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How To Install OpenOffice Instead of LibreOffice on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 5

In this article, we will be discussing how to install OpenOffice instead of LibreOffice on Ubuntu. OpenOffice and LibreOffice are both popular open-source office software suites that offer a variety of applications such as a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, and more. While LibreOffice is the default office suite for Ubuntu, some users may prefer to use OpenOffice for various reasons.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that LibreOffice is a full-featured office software suite and is the successor to OpenOffice. Both options provide similar functionality, so consider whether you really need to switch to OpenOffice or if LibreOffice is sufficient for your needs.

Quick Answer

To install OpenOffice instead of LibreOffice on Ubuntu, you can either use the third-party repository or download the .tar.gz file from the official website.

Uninstalling LibreOffice

Before installing OpenOffice, it’s recommended to uninstall LibreOffice from your system. You can do this by running the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice-core

In this command, sudo is used to run the command with root privileges, apt-get is the package handling utility in Ubuntu, remove is used to remove the package, and --purge is used to remove the configuration and/or data files of the package in addition to the package itself.

Alternatively, you can use the Ubuntu Software Center to search for “LibreOffice core” and uninstall it from there.

Installing OpenOffice

There are two main methods to install OpenOffice on Ubuntu: using the third-party repository and using the downloaded .tar.gz file.

Method 1: Using the Third-Party Repository

You can add the third-party repository for Apache OpenOffice and install it using the following commands in the terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:upubuntu-com/office
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openoffice

In these commands, add-apt-repository is used to add a new repository, ppa:upubuntu-com/office is the PPA (Personal Package Archive) for OpenOffice, update is used to resynchronize the package index files from their sources, and install is used to install the package.

Note that if you are on a 64-bit system, you will also need to install some 32-bit libraries by running:

sudo apt-get install libxrandr2:i386 libxinerama1:i386

After installation, you may need to fix permissions by running:

sudo chmod a+rx /opt/openoffice.org3/share/uno_packages/cache/uno_packages

In this command, chmod is used to change file mode bits, a+rx is used to give all users read and execute permissions, and /opt/openoffice.org3/share/uno_packages/cache/uno_packages is the directory whose permissions are being changed.

Method 2: Using the Downloaded .tar.gz File

You can download the .tar.gz file for OpenOffice from the official website. Extract the downloaded file and navigate to the “DEBS” folder. Then, install the .deb files using the following command in the terminal:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

In this command, dpkg is the package manager for Debian-based systems, -i is used to install the package, and *.deb is used to select all .deb files in the current directory.

To install the desktop integration features, navigate to the “desktop-integration” folder in the “DEBS” installation directory and run the same command.


In conclusion, while LibreOffice is the default office suite for Ubuntu, OpenOffice can be installed instead if preferred. Regardless of which office suite you choose, both OpenOffice and LibreOffice are powerful tools that can meet your office software needs.

Is OpenOffice compatible with Microsoft Office documents?

Yes, OpenOffice is compatible with Microsoft Office documents. You can open, edit, and save files in formats such as .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx.

Can I use OpenOffice and LibreOffice side by side on Ubuntu?

Yes, you can use both OpenOffice and LibreOffice side by side on Ubuntu. They are separate software packages and can coexist on your system.

Will uninstalling LibreOffice delete my existing documents?

No, uninstalling LibreOffice will not delete your existing documents. Your documents are stored in separate files and folders, and uninstalling LibreOffice will not affect them.

Can I switch back to LibreOffice after installing OpenOffice?

Yes, you can switch back to LibreOffice after installing OpenOffice. You can uninstall OpenOffice using the same methods mentioned earlier and then install LibreOffice using the Ubuntu Software Center or the official website.

Can I install OpenOffice on other Linux distributions?

Yes, you can install OpenOffice on other Linux distributions. The installation process may vary slightly, but you can generally use the same methods mentioned in this article with appropriate modifications for your specific distribution.

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