Installing LibreOffice on Linux

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Notes on Installation

First time installing LibreOffice on GNU/Linux?

If you have never installed LibreOffice in GNU/Linux or if you are just trying to install LibreOffice to get a job done or to have a working Office Suite, these instructions are probably not for you.

For normal everyday users we strongly advise that you use your distribution's installation processes, especially those with graphical interfaces. Check your distribution's help for how to do this.

The instructions below are for those who need to install LibreOffice packages directly from our site. This happens if the LibreOffice that comes with your distribution has some configuration options that are undesired, or if you want to run a development or newer version than the one available at the distribution's repositories, or if your distribution has expired and no longer provides up-to-date software versions.

In any case these instructions are void of any liability, and it is strongly advised you do a thorough backup of your data (e.g. your home directory) before proceeding.

There is a script, at the bottom of this wiki, to make the whole job much easier. It is written for .deb installers but can be modified for .rpm.

Should I uninstall the LibreOffice that comes with my Distro?

Yes, we strongly advise users to install these packages in a "clean" environment. It should not be a major problem to have as many versions of LibreOffice as you wish, but there are some reported installation problems and there are theoretical problems with conflicts in these cases. Again, nothing bad should derive from this, but it could be the reason for some unexpected hassle.

If you do have a previous version of LibreOffice or OpenOffice already installed, then you will need to uninstall it before proceeding further. For instructions on how to do that, please read the section below entitled Uninstalling LibreOffice.

Where to find official installation support?

These instructions are also presented in the "README" file included with the downloaded archive files (look in the "readmes" directory). That official information is maintained by the LibreOffice Documentation Team, and is stored at the following address: http://www.libreoffice.org/welcome/readme.html

Will I have to be a coder / programmer to install LibreOffice?

In most modern GNU/Linux distributions, the Desktop is well integrated with the installation process, so it is very likely that if you have a stock Debian or its derivatives (Ubuntu, Aptosid, Mint, etc.), Mandriva (or Mageia), openSUSE, or other Gnome-compliant complete installation on your system, you could do a full LibreOffice installation without having to type a single line of code.

For those who use KDE, the plot thickens. It seems Adept (when present) has some issues. So, if you encounter problems, please use the Terminal Based Install instructions instead.

Installation of LibreOffice 3.x Linux systems

Find your installation and language packages

Please go to:

http://www.libreoffice.org/download/


Installation packages are available for 32-bit and 64-bit systems, in the “x86” and “x86_64” flavors, respectively, together with language packs for obtaining a LibreOffice 3.3 installation in your preferred international language. Download the appropriate package for your system, distribution, and language. Put it anywhere convenient and accessible to you; e.g. in a directory you've created named "LibreOffice" in your home directory.

The rest of this document assumes, that you are installing the base (en-US) package, but if you are also installing a help pack or a language pack, all you need to do is after installing the base (en-US) package, do the same steps all over again with these extra packages.

The instructions are for installing LibreOffice in US English (en-US, the basic installation), on a 32-bit system. There will be differences in some directory and file names if you are installing a different version (i.e. 64-bit, international, .deb or .rpm), but the process is basically the same, and – hopefully – you will find these instructions easy to follow.

The download page above – hopefully – will have determined if you are installing a .deb – for Debian based distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, *buntu, Aptosid, Knoppix, etc...) – or an .rpm based one like Fedora, Mandriva, openSUSE, CentOS, Mageia, and other .rpm systems. If it doesn't, please use the change? link below the download button to make your selection.


We have put a lot of work on LibreOffice being able to be installed by anyone. So if you have a stock (out of the box) installation of one of the many GNU/Linux distributions, this section is for you. We are assuming that you have already downloaded the appropriate package for your system (if not please read the previous section)


You should be looking at a file called something like:

LibO_3.x.y_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US.tar.gz

which we affectionately call a "tarball". This is a special type of file that serves as an archive. It is actually a collection of folders and files that are packaged together under one file name (that's what ".tar" signifies), and makes downloading easier. The file is also compressed for quicker downloads; identified by the ".gz" part.

NOTE: The file name you end up with can be quite different from these examples; the ".tar.gz" is the common element though. The changes occur if you are running a 64bit system (then it will have a "x86_64" instead of "X86" in its name) or if you are running an RPM based system (then it would contain an "-rpm" instead of "-deb"). But the instructions work the same, regardless of the variations.

We will try to make as much sense as possible. If any of these instructions won't work for you, we have a detailed "Terminal-based" installation that is guaranteed to work, in the next section.

Graphic Installation (Preferred Way)

Unpacking the Tarball
  • Click on your downloaded package (or right-click on it and choose "Open With" and select your preferred unpacking tool).
  • Extract the package to a location, where you have easy access to (a directory in your Home directory would be fine).
  • You should now have a folder that is called something like: LibO_3.x.yrc2_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US/ (remember that names can vary somewhat, as explained earlier).
Installation of Multiple Packages
  • Change into the unpacked folder. In it, you will see some files (hopefully instructions similar to these in a "readme" file) and a DEBS/ (or RPMS/) folder.
  • Change into the last mentioned folder.
  • Select ALL files within this folder (except the "desktop integration" folder, if it exists. We will go into that shortly).
  • Right-click on them and in the drop-down menu select something like "Open with Package Manager" or "Open with Install Tool" (the wording here is defined by your distribution, desktop environment/manager and/or installed packages).
  • You will be prompted for the root password.
  • You may be prompted to install dependencies. Generally, the system will tell you if these dependencies will break something, so if you don't see a message that freaks you out, it is OK to say yes here.
  • If all goes well, and you don't see any error messages from your system, it is safe to say we have succeeded. The program is installed now. To be sure you can open a terminal and type
libreoffice

(you could also try "soffice", if this works for you). If LibreOffice doesn't start up, see Testing the Installation below.

Attention: Some users have reported problems while trying to select and install multiple packages with the "Package Manager" tool of their distribution (specially Ubuntu). Please try to use Synaptic for this step if you encounter problems, or go directly to the Terminal Based Install instructions below.

Desktop Integration or Menu Entries

So you have installed LibreOffice, but you don't want to open a terminal every time you want to start this mind-blowing software, how do you proceed?

  • If you have left it for whatever reason, change into the DEBS/ or RPMS/ folder again.
  • Change into the desktop integration folder.
    • for .deb this folder contains a LibreOffice-3.x-debian-menus_3xxxx.deb file
    • if this is an .rpm package, this folder contains LibreOffice-3.x distribution specific rpms and a generic "freedesktop" one
      • Select the most appropriate package: "mandriva" (for Mandriva, Mageia, ...), "redhat" (for Redhat, CentOS, Fedora,...) and "freedesktop" (if your distribution is not one of these last mentioned ones).
  • Again, right-click on it and select your "Open with" installation tool in the drop-down menu.

If you are using RPM packages chances are that the system will give an error message about a "conflicting" package. Just cancel the installation of the conflicting package and it should all work out fine. If you can't restrain yourself, and need to know why this package was included please go to Other Distributions.

  • Now you can open the LibreOffice suite via your system's Programs > Office menu, and it even could be that LibreOffice is already your default Office Program (click a spreadsheet file to make sure).

Terminal-Based Install

The following instructions are for advanced users or for users who encountered problems during the Graphical Install. We have tested LibreOffice in a lot of distributions. It can be installed in all of them, so these instructions should work. If they don't work for you, we suggest you to follow these steps:

  • Make sure you haven't a corrupt download. Do a checksum, or just try to download the package again.
  • Make absolutely sure you are downloading the package that matches your system. Common errors include trying to install a 64bit package on a 32bit system, or trying to install an .rpm in a .deb based distribution (or the other way around).
  • Make absolutely sure you have root privileges. If not, contact your system admin (required during the installation, not to open and use LibreOffice).
  • Check, if the LibreOffice suite is installed and the problem is only with desktop integration. If you can run the LibreOffice suite via the terminal, you have a desktop integration issue. Try the steps in desktop integration again.

So here is the detailed terminal-based way to install LibreOffice:

Unpack the Downloaded Archive via Terminal

Open a command line (e.g. Konsole, GNOME Terminal, XFCE Terminal etc.) and change to the location where you downloaded the tarball. Now we'll decompress and unpack the package file. You should type:

For the .deb:

tar zxvf LibO_3.x.y_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US.tar.gz 
Remember, ^------- use your downloaded file-name -------^ here.

For the .rpm:

tar zxvf LibO_3.x.y_Linux_x86_install-rpm_en-US.tar.gz

When you have unpacked the downloaded archive, you will see that the contents have been decompressed into a directory called something like "LibO_3.x.yrc2_Linux_x86_install-deb(or -rpm)_en-US" (with naming differences depending on what you have downloaded).

Installing via Terminal

Change to the unpacked directory:

For the .deb

cd LibO_3.x.yrc2_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US/

For the .rpm

cd LibO_3.x.yrc2_Linux_x86_install-rpm_en-US/

The "LibO_3.x.yrc2_Linux_x86_install-deb(or rpm)_en-US" directory contains a sub-directory called DEBS/ (or RPMS/). Change to this directory

cd DEBS/ 

or

cd RPMS/

Enter the following command to have your system incorporate and recognise the installation (you will be prompted to enter your root password before the command will be executed):

Debian / Ubuntu / Mint
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

(if you are using a distribution, where sudo is not installed, you need to install and configure sudo first to use it. If you do not want to install it, use "su -c 'dpkg -i *deb'".)

Fedora / CentOS
su -c 'yum install *.rpm'
Mandriva / Mageia
su -c 'urpmi *.rpm'
openSUSE and other RPM based systems
su -c 'rpm -Uvh *.rpm'
Gentoo

A binary LibreOffice is available in the portage repository:

# emerge libreoffice-bin

http://packages.gentoo.org/package/app-office/libreoffice-bin

Testing the Installation

The above commands do the first part of the installation process. Make sure we succeeded by calling:

libreoffice

or perhaps

libreoffice4.2

or just only

soffice

You should see the LibreOffice splash screen if all went well.

If LibreOffice doesn't fire up, the command name may have been changed. Type an abbreviated part of the likely name, for example:

libreof

then hit [Tab] to see if the complete command name comes up. If so, just hit [Enter] to try it. If that didn't work, look at your GUI screen's Menu > Office segment. It may already be available there.

Otherwise, you can go back to our internet documentation or forum pages for help.

Desktop-integration

To complete the installation process, you may also need to install the desktop integration packages. This may not be necessary for your distribution, and is not required to run LibreOffice, especially if you will use it mainly through the terminal. To see if you even need to do this, go to the Menu in your graphical user interface, check the Office section, and see if the LibreOffice applications are already available. If so, click one and see if it opens; if it does, you're ready to roll. If not, continue on ...

To incorporate this part, go to the "desktop-integration" directory that should be in the DEBS/ or RPMS/ directory. The command is:

cd desktop-integration

Now run the installation command again:

Debian / Ubuntu
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Note the ppa at https://launchpad.net/~libreoffice/+archive/ppa is now almost always in sync with upstream, so please use that version whenever possible.

Fedora / CentOS
su -c 'yum install libreoffice3.3-redhat-menus-3.3-1.noarch.rpm'
Mandriva / Mageia
su -c 'urpmi libreoffice3.3-mandriva-menus-3.3-1.noarch.rpm'
openSUSE and other RPM based systems
su -c 'rpm -Uvh install libreoffice3.3-suse-menus-3.3-1.noarch.rpm' 

The installation process is now completed, and you should have icons for all the LibreOffice applications in your desktop's Applications > Office menu.

Other Distributions

It should be easy to install LibreOffice 3.x on other GNU/Linux distributions not specifically covered in these installation instructions. Besides the .deb and .rpm we make it possible to download source code tarballs from http://www.libreoffice.org/download/

The main aspect for which differences might be encountered is desktop integration.

The desktop-integration directory in the RPMS/ folder also contains a package named

libreoffice3.x-freedesktop-menus-3.3.1.noarch.rpm.

This is a package for all GNU/Linux distributions that support the Freedesktop.org specifications/recommendations (Freedesktop.org Wikipedia logo v3.svg ), and is provided for the optimal installation of other GNU/Linux distributions not covered in these instructions.

Nowadays, most GNU/Linux distributions comply with the Freedesktop.org specifications. But, to maintain backward compatibility, we are aware that many distributions used their own methods for making their desktop environments aware of installed/removed applications, and had their own methods for registering MIME types. The Freedesktop.org specifications/proposals standardize this to use some well-known paths and utilities to update that information. Affected are the icon theme specification, the MIME types specification and the desktop files specification (application launcher definitions).

To install the desktop integration on such systems, download the .rpm for your system (X86 or X86_64) and use the following command (root password will be asked):

su -c 'rpm -Uvh  libreoffice3.x-freedesktop-menus-3.3.1.noarch.rpm'

Setting Up a Language Pack

After you installed your language pack (follow the same instructions as described in Installing the main (en-US) pack – note that you will not need to do the Desktop Integration step again) you will need to set up your LibreOffice suite so it will recognize your language.

Start one of the LibreOffice applications – Writer, for instance.
Go to the menu and select Tools ▸ Options.

In the Options dialog box, click on Language Settings and then click on Languages. Open the User interface list and select the language you just installed. If you want, do the same thing for the Locale setting, the Default currency, and the Default languages for documents.

After adjusting those settings, click on OK. The dialog box will close, and you will see an information message telling you that your changes will only be activated after you exit LibreOffice and start it again (remember to also exit the QuickStarter if it is running).

The next time you start LibreOffice, it will start in the language you just have chosen. For example if you installed pt-Br (Brazilian Portuguese) when you start your LibreOffice, the splash screen will show the all familiar LibreOffice. Nice isn't it?

UnInstalling LibreOffice

Uninstalling a previous version when you install an upgraded one helps to prevent conflicts. Usually upgrades are dealt with by the same tool that deals with updates but this seldom works for alpha or beta testing or pre-release versions.

As seen in the installation process, GNU/Linux distributions have come a long way to make uninstalling software as easy as possible.

Open your system's package manager and find the search tool.

Search for libreoffice.

Deselect or select for removal the first package found, the package manager tool will (hopefully) ask if it should remove other packages. As we of LibreOffice packed all we needed in our installation packages, it should be pretty safe to say yes.

Then scroll the list of the search box again to see if all the libreoffice packages are deselected / selected for removal, if you find any of them still not deselected / selected for removal, select them, and continue to remove them until all are removed (in testing environments it was necessary no more than 3 of these steps).

At some point you will be prompted to uninstall packages that start with libobasis3, it is recommended that you uninstall these too (if you are not prompted, do a search with the term libobasis3 to see if you find anything)

After you apply these changes the LibreOffice suite should have been removed from your system, to make sure try to find any menu entries, and to be double sure type in a terminal:

libreoffice

If the LibreOffice splash screen appears you can try to find any packages left behind in the package manager. If you made double sure there aren't any, do a reboot and try the above command again.

After you have uninstalled all the packages and the above command returns an error "no such command" (or does nothing), you could try to see if LibreOffice left anything behind: To ensure the cleanest possible removal of a previous installation of LibreOffice, you can optionally also execute the following command in a terminal window, and then manually delete any remaining files discovered:

locate libreoffice | less

or

 find / -name "libreoffice"  -print 2>/dev/nul

Skipping this optional step will not have any serious consequences for your system (not even for a future install or upgrade to LibreOffice). You will just have a small number of obsolete files taking up a very small amount of disk space.

  • If you tried all of the above and could not uninstall or had any problems, we will have to go to a Terminal to fix this.


Terminal Based Uninstall

Debian / Ubuntu
sudo apt-get purge libreoffice?

or

sudo aptitude purge libreoffice? 
  • Remember to put the "?" wild-card so ALL the LibreOffice packages get purged / uninstalled (in apt-get or aptitude the "*" is NOT a wild-card)
Fedora
su -c 'yum remove libreoffice*'
Mandriva
su -c 'urpme libreoffice*'
openSUSE and other RPM based systems
su -c 'rpm -ev --allmatches libreoffice'


Script For Installing

Mr ZenWiz from the User Support Mailing List kindly wrote a script to do the whole job for Debian-family distros such as Mint, Ubuntu and many others. For people using the Redhat Package Management system the script needs a little editing. Hopefully at some point we might have both scripts here. Also it would be good if we manage to upload the script-files to make it easier for people to use.

#!/bin/bash
 
# A script to install or update libreoffice releases properly
 
if [[ "$1" == "-x" ]]; then
    shift
    set -x
fi
 
me=`basename $0`
Usage() {
    echo "Usage: $me [-x][-h|--help] <gzipped-tarball> [<gzipped-tarball>...]"
    exit 0
}
 
if [[ -z "$1" || "$1" == "-h" || "$1" == "--help" ]]; then Usage; fi
 
# Change these to install on rpm base systems
tgt=DEBS
cmd="dpkg -i"
sfx=deb
 
for tb in $*; do
    if [[ ! -f $tb ]]; then
        if [[ -f "$tb.tgz" ]]; then
            tb="$tb.tgz"
        elif [[ -f "$tb.tar.gz" ]]; then
            tb="$tb.tar.gz"
        else
            echo "Can't find $tb or $tb.tgz or $tb.tar.gz - skipping..."
            read ln
            continue
        fi
    fi
 
    # find out what the name of the uncompressed subdirectory will be
    dst=`tar tzf $tb 2> /dev/null | head -1 | awk -F/ '{print $1}'`
    tar xzf $tb
    if [[ ! -d $dst/$tgt ]]; then
        echo "Can't find $me directory $dst/$tgt - skipping..."
        read ln
        continue
    fi
 
    # install or update, depending on how I was called
    cd $dst/$tgt
    case $me in
        loinst)
            sudo $cmd *.$sfx
            if [[ -d desktop-integration ]]; then
                cd desktop-integration
                sudo $cmd *.$sfx
                cd ..
            fi
            cd ../..
        ;;
        loupdate)
            cd ..
            sudo ./update
            cd ..
        ;;
    esac
 
    # delete the installation directory
    /bin/rm -rf $dst
done
 
echo ""