I am using the stable LibreOffice PPA, which just pushed out 3.5.0 and I (foolishly) upgraded from 3.4.5.

Now my LibreOffice is broken, with all sorts of issues like icons and launchers not appearing, being unable to Alt+Tab or Alt+~, the Unity dock filling up with (broken) LibreOffice icons that do not disappear when files are closed, and random errors and crashes.

What is the "proper" way to downgrade the LibreOffice version so that all new files get purged?

  • 2
    I wish I had an answer but I've only got a comment. Sad experience has taught me that waiting for updates and upgrades to appear in the Ubuntu repositories is often a much better option. At the very least, I wait a few days and watch for problems such as these to appear in AskUbuntu. Sorry, that's no help right now, I know. And frankly,some of the sites that promote the latest whiz-bang apps before they're ready do a great disservice to noobs like me.
    – Kelley
    Feb 29, 2012 at 3:56

4 Answers 4

  • In case you want to install the older version and replace the current installation:

sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice-core libreoffice-common

sudo apt-get autoremove --purge

Then find the version you want - here, download the archive containing the multiple deb files and install them following the instructions contained in the help/readme.

(Source: here and here.)

  • In case you want to test or use different versions at the same time, even without removing the main/current installation, you may follow this answer.
  • other than not installing the necessary gnome/unity/ubuntu packages to make LO look like a native app, how is this functionally different from my accepted answer?
    – amc
    Jun 11, 2013 at 2:14
  • my answer was meant as an overall solution based on other answers and questions that i was confronted with in relation to a different unresolved problem, and I have put it here not to take the place of he accepted answer, but just as a complement, which would link some related answers. i guess it does not contradict this site's purpose of creating solutions of large interest based on the specific questions
    – user47206
    Jun 11, 2013 at 8:42
  • no worries, I was just curious if your solution was different (e.g., more efficient perhaps)
    – amc
    Jun 11, 2013 at 17:19
  • This solution worked for me to downgrade from LibreOffice 4.1 to the default version (3.5.*) in Ubuntu 12.04. But after the two commands you entered I did the following: Remove all Libre Office PPAs from the software sources - the default is that there aren't any. Then install libreoffice using synapics. I also had to reinstall lo-menubar to get the menubar integration back. Jul 26, 2013 at 7:58

Because libreoffice has a bunch of additional packages that integrate it seamlessly into gnome/unity/ubuntu, a simple "reinstall libreoffice" isn't a complete answer and leaves things half-installed.

I think I got it now though. Here's what I did:

1) sudo apt-get purge libreoffice?

2) opened Software Sources, clicked the Other Sources tab and removed the libreoffice PPA

3) sudo apt-get update

4) sudo apt-get clean && sudo apt-get autoremove

5) sudo apt-get install libreoffice libreoffice-gnome lo-menubar

6) reboot the machine

This puts me back at LibreOffice 3.4.4 and unity integration seems happy again.

  • When doing this from trusty and downgrading from libreoffice 5 you also need to remove libreoffice-style-human
    – sergiusens
    Aug 6, 2015 at 15:06

I don't know what proper is, but I've had to do this for other programs. This is how I do it:

  • Open up synaptic
  • Search for libreoffice.

  • Mark for complete removal, and choose all dependencies or related files and mark them for complete removal.

  • Apply.

  • Open up nautilus

  • Go->Search for files

  • Type in libreoffice. Carefully remove what you can. I.e., Icons may come in theme packs sometimes and are not installed by the programs they represent.

  • Reinstall preferred version

  • Because libreoffice has a bunch of additional packages that integrate it seamlessly into gnome/unity/ubuntu, a simple "reinstall libreoffice" isn't a complete answer and leaves things half-installed.
    – amc
    Feb 29, 2012 at 16:43

I have not attempted this, but Synaptic Package Manager gives you the option to "force" a particular version.

You can see what versions it has available: search "LibreOffice", highlight it (click once on it, not "marking" it), then on menu bar, Package > Force Version (also CTRL+E).

On my Lubuntu machine, I get two versions of LibreOffice (3.4.4 and 3.4.3) which I can choose from to force-"install".

I take it from "force install" discussions in the Ubuntu forums, that this approach is not entirely risk-free. Caveat lector!

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