Installing in parallel/OS X

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This page provides instruction on how to Install multiple copies of LibreOffice in Parallel on Mac OS X.

Introduction

In this article, the procedure for performing a "user installation" will be presented.

Note:

  • The procedure is different for different operative systems (OSes), and, within each OS, for each of the different packaging systems used on those OSes.
  • Old LibreOffice releases are archived here.

New Method

Now we have a script to make it easy to use a different UserProfile directory for each build of LibreOffice!

Installation of a parallel build is simple:

  • Open Terminal and get to your home directory by running the following command:
cd
  • Create a directory for the builds:
mkdir -p libreoffice/builds
I like to keep my builds organized by branch with sub-directories. Here's the tree structure:
libreoffice/
  builds/
    4.3-era/
      4.3.5.2/
    4.4-era/
    ...
  • Download the appropriate dmg to the Downloads directory. There are many builds available:
  • While the download's running, create a directory in which the build can live
I downloaded LibreOffice 4.3.5.2, so I made the directory:
/home/qubit/libreoffice/builds/4.3-era/4.3.5.2/
  • Download the Start Script mentioned above and stick it into the directory we just created
  • Once the dmg is downloaded, double-click it in the GUI to open it up
  • Open a new Finder window to the 4.3.5.2/ directory, and drag the LibreOffice icon from the open dmg archive to the 4.3.5.2/ directory
Once LibreOffice is copied over, feel free to Eject the dmg

Everything's downloaded and installed. You're now ready to run LibreOffice!

  • Back in the Terminal, navigate to the directory holding LibreOffice and the Start Script:
cd /home/qubit/libreoffice/builds/4.3-era/4.3.5.2/
  • Make sure that the Start Script is configured as an executable file:
chmod +x soffice.sh
  • Start LibreOffice
./soffice.sh

Old Method

NOTE:

  • If you already have an existing LibreOffice installation, for example in the "Applications" folder, then rename it to something else before installing any other version of LibreOffice. For example, if you already have LibreOffice 3.3.2 on your Mac system, rename it to something like LO332.
  • Now you can proceed to install any other version of LibreOffice as normal, i.e., double-clicking the downloaded DMG file and installing as usual.

The new installation will share your existing LibreOffice user configuration and profile. This can be found in /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/LibreOffice. Be warned that sometimes, new versions can overwrite existing configurations, including the list of available extensions, rendering them inaccessible or non-functional. For this reason, you may want to work with separate user-configuration folders.

Up to and including the 3.3.x series, the way to separate configurations on the Mac simply involved renaming your existing installation user configuration folder to the same name as the name of the LibreOffice application. In the example given above, this would have meant renaming the folder in Library/Application Support/ from LibreOffice to LO332. With the 3.4.x series, this no longer works. If you know how to do this, please explain it here.

The method (hack) outlined below has been found to work with the 4.x series (as of April 2014), and might be usable in some circumstances. Be warned that it has not been rigorously tested or verified, so proceed with due caution.

With the 4.x series, the location of the user configuration folder appears to be defined within an editable text file, contained in the LibreOffice application bundle. The text file is /Applications/LibreOffice/Contents/MacOS/bootstraprc, and it contains some lines like this:

[Bootstrap]
InstallMode=<installmode>
ProductKey=LibreOffice 4.0
UserInstallation=$SYSUSERCONFIG/LibreOffice/4

Changing the UserInstallation line to, say,

UserInstallation=$SYSUSERCONFIG/LibreOffice_Test/4

seems to change the user configuration folder to Library/Application Support/LibreOffice_Test. This might be helpful when testing a new release.