OpenOffice was an open-source office suite project. It was the standard office suite on most Linux distros in the 2000s. When it was discontinued in 2011, it spawned a number of forks.
LibreOffice, which ships with Ubuntu by default, is the most actively developed fork. LibreOffice is my preferred office suite as it has the most features and the best MS Office compatibility.
If you want an alternative to LibreOffice, Apache OpenOffice can be a good option. I’ll explain how you can install it on Ubuntu in this article.
Step 1: Remove LibreOffice
If libreoffice-common is present on your system, it’ll conflict with the openoffice.org-unbundled collection that we’re trying to install. So, we’ll need to uninstall LibreOffice first.
sudo apt purge libreoffice*
sudo apt clean
sudo apt autoremove
Note: If you need to reinstall LibreOffice in the future, you do so with
sudo apt install libreoffice.
Step 2: Download and Extract OpenOffice
Go to the official OpenOffice site and download the preferred DEB package. We’ll download the 64-bit 4.1.14 version in our case as that’s the latest version compatible with our system.
Now, navigate to the downloaded file and extract the files from the archive.
tar xvf Apache_OpenOffice_4.1.14_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US.tar.gz
Step 3: Install and Launch OpenOffice
Go to the directory containing the deb files and install them with the following commands. Please note that we downloaded the en-US version of OpenOffice. If you downloaded a different locale like en-GB, remember to change that as appropriate.
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
Now, switch to the desktop-integration directory and install the GUI integration feature.
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
Now, you can simply search openoffice and launch the base program from the applications menu. You’ll be prompted to perform a quick setup (personalizations) at the first launch.
Maintaining OpenOffice on Ubuntu
As the process covered here is the only install method for Apache OpenOffice, you’ll need to remove the current installation and reinstall OpenOffice when you want to update to a newer version in the future.
To remove OpenOffice, you can use
sudo apt purge openoffice*