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Lotus 1-2-3 for Linux

This is a native port of Lotus 1-2-3 Release 3 to Linux. There's an article documenting how this is possible here.

Lotus 1-2-3 for Linux



First, you need a version of binutils that is compiled with coff-i386 target support. You can check like this:

$ objdump --info | grep coff-i386

Note: Most distributions do not enable this for some reason.

Run the included to download and compile a version of binutils known to work for this.

Secondly, you need a copy of Lotus 1-2-3 for UNIX, you can download it here. Just place the raw disk images in the build directory and run

Finally, just run make.


The following packages are required

Ubuntu Fedora Debian (bookworm) Ubuntu (bionic)
build-essential glibc-devel.i686 build-essential build-essential
gcc-multilib libgcc.i686 gcc-multilib gcc-multilib
lib32ncurses-dev ncurses-static.i686 lib32ncurses-dev libncurses-dev:i386


Run make install to install into /usr/local.

Run make install prefix=/my/prefix to install into a custom prefix.

Run make uninstall or make uninstall prefix=/my/prefix to uninstall.


Just run ./123 in the project directory after building, or, if you installed it, run 123.

Getting Started

There is a quick start guide in the wiki here, and the full manual can be seen here here.

There is a man page in share/man/man1/123.1 that describes the command line options.

Lotus 1-2-3 has context sensitive online help, you can press F1 at most times to see some hints.

Note: You use the / key to open the 123 menu!

If you've used any spreadsheet before, you should be able to get started quickly. Functions use @ instead of =, but the common functions like @SUM, @AVG, @INDEX, and even @HLOOKUP all work as you would expect.


  • Q. How do I quit 123?

If the status indicator in the top right says READY, try /Quit Yes.

If it doesn't say READY (it might say ERROR, HELP POINT, MENU or something else), try hitting Esc until it goes back to READY.

  • Q. I get the error 'invalid compressed data--code out of range'.

You have a very old gzip with broken lzw/pack support. You can try running the script to build a more recent gzip, then rerun the extract script.


  • The keyboard map seems to be incomplete (XTerm compatible terminals should be working, please test others!)
  • Graphs don't work yet (Partially working!, see #5).
  • Printing doesn't work yet (Print to file works, print to lpr is being worked on, see #50).
  • There is limited i18n support (We're working on it, see #73).
  • File an issue if you notice something, there are probably lots of minor issues that can be fixed!