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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Tue, 21 Jun 2011

LibreOffice is now in Debian Squeeze Backports

Turmoil in the free-office-suite world has led to the formation of the Document Foundation and its forking of OpenOffice.org into LibreOffice, and much if not most of the Linux world has declared its support for the more-community-oriented LibreOffice.

Just about every major (and most minor) Linux distribution that used to ship OpenOffice.org is now either already shipping or pledging to ship LibreOffice instead. I get the feeling that some will continue to offer OpenOffice in their repositories, but when it comes to the default office suite going forward, LibreOffice will fill that roll.

If I’m not incorrect, Ubuntu, OpenSuse and Fedora are already shipping LO.

And LibreOffice has been available in Debian Sid and Wheezy for awhile.

But what about Debian Squeeze, the project’s Stable release? Stable Debian releases traditionally don’t get new packages in their core repositories. That means LibreOffice will be included in the next Stable release, the current Testing release (Wheezy). Wheezy will be declared stable sometime in the future. I’d say a year from now. But if you wanted LibreOffice in Squeeze until very recently, the package could be installed either from the Testing or Unstable archives.

Now there’s a “better,” safer way for Squeeze users to run LibreOffice …

The LO suite is now available in Squeeze Backports.

So how do you go about using Debian Backports? There are instructions, from which I have pulled the following for Squeeze users:

Add backports to your sources.list

Add this line

# deb http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports squeeze-backports main

to your sources.list (or add a new file to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/)

Run apt-get update

Install a package from backports

All backports are deactivated by default (i.e. the packages are pinned to 100 by using ButAutomaticUpgrades: yes in the Release files. If you want to install something from backports run (and don't put actual quote marks around the name of the package you wish to install):

# apt-get -t squeeze-backports install "package"

of course you can use aptitude as well:

# aptitude -t squeeze-backports install "package"

So to install LibreOffice, you’d run:

# aptitude -t squeeze-backports install libreoffice

Archived comments


Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 02:10:13

Excellent news! Thanks.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 15:03:13

I think it will not work now. Because in Squeeze you have the old version of ure 1.6*. But for libreoffice you need the new ure 1.7. You have to install ure 1.7 from sid.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 20:32:41

They built it for Squeeze: http://packages.debian.org/squeeze-backports/editors/libreoffice so it should work.

If anybody has installed LibreOffice from squeeze-backports, please let us know how it went. Meanwhile, I’ll try it asap.


Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 11:57:02

The apt-get version of the command tries to install abiword and gnumeric as well. It appears that the package has not been built properly.


Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 16:58:23

Great news! LO comes to the very stable platform natural way.


Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 20:41:24

I’ve purged entirely existing OpenOffice, after that installed LibreOffice from backports. No problems at all. LibreOffice is running with flying colors. :D


Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 22:59:37

I have tried via apt-get install libreoffice and Synatpic. Both indicate a newer version of URE is needed for libreoffice-core. The error is

libreoffice-core: Depends: libreoffice-common but it is not going to be installed Depends: ure (>=1.7.0+LibO3.3.0~beta3) but 1.6.1+OOo3.2.1-11+squeeze2 is to be installed


Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 23:03:54

It looks like the solution is to

aptitude -t squeeze-backports install ure

then install libreoffice.


Friday, June 24, 2011 - 10:49:22

Sorry, but the Uno Runtime Environment, URE 1.7 is (at the moment) only in Debian SID available. In the Squeeze Backports ure 1.7 is actually not available! So the command “apt-get -t” or “aptitude -t” will not work. Be patient till the package is in the backports. Then you will have a proper solution!!!


Friday, June 24, 2011 - 17:55:08

I just did the LibreOffice installation from Debian Backports. It worked.


Saturday, June 25, 2011 - 15:32:56

Sorry! Yes, you are right! It works! ;-)

I installed also “libreoffice-evolution, -pdfimport, -presentation-minimizer” and “mozilla-libreoffice”.

But this is up to you.


Saturday, June 25, 2011 - 23:40:26


Thanks for the tips on extra packages. I’ll look for those. I’m an off-and-on user of Evolution (mostly Thunderbird).


Saturday, July 2, 2011 - 13:48:17

I have to do a presentation with a lot of formulas. They render right in editing the presentation, but become incorrect in slide show. In LibreOffice this problem is corrected, but I didn’t want to upgrade my presentation laptop to Sid.

I installed LibreOffice on Squeeze as per your instructions without any problems. The computer is a Lenovo T61 running a fully updated Squeeze.

Thanks a lot jlinkels