Because of a problem reported here, possibly a bug, I have to use LibreOffice 3.5.

But I would like to keep an eye on the latest version, which might even solve that problem.

I would like to use the latest 4.x version beside 3.5. (not in a virtual box or in wine)

That is: I have already installed 3.5 from a deb package. How to install now the 4.x version without conflicts? I imagine I could uninstall 3.5 and put 4.0 in place and then try to install 3.5 separately. But how?

  • 4
    This tutorial should guide you through the process. Jun 10 '13 at 12:00
  • @cipricus Sorry, don't have the time right now but I might look into it later on. In the meantime to anyone who has done this before: feel free to compile an answer of your own based on the tutorial. Jun 10 '13 at 13:21
  • @hmayag - thank you. now let's delete our comments
    – user47206
    Jun 10 '13 at 15:07
  • 1
    @Glutanimate - i have myself created an answer with your solution
    – user47206
    Jun 10 '13 at 15:44

This is based on this tutorial, recommended by Glutanimate in a comment to the question for making a 'local' installation of a specific version.

I will consider only the case of the deb files package (there are multiple such files archived in a package).

  • To get the latest versions go here.

  • To get other versions go here. (I found about this address from here.)

  • Unpack the archive. You'll get a folder, and in it another called 'DEBS' with many deb files.

  • Create a folder called 'install' (optional name) inside the 'DEBS' folder.

  • Open a terminal window inside the 'install' folder. In that terminal, run:

for i in ../*.deb; do dpkg-deb -x $i . ; done

A new folder named "opt" is thus created there with several other folders and files that contain the entire LibreOffice installation.

If you don't want your existing LO configuration to be affected by the parallel installation you will have to change the user profile location of the new install.

To do so open up the bootstraprc file located at ./install/opt/libreoffice/program/ in a text editor. You might have to change the file permissions first to be able to read and write to the file (right click on file → Properties → Permissions). Then change the UserInstallation entry to:


To run Writer find and execute something like DEBS/install/opt/libreoffice4.0/program/swriter. The others (sdraw, smath, scalc, simpress etc) are in the same directory.

In this way, multiple versions of LibreOffice can be used in parallel, even opened at the same time.

  • 1
    Good work on the answer! I added a small passage on separating the user profiles of the two installation as to prevent either one corrupting the other. Jun 10 '13 at 17:48
  • @Glutanimate: great! do you think I could try to use OpenOffice in the same way? I have my other bigger question, which I even cross-posted here. on ask.libreoffice i found a similar problem reported here and a comment saying that in OpenOffice the problem is absent.
    – user47206
    Jun 10 '13 at 17:54
  • I would guess so. Have yet to try it myself but if you look at the instructions for OpenOffice you'll see that they are pretty much identical to LO. Jun 10 '13 at 18:03
  • @Glutanimate - indeed, the procedure is identical for OO
    – user47206
    Jun 10 '13 at 18:48
  • Wow! That was easy. I'm impressed.
    – Adobe
    Jan 23 '14 at 10:08

For that to work i suggest you compile it by hand. That way you can use the stable 3.5 version and the bleeding-edge 4.x version. So you install the stable version with using apt and the new one using the repo.

Take a look at this guide.

Just be sure to checkout the right tag of libreoffice-core for the version you want to build.

It is important to add the --prefix=<some-folder> argument to the autogen.sh command, to prevent conflicts with the current installation. For example :

./autogen.sh --prefix=/home/username/my_progs

Good luck!


It does not look like the LibreOffice packages natively support multiple versions installed concurrently. It may sound like overkill, but the simplest, most maintainable option is probably to install the 4.x version inside a VirtualBox guest Ubuntu system. That way you would have access to both versions without having to worry about compiling and re-compiling as new 4.x versions are released.

  • virtual box is not an option. i never used it, and is not simple to me. also, it needs further resources etc, i need a general answer independent of such variables
    – user47206
    Jun 10 '13 at 12:20
  • 1
    You should add that you don't want to use virtualization to the question because that otherwise would be a clean way to do things. Although Glutaminate's pointer to the tutorial should do the trick :)
    – user25656
    Jun 10 '13 at 12:51
  • @vasa1 - have added that. virtual box (or wine) is a way of keeping an eye on the latest versions: but you see, i need to use the 3.5 for now, and i am not sure 4.x will behave in normal installation as it might in a virtual box or in wine.
    – user47206
    Jun 10 '13 at 13:34
  • 1
    The LibreOffice guys actually recommend still using 3.5.x for production purposes but they want the "rest of us" to test the latest and greatest. BTW, OT, do you have any LibreOffice icons in /usr/share/icons/hicolor/scalable/mimetypes/ ? On my install of LibO 4, I found several large icons scattered all over the place.
    – user25656
    Jun 10 '13 at 13:59
  • @vasa1 :) in fact i do not need a newer version than 3.5, i am just curious if my scrolling problem (considered by a commentator on bugzilla as a vga driver bug, instead of a libreoffice bug, and its absence in 3.5 and before as "pure luck") would go away in a latest version. it is easy to imagine that the amount of effort that i am ready to invest for curiosity is limited. considering mimetypes: i use 3.5 now and will answer soon
    – user47206
    Jun 10 '13 at 14:12

The Document Foundation wiki contains a dedicated help page for installing multiple versions of LibreOffice:

  • see the specific instructions for Linux systems (including Debian-based, i.e. Ubuntu);
  • or the generic page, which includes links to detailed instructions for Windows, OSX, and Linux.

I understand that "link-only" answers are frowned upon, but better to point to that documentation (which will be refreshed), than provide a dubious copy/paste here (which could readily go stale).


Another imo simpler way of having different versions of Libreoffice installed alongside, is to install one version using apt and the other one using snap. Whit this approach I have now LO 6.4.6 vía apt and LO via snap.

lucas@lucas:~$ apt list libreoffice -a
Listing... Done
libreoffice/focal-updates,now 1:6.4.6-0ubuntu0.20.04.1 amd64 [installed]
libreoffice/focal 1:6.4.2-0ubuntu3 amd64

lucas@lucas:~$ snap list | grep libreoffice
libreoffice                     204    latest/stable    canonical*  -

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