Using LibreOffice in a Web Browser

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Note: this is an obsolete prototype
The new implementation LOOL is being developed here.

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Either the page is no longer relevant or consensus on its purpose has become unclear. To revive discussion, seek broader input via a forum such as one of our mailing lists.


Beginning with Version 3.5 LibreOffice can be launched as a web server. This allows using LibreOffice online within a web browser. A short demonstration is available here.

Prerequisites

  • A Linux server
  • A recent version of gtk3. A backport for openSUSE 12.1 can be found here, but if you have all the current updates installed it should just work out of the box.
  • gtk3 with broadway support (for archlinux aur/gtk3-broadway)

Compiling LibreOffice

Since online support is not production ready yet, it is not included in the regular packages of LibreOffice 3.5. Therefore it's necessary to build LibreOffice from scratch. For information how to download the sources and compile them see here.

To ensure the required gtk3 backend is used, add --enable-gtk3 as an autogen.sh/configure option. For now it is recommended to add --without-java as well.

Running LibreOffice in server mode

After successfully building launch LibreOffice with the following commands:

$ cd install/program
$ export SAL_USE_VCLPLUGIN=gtk3
$ export GDK_BACKEND=broadway
$ ./soffice -writer

Now point your web browser to http://<servername>:8080 - if you're testing locally that'd be http://localhost:8080 of course.

Debug commands

  • Press '9' to turn on the debug bbox re-rendering to show what area is re-rendered as you type.
  • Press '0' to force-refresh the screen.

width="50px" Note: this is an obsolete prototype, the new implementation LOOL is being developed here. width="50px"