How to install LibreOffice 3.3 on Ubuntu Linux

This article describes how to install LibreOffice on Linux. The installation may be based on the official .deb packages (installs without replacing or based on the LibreOffice ppa (replaces OOo).

This how-to is for debian based Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu (and variations) and Linux Mint.

July 2011: Update available here. (LibreOffice 5.1 or more recent)

LibreOffice is the new

When was released a decade ago, there were plans to create a foundation to support it, a little bit like the Apache Foundation. Almost ten years later, pushed by Oracle’s aquisition of Sun, this foundation finally becomes reality.

The trademark is still owned by Oracle, which will continue to release its own version of OOo (along with commercial support). The community moved to LibreOffice, under the aegis of the newly founded Document Foundation.

The Document Foundation has received tremedous support, among which BrOffice, Canonical, Collabora, the FSF, Google, Linagora, RedHat, the French Aful & APRIL, and many other. Novel’s offspring Go-oo wil also be merged with LibreOffice.

All major Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, RedHat, OpenSUSE, Debian, etc. announced that they would ship LibreOffice in their future releases.


A. Install LibreOffice in 3 easy steps
B. (Don’t) uninstall
C. Ubuntu: ppa installation
D. Uninstall LibreOffice (deb)
E. Uninstall LibreOffice (ppa)

A. Install LibreOffice in 3 easy steps

This first installation method allows you to install LibreOffice alongside of an existing installation.
January 25, 2011: LibreOffice 3.3 Final has been released!

1. Download compressed packages

Download LibreOffice 3.3 Final from the official downlad page:

Select Linux x86 (deb) for 32 bits systems or Linux x64 (deb) for 64 bits systems. This how-to supposes that the downloaded file (and laguage packs) is saved in the “Downloads” directory situated in your home directory.

2. Extract .debs packages

The downloaded file is a compressed .tar.gz archive. In case you want to Learn more on these extensions: tar, gzip.

To extract this juicy archive, open the Downloads directory. Look for a file named LibO_3.3.3_Linux_x_install-deb_*-*.tar.gz , right-click on it and select “extract here“. Repeat the extraction process for all language packs.

The .tar.gz archive(s) can now be deleted.

3. Install .deb packages

Open a terminal.
Change the current directory to the location of the .deb packages:

cd ~/Downloads/LibO_3.3.3_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US/DEBS

or for the 64 bits version:

cd ~/Downloads/LibO_3.3.3_Linux_x64_install-deb_en-US/DEBS

(No need to write everything: use Tab ↹ to autocomplete the command line, or copy and paste with the middle-click mouse button)

Finally, install all .deb packages:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

LibreOffice is now installed, but the program shortcuts don’t appear in the menu. Move to the “desktop-integration” subdirectory and install the desktop-integration package:

cd desktop-integration
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

In case you’re installing language packs, repeat the cd and dpkg steps for each language pack. If you want to change the default programs for office documents on Ubuntu, take a look at this how-to:
How to change the default application on Ubuntu

B. (Don’t) uninstall

OOo is well integrated into Ubuntu, and some important packages depend on it, such as hunspell, myspell, localization meta-packages, thesaurus, etc.
⇒ I don’t recommend uninstalling!

Remove (and dependencies) at your own risk:

sudo apt-get remove openoffice*

If you also want to remove OOo configuration files, use the purge switch:

sudo apt-get remove --purge openoffice*

C. Ubuntu: LibreOffice ppa installation

On Ubuntu, instead of installing LibO from the .deb packages offered on the official website, you could install it from the LibreOffice ppa.

I don’t recommend this installation method. The ppa install method will first remove, and as mentionned above, all its dependencies. (hunspell, myspell, localization meta-packages, thesaurus…)

If you do want to install from the Libreoffice ppa anyway, I recommend the following method:

sudo apt-get remove openoffice*

Before confirming the package uninstallation, copy the list of packages to be removed, paste and save somewhere.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libreoffice libreoffice-gnome

LibreOffice is now installed. However, language support may be missing. Use your saved list to figure out what package are missing for your language(s). Adapt the following command line to your needs:

sudo apt-get install aspell aspell-en dictionaries-common hunspell-en-ca hunspell-en-us language-support-en language-support-writing-en myspell-en-au myspell-en-gb myspell-en-za wbritish

German language support:

sudo apt-get install hunspell-de-at hunspell-de-ch hunspell-de-de language-support-writing-de wngerman wogerman wswiss

French language support:

sudo apt-get install hunspell-fr language-support-writing-fr wfrench

Spanish language support:

sudo apt-get install language-support-writing-es myspell-es wspanish

D. Uninstall LibreOffice (deb)

Applies to an installation from the official .deb packages, cf part A.
If you want to remove LibreOffice, use the following command:

sudo apt-get remove libreoffice3* libobasis3*

If you also want to remove LibO configuration files, use the purge switch:

sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice3* libobasis3*

E. Uninstall LibreOffice (ppa)

Applies to an installation from the LibreOffice ppa, cf part C.
If you want to remove LibreOffice, use the following command:

sudo apt-get remove gcj-4.4-base gcj-4.4-jre-lib libcommons-beanutils-java libcommons-collections3-java libcommons-compress-java libcommons-digester-java libcommons-logging-java libdb-je-java libdb4.7-java libdb4.7-java-gcj libgcj-bc libgcj-common libgcj10 libhsqldb-java libicu4j-java libjaxp1.3-java libjline-java libjtidy-java liblucene2-java libmythes-1.2-0 libregexp-java libreoffice libreoffice-base libreoffice-base-core libreoffice-calc libreoffice-common libreoffice-core libreoffice-draw libreoffice-emailmerge libreoffice-filter-binfilter libreoffice-filter-mobiledev libreoffice-gnome libreoffice-gtk libreoffice-impress libreoffice-java-common libreoffice-math libreoffice-report-builder-bin libreoffice-style-galaxy libreoffice-style-tango libreoffice-writer libservlet2.5-java libtextcat-data-utf8 python-uno ttf-dejavu ttf-sil-gentium ttf-sil-gentium-basic

By Johannes Eva, January 2011

This article has been linked on Tuxmachines,, Linux Today and some more…

Posted in Archive, LibreOffice.