I've got a question about LibreOffice that's been bugging me since OpenOffice:

The versions of LO that come on the Ubuntu disc or from the PPA always have nice font rendering, but whenever I download and install the debs from the LO website, the font rendering in those versions looks terrible.

I know the Ubuntu builds include various patches and tweaks that aren't in the vanilla debs, but could anyone help educate me about exactly how the Ubuntu builds of LO differ from the vanilla debs of LO, and if there is an easy way to apply those changes to the vanilla debs so I don't have to wait so long for the PPA to update with the new version?

  • is this a general "what are the diffs" question, or are you asking specifically about fonts? None of the answers are satisfactory if the former, and the fonts tags should be removed. However, if it's the latter, the question should be rephrased to make explicit that it's asking a specific question about fonts. – amc Aug 25 '13 at 15:22

You can see how the distro builds are done by using the:

apt-get source libreoffice

command. That said, up to LibreOffice3.4/Oneiric both Debian and Ubuntu used the go-oo build system, which is scary for the uninitiated (and perhaps even more so for the initiated). Since LibreOffice-3.5, we (Debian/Ubuntu) are using the native build system of LibreOffice and have most of our patches upstreamed, while keeping only a smaller set of truely vendor-specific patches in our packaging. This should also make the packaging much more transparent for everyone. Ongoing work of Debian and Ubuntus packaging can be followed at:


Active development for Precise is in the branch ubuntu-precise-3.5.

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I found that by deleting the user directory in $HOME/.libreoffice/3/ fixed the font rendering issue in LO 3.5 installed from the LibreOffice website debs. Not sure exactly why that worked, but it makes me think the problem might be more to do with preferences from the preinstalled/ppa version conflicting with the vanilla deb version or something like that.

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I cannot explain the differences between the two nor am I aware that there were any however this may be do to using a FONT manager that keeps my system fonts and editor fonts the way I want them.

Font Manager is not intended to be a professional-grade font management solution, but rather a simple application suitable for the needs of most desktop users.

Although designed with the GNOME desktop environment in mind, it should work well with most major desktop environments such as Xfce, KDE, and even Enlightenment.

wget http://font-manager.googlecode.com/files/font-manager_0.4.4-1_all.deb

Now you need to install .deb package by double clicking or run the the following command from your terminal

sudo dpkg -i font-manager_0.4.4-1_all.deb

enter image description here

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