Install LibreOffice on Ubuntu 10.10 or earlier

The Document Foundation released the first ever stable version of LibreOffice, version 3.3, last Tuesday, January 25, 2011. As you already know, future versions of Ubuntu will use LibreOffice starting with Ubuntu 11.04 scheduled to be released later this spring.

Well, the good news is, you don’t have to wait. You can now install LibreOffice 3.3 on your Ubuntu desktop whether you are using the latest Ubuntu 10.10, or an earlier version. You can start the process by downloading the first stable release of LibreOffice. You need to download the correct deb package. If you are a Redhat or Fedora user, you need to download the rpm package.

1. Download

There are two versions of the deb package: 32 bit and 64 bit. How do you know if you are running 32 bit or 64 bit version of Linux? Type “uname -m” in your Terminal. If it says “x86_64” you are running 64 bit. Otherwise, you are running 32 bit, regardless if you have a 32 bit or a 64 bit CPU.

2. Unpack. Right-click the file and Extract Here.

Once you have the file downloaded the version you need, you need to unpack the file. You can right click the file and choose “Extract Here.” This will unpack the file. It will create a new directory which will be named with something that starts out with “LibO_3.3.0rc4_ …..” I’m not going to type out the entire directory name since its too long.

3. CD to the DEBS directory and install these packages.

From the Terminal, type:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

4. CD to the desktop-integration directory and install these packages.

From the terminal, type:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

5. That’s it. You’re done. Access LibreOffice from the Applications > Office menu.

By the way, LibreOffice is also available for Windows and Mac users.

Office Suite For The Mac

I recently bought a 13 inch MacBook Air and I’m loving it. I’ve downloaded several programs, mostly open-source to stay productive, but there is one piece of software glaringly missing. I don’t have an Office suite. Yes, no word processor, no spreadsheet and no presentation software.

Of course, there are many options. There’s Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 which retails for $150. There is also Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Business which sells for $280. Apple has a product called iWorks which retails for $80.

Then, there are several open-source options. OpenOffice is available for download. LibreOffice is not quite not there yet. It’s in Beta and is months away from being a general release. Then, there’s Google Docs, which is accessible anywhere, and in any platform.

Currently, Google Docs is currently my choice. I might switch to LibreOffice later when it becomes available. I’m trying to avoid OpenOffice if at all possible, only because it’s Oracle. iWorks is a good possibility. Microsoft Office for the Mac is a long shot and maybe out of the question.

What Office suite should I use?

MS Office vs OpenOffice

If you are curious about MS Office and OpenOffice, and how they stack up against each other, here’s a good article  comparing the two Office suites. We already know OpenOffice is free. Microsoft could not get any better than offering MS Office for less than $50, which we know will never happen.

Most users will gravitate to MS Office, a suite they already are familiar with. OpenOffice offers an intriguing prospect because it’s free and almost compatible. I say almost because most of the functions work, but not all. There are other criteria worth checking out. Here’s the article.