How to Replace LibreOffice with OpenOffice on Ubuntu

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This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to replace LibreOffice productivity suite with OpenOffice on Ubuntu desktops.

Students who are thinking of using OpenOffice productivity on Ubuntu systems, this brief tutorial shows you how to do just that.

As you all know, all Ubuntu desktops come with LibreOffice installed. This is the default productivity tool on most Linux systems including Ubuntu. But this wasn’t the case a few years back.

LibreOffice only became the default productivity suite after OpenOffice’s parent company (Oracle) made some changes to its licensing terms that had folks angry and started the LibreOffice project.

Some folks are still using OpenOffice despite what the Linux community thinks of it. So, if you’re one of the few who prefers OpenOffice, continue below to learn how to install it on Ubuntu.

One thing to remember though is that you can’t have both LibreOffice and OpenOffice installed on the same system at the same time. It’s not possible. You must first uninstall LibreOffice and all its packages of it before you can install OpenOffice.

Uninstalling LibreOffice on Ubuntu

To uninstall LibreOffice from Ubuntu systems, run the commands below to update your system.

sudo apt-get update

Then run the commands below to remove LibreOffice from your Ubuntu computer completely.

sudo apt-get -y remove --purge libreoffice* libexttextcat-data* && sudo apt-get -y autoremove

Download OpenOffice packages

After removing LibreOffice from your computer, run the commands below to download OpenOffice packages.

For the 32-bit version, run the commands below. As of this writing, 4.1.2 was the latest version of OpenOffice.

cd /tmp && wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/openofficeorg.mirror/files/4.1.2/binaries/en-US/Apache_OpenOffice_4.1.2_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US.tar.gz

For the 64-bit version, run the commands below

cd /tmp && wget http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/openofficeorg.mirror/4.1.2/binaries/en-US/Apache_OpenOffice_4.1.2_Linux_x86-64_install-deb_en-US.tar.gz

Extract the downloaded package

After downloading the version for your platform, run the commands below to extract it.

tar -xvf Apache_OpenOffice*.tar.gz

Install OpenOffice

To install OpenOffice after extracting the packages, run the commands below

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

Install the desktop integration tool

Finally, install the Linux desktop integration tool. This will integrate OpenOffice with the Ubuntu desktop.

sudo dpkg -i en-US/DEBS/desktop-integration/*.deb

Next, go to Ubuntu Unity Dash and run OpenOffice.

Openoffice ubuntu installation

Remove OpenOffice from Ubuntu

If you decide you want to go back to LibreOffice, remove OpenOffice from Ubuntu using the commands below

sudo apt-get -y purge openoffice*.* && sudo apt-get autoremove

Reinstalling LibreOffice

When OpenOffice has been removed, run the commands below to re-install LibreOffice.

sudo apt-get -y install libreoffice libreoffice-gnome

That’s it!

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