed for the remote feature of OpenLP to work.

WiFi: this is the means that you connect to a Local network wirelessly. Again, this does not mean you are connected to the internet.

Now, to the tips...

Get on the Same Network

Many people use the Android app on their mobile phone. One of the most common issues I have ran into when someone is running the remote app is they are not on the network that the OpenLP machine is on. For most setups this means you need to be on the same WiFi network that the OpenLP machine is on.

Connect to the Correct IP Address 

Most networks use DHCP to hand out IP addresses, this means your OpenLP machine may not have the same IP address every week so it may be necessary to check that if you cannot connect with your device. You can find the IP address from the remote settingsscreen in OpenLP. You can also find the IP address by entering the command "ipconfig" in the command prompt in Windows, or by the commands "ip a" or "ifconfig" on most Mac, Linux, and BSD machines. You can also find your OpenLP computer if you know its hostname  on your Android device by using an app such as eZNetScan.

Be Sure to Apply Your Settings

If you need to change your IP address on the Android app be sure to tap the Activate button to activate the changes.

Consider a Static IP Address

A static IP address will help keep you from having a lot of these issues. This may not always be possible, another way to achieve something close to this is using a tool most routers have to reserve dhcp addresses usually bound to the MAC address of a computer. Check your routers documentation but this is usually a pretty simple process.

Over 40,000 Downloads of OpenLP 2.0.1

Download OpenLP Open Source Free Worship Projection Presentation Software

Tracking usage of OpenLP is incredibly difficult. Because it is an open source project, there are no registrations to check, you don't know how many times OpenLP has been copied and given to other people. So we don't ever have a true idea of how many churches are using OpenLP.

Tracking downloads is also quite difficult due to OpenLP being available in a number of distribution channels. We know roughly how many downloads there are of the Windows and OS X versions because most folks just download them from our mirrors. There are a couple of BitTorrent downloads, which we cannot track, but it is such a small download that most folks just do a direct download.

Tracking downloads for the various Linux distributions is far tricker, as there are no download statistics available. We cannot retrieve any number from FreeBSD, Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian or Arch. Having said that, we do have a PPA (Personal Package Archive) on for our Ubuntu users, and we are able to track those downloads.

So, using the data we do have available to us, we can surmise that as of the time of posting, OpenLP 2.0.1 has been downloaded 43,781 times. That's over forty thousand times! The real figure is probably a lot higher, thanks to the downloads we can't track, but this still gives us a rough idea of the impact of OpenLP.

If you haven't downloaded OpenLP yet, DO IT NOW!

Announcing End of Support for Older Versions of Ubuntu

Ubuntu 12.04

The OpenLP team has always supported older versions of Ubuntu, even when they were no longer supported by Canonical. Unfortunately this places a strain on the team and on which tools we can use to continue developing OpenLP. For this reason we have decided to only support versions of Ubuntu that Canonical themselves support.

Recently Canonical announced that they would be ending support for Ubuntu 10.04 and 11.10 at the end of April. This means that only versions of Ubuntu 12.04 and higher are supported by Canonical. OpenLP therefore will only be supporting releases on Ubuntu 12.04 and higher as of immediately. This also means that the upcoming 2.0.2 bugfix release of OpenLP will only be available on Ubuntu 12.04 and higher.

Since 12.04 is the latest Long Term Support release of Ubuntu, we are hoping that this should not affect anyone. If you are affected, and there is some reason why you cannot upgrade to a later version of Ubuntu, you can come into our IRC channel and chat with us about getting OpenLP running on your computer.

He is Risen!

We, the OpenLP team, wish you all a very blessed Easter time. We hope that you remember our Lord almighty, who sent his son Jesus into the world to save us.

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

John 11:25-26 ESV

Things have been rather quiet recently on the OpenLP front, and we wanted to give you an update about the current state of development. We will be releasing another bug fix version of the 2.0 release in the near future (most of us are just rather occupied with real life), and will continue with these bugfix versions until either 2.2 is released, or there are no more bugs (yeah right!). Of course we've been putting most of our effort behind continuing the development of OpenLP, implementing more features and doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work to ensure OpenLP remains a stable product.

Image Groups

Some nice features have been added recently:

  • The "Blank to" buttons in the live controller expand into 3 separate buttons if there is enough space (like in version 1.2.x)
  • You can create "image groups"
  • The remote plugin can now use HTTPS
  • The remote plugin can now also be password protected

SSL and Password

Some other internal improvements:

  • Save services without media files
  • Media players (such as Phonon and VLC) are now in OpenLP core, instead of the media plugin
  • Various bugs in the media players have been fixed
  • Preparing to move our code from Python 2 to Python 3 numerous performance improvements have been added to the code
  • Rewritten the Settings code
  • Various other internal rewrites and cleanups

We also have some new Czech Bibles available for download in the First Time Wizard.

NOTE: The current development version is not stable. Do not use it at church, it will crash :)

We are also happy to see that the community is growing, with more people helping out on the forums. We are always grateful for every helping hand.

Android 1.0 release

OpenLP Android Remote

After six months of testing, we are proud to announce the release of Version 1.0 of the Android client.

In addition to various features and bug fixes, 6 new translations have been added, which brings the total of supported languages to 25.

If you already have the remote client installed, you should see an update for it. If you don't have it installed, and you want to try it out, you can get it from the Google Play store, just search for "OpenLP"

Workaround for DEP error in Windows


Recently we have had users report issues with OpenLP running on certain installs of Windows with an error about DEP. This seems to be mostly on Windows Vista but could possibly be an issue with more recent versions of Windows. DEP stands for Data Execution Prevention. In short this is to prevent malicious programs from using memory in a way that it shouldn't. That is a really poor description, but the folks at Wikipedia have a detailed description. You can find out more from Microsoft too.

When a program you know you can trust experiences an issue with DEP you should be able to disable DEP for that program. There is an issue, however, chances are if you try this method OpenLP will not be listed (manually selecting the exe will also not work from my experience). This will make it impossible to disable DEP for OpenLP and to use OpenLP. This leaves us at Plan B, disabling DEP system wide. From my reading this doesn't apear to put you at a terribly greater security risk if you have good safe computing practices. Using system restore (creating a restore point), backing up your system, contacting your systems administrator, and all other warnings are in play here since this will in theory weaken your computer's security.

Now you are aware what this does, here is how to disable DEP and get OpenLP running.

First, you need to open an elevated command prompt or administrative command prompt. If you are unsure how to do that, Vista x64 has a great guide on how to do it.

Next enter this command into the elevated command prompt:

bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOff

You should get a message back letting you know the changes have been made successfully.

Close the command prompt and all running applications then reboot your machine.

OpenLP should now start and run for you. If you want to enable DEP later open an elevated command prompt and enter:

bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx OptIn

Reboot and DEP is now enabled again.

These instructions were taken from instructions on the Vista x64 site I suggest you give it a look also.

This may not be the best way to do this as we don't seem to have any real DEP/Windows experts here so if you have a better way let us know in the comments below and if it checks out we will update the blog entry.

Our First Bugfix Release: OpenLP 2.0.1 AKA Buggy Benjamin

Unfortunately it seems that the 2.0 release of OpenLP didn't go quite as smoothly as planned, and a few bugs crept into the release just a few days before the deadline. Fortunately we've been able to track these bugs down and fix them.

The bugs we've fixed are:

  • Song export and import now works correctly
  • Transparent themes are once again transparent
  • PowerPoint/lmpress files with unicode characters in the filename can be imported
  • OpenLP is now more usable with the XFCE desktop on Linux

Please note that it will still be necessary to use an older version of VLC on OS X (2.0.3) as more recent versions are still troublesome (2.0.4 and 2.0.5) and we are attempting to rectify the problem.

We hope that despite the name, this version is less buggy than the previous one and that you can use it with confidence during your acts of worship.

As usual, you can grab this release from the download page. The torrents, portable versions and various Linux packages will be updated over the next week or so.

Using Images as a Slide Show


A feature we have been using regularly at our church has been images as a slide show. We use images for announcements since we have someone who is gifted with photo editing software. It makes some really nice slides for announcements and very personalized. This could also be useful for those last minute needs such as someone wanting to show pictures snapped at a youth event or outing or a variety of other things.


To start select the images you want to use from the Media Manager, then add to the service.

The easiest way is to multi-select the images by holding Control to select individual images or holding Shift to select a series of images in a row. Then add to the service. You can also drag one image at a time and then drag on top of the existing images and select add to selected item.

That is it you should now have a group of images under the heading "Images" in the Service Manager.

Service Manager

 Next when you are ready to show your images, go live with the group of images. You will now see a timer option in the Live pane. Select the amount of time you want the images to stay on screen and push play.


You now have a very easy image slide show. We usually have some music in the background playing as people come in. We have a very pro looking pre-service set of announcements that can be put together at the very last minute.

Windows 8 and Buggy Benjamin [Updated]

Windows 8

We've had a number of reports recently of users with Windows 8 being unable to run OpenLP. Unfortunately from our side we have not had any problems with our tests on Windows 8. If you have Windows 8 please contact us to let us know your experiences, both good and bad. Even if everything is working perfectly fine, we want to know that.

We also need a few technically-inclined people who are experiencing these issues to help us figure out what is going wrong. You should be comfortable with the command line as there are a number of technical bits and pieces that you will need to do, such as installing Python and some of OpenLP's dependencies.

Secondly, we have found two regressions in version 2.0, which have been fixed but are waiting for a release. The first is an issue with transparent themes which are no longer transparent, and the second is a bug in the export function.

Interestingly, we never realised how much the export feature was used until it was broken. We've had quite a number of folks reporting the issue.

If you are experiencing either of these issues on Windows or Mac OS X then we recommend downgrading to version 1.9.12, which can still be found on SourceForge. Users on Linux can either patch their version of OpenLP with help from us, or sit tight until we make a bugfix release.

We're hoping to make a release sometime in December.

Release Update

We're hoping to release version 2.0.1 on Sunday the 6th of January, the first release of the new year.