Installing LibreOffice on Linux overview

Unlike on Mac and Windows, LibreOffice is the leading office suite on most Linux distros. Many come with it preinstalled. Not every application available in the suite comes preinstalled, however. In Ubuntu 18.04 Base is not included, while all the applications are included in Fedora 30, for example.

If the entire suite or some of the applications are not preinstalled, they are available through the main repository of the operating system, so if LibreOffice is not installed, it can be installed easily through the software management application, which is connected to the main repository.

Ubuntu 18.04 comes with most of LibreOffice’s applications. It leaves out Base, the relational database application. However, Base 6.0 can be installed through Ubuntu Software. This differs from Fedora 30, which comes with the latest version and all the applications.

However, many Linux distros’ main repository do not have the same versions that are on the download page of the LibreOffice Website. For example, the repository in Ubuntu 18.04 has version 6.0 when versions 6.3 and 6.4 could be downloaded from libreoffice.org

The latest versions for 64-bit systems can be acquired directly through the Website or through other paths discussed below. LibreOffice also is available for 32-bit systems, but this is available through the main repository for the 32-bit distro. It cannot be downloaded from the Website. The latest versions may not be available for 32-bit systems.

32-bit versions of LibreOffice can no longer be downloaded from the LibreOffice Website. However, package managers in many 32-bit operating systems offer the suite. Here, the Synaptic Package Manager in 32-bit LXLE, an Ubuntu-based operating system designed for older PCs contains LibreOffice 6.3 applications, their libraries, and other components.

Here is the contents of this Web page. Each section is just an overview about the method and format for installing LibreOffice and a short description of that method. In each section there is a link to a page that gives more detail about the method.

DEB

This package format was developed by Debian, which released its first operating system in 1993, shortly after Linux source code was released. It is a central part of the operating system. Many operating systems, such as Ubuntu, are based on Debian and therefore use DEB packages. It is the most popular package format.

In most operating systems DEB can simply be downloaded and it can be handled through the software manager for the operating system. Software managers are front-end managers for packages, and users typically do not need to type commands into the Terminal to install one of these applications.

The first step to installing in of the latest versions of LibreOffice is to download it.

Downloading

  1. Go to the download page. The Web page will recognize what type of operating system you are using, so Linux (64-bit) (deb) will appear in the drop-down menu of both the latest version and the next latest one.
  2. Choose whether you want the latest version or the one that is slightly older. Both have separate sections on the Web page.
  3. Click the Download button in that section.

NOTE: If you want to download the RPM package or a version for Mac or Windows, click the drop-down menu in that section. Then click the desired package.

Learn more about LibreOffice DEB package.

RPM

As mentioned above RPM is used by Fedora, OpenSUSE, and several other operating systems. It was originally developed by Red Hat, which supports the Fedora Project, and it stood for Redhat Package Manager at one time. Red Hat was one of the first corporations to develop for Linux, and it released RPM in 1997. It differs from the DEB package managers, and every version of LibreOffice has been packaged for these operating systems.

Downloading

  1. Go to the download page. The Web page will recognize what type of operating system you are using, so Linux (64-bit) (rpm) will appear in the drop-down menu of both the latest version and the next latest one.
  2. Choose whether you want the latest version or the one that is slightly older. Both have separate sections on the Web page.
  3. Click the Download button in that section.

If you want to download the DEB package or a version for Mac or Windows, click the drop-down menu in that section. Then click the desired package.

Click here to learn more about LibreOffice RPM package.

Universal packaging

Due to the fact that Linux app developers need to design applications for both DEB and RPM, makes it difficult on them because they need to make changes for various nuances of each operating system. In recent years there have been several new package forms that have come onto the market, making it easier for developers to design Linux apps.

Unlike DEB and RPM, the applications designed for these package types that are presented below do not require dependencies. The required libraries are built into the package, so developers have less concern about developing a package for different operating system dependencies.

The packages are as follows:

Snap

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, developed a universal package system that can be installed on just about any distro. These packages are called Snaps, and LibreOffice is a snap. Many of the latest versions can run the Snap Store.

Snaps are easy to install, but many Linux users do not like it because it is centrally owned and controlled by Canonical. Snaps are only available through the Snap Store, and developers need to sign a Contributor License Agreement.

Click here to learn how to install the snap version of LibreOffice.

Flatpak

An alternative to snaps are flatpak. The main flatpak repository is Flathub, but unlike Snaps, flatpaks to not need to be distributed through Flathub. Developers also have more options as to the libraries and files they include in the package. Users need to search for the repository url for desired applicayions

Click here to learn how to install the flatpak version of LibreOffice.

AppImage

These packages are portable. They can be put USB drives and used on different computers running Linux distros. The latest version of LibreOffice could be run from a USB drive on a laptop with Ubuntu, then insert the drive in a desktop with Manjaro.

Users can take the application, along with their files, from computer to computer. A superuser account is not required to use them.

Click here to learn how to install the AppImage version of LibreOffice.