Updating LibreOffice

LibreOfficeUpdating LibreOffice has its own pecularities. You can set it to automatic, but that may or may not work. Not on my LinuxMint system. You can make it warn you when updates are available, so you can manually download and install these. In my case: install the appropriate deb packages., which takes a wee bit of time, but works fine.

Recently I discovered two Launchpad PPA repositories. Very useful for those on Ubuntu or associated distros, the likes of LinuxMint for example. So I immediately tried that. And I was disappointed. Which brought me back to the old-fashioned manual update. Fine.

Let me elaborate on the different methods for updating.

Automatic updates

To set LibreOffice to update automatically, go to Tools > Options > ‘LibreOffice’ > ‘Online Update’ and check both boxes. In my case (LinuxMint 13 + KDE 4.8) it did not work, saying something like ‘unable to download packages’.

Warn for updates

At Tools > Options > ‘LibreOffice’ > ‘Online Update’ you can also uncheck ‘Download updates automatically’. Then you will just get a notice if there are any updates available. If so, carry on to the next item.

Manual updates

To update manually means: download the appropriate packages from the LibreOffice website. If you click the ‘Download now’ button, the site should automatically select the correct packages & language for you. (Yes, websites can see which OS you are running and which language, and webbrowser, and IP address, and much more.) Check if the site checked that correctly. If you need another package or language, use the ‘Download’ page. Choose ‘Fresh’ if you want the latest stable version, which is still being tested. Choose ‘Still’ if you want to play safe and use the more reliable stable version.

Installing on a Ubuntu system includes: unpacking the archive to some directory of your choice and running the dpkg command from within the directory where the deb packages are located. First install the main package, then the language package and finally the help package. In a terminal cd to the correct directories and use this command:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

The most elegant way is of course to install and update LibreOffice from your favourite package manager, e.g. Synaptic. To suit that purpose you need to add a PPA repository. There is a PPA for ‘Fresh’ versions and one for ‘Still’ versions. To add, for example, the Fresh PPA open a terminal and do this:

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

After that you can install and update LibreOffice from you package manager. Unfortunately, in my case installing went fine, but after that LibreOffice would crash on startup with an error message saying something like ‘bad loc’. So I returned to the familiar manual method.

LibreOffice 5 is nice, I must say. See the Release Notes for more details.