Ubuntu’s policy keeps them from offering “major” upgrades to applications in their repositories. So, for example, OpenOffice.org 3.2 will remain the office package in 10.04 for its lifetime, even though version 3.3 is now current. Some with Firefox 3.6.x vs. 4.0 when 4.0 releases. While this provides stability for those who desire that stability, it leaves those of us who want to keep up with new feature and versions behind.
The easy answer to this issue lies in PPA repositories dedicated to newer software. Various people maintain such repositories for many major software packages. The same is true for LibreOffice, but I found that the office suite could not be upgraded from the repository (at least the 64-bit version). The reason lies in the support packages. When adding the PPA, Software Sources complains that the system suffers from a partial upgrade and offers to fix it. Since I don’t suffer from a partial upgrade, I passed on that and disabled the repository and looked for answers elsewhere.
Ubuntu Geek provides an excellent procedure for upgrade from OpenOffice.org 3.2 to LibreOffice 3.3 using the terminal and deb packages. First, you have to download the LibreOffice packages from the Open Documents site here. Simply pick your 32 or 64-bit version, then download the installation debs. You can also download the applicable help package if desire. In my case, I downloaded LibO_3.3.0_Linux_x86-64_install-deb_en-US.tar.gz for my X86_64 installation. Open it in the archive manager, then extract the DEB directory to a temporary folder in your /Home directory.
I put them in my Public directory temporarily:
Now it’s time to go to the terminal and get serious. First, we have to remove OpenOffice.org completely. That sounds drastic, and other sites claim that a LibO installation will automatically uninstall OpenOffice.org. Maybe, but that didn’t work out for me. Purging eliminates all vestiges of a package, including the settings, since we’re never going back. So, in the terminal type (in my case):
sudo apt-get remove –purge openoffice*.*
That produced a list of other packages that apt-get suggested removing. I accepted that and agreed to all the purging. Electronic blood flowed freely, after which the system was ready for LibO. At this point, I chose to change directories into the DEB folder into which I extracted the LibO package to save typing later:
From there, I installed all the packages:
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
That starts a long series of installations. When that completes, you need to install the desktop integration package, so in my case:
sudo dpkg -i desktop-integration/libreoffice3.3-debian-menus_3.3-6_all.deb
That’s it. At this point, you should be fully operational with LibreOffice 3.3, including all special packages.
Note that if you use this method, you will not be able to use the PPA for updates. For one thing, the file names are different. The Ubuntu Wiki has the appropriate method for using the PPA repository if that route works for you.