openoffice ubuntu

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 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.

cd ~/Downloads
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.

cd en-US/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Now, switch to the desktop-integration directory and install the GUI integration feature. 

cd desktop-integration
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*
Anup Thapa

Senior Writer

Anup Thapa is a Linux enthusiast with an extensive background in computer hardware and networking. His goal is to effectively communicate technical concepts in a simplified form understandable by new Linux users. To this end, he mainly writes beginner-friendly tutorials and troubleshooting guides. Outside of work, he enjoys reading up on a range of topics, traveling, working out, and MOBAs.