This guide explains how to install the latest LibreOffice from a Flatpak package, with screenshots. Flatpak is a new system to install/remove software that is universal for all GNU/Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo, openSUSE, etc.). Hence, Flatpak is a new package management system in Ubuntu. To give you the difference with the default system, in APT system the user installs a software by directly downloading many different packages, but in Flatpak system the user installs a software from a single file (in a .flatpak format) without any internet access. Flatpak does not break the built-in LibreOffice package, even the two installed versions can run simultaneously. It sounds pretty interesting, and this guide gives you how to try Flatpak in your Ubuntu system
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Overview


In Flatpak system (different with the default APT system), you need to follow these steps:

  1. Install the Flatpak user program. This is required because Ubuntu does not include it by default.
  2. Install the GNOME Platform Runtime. This is required too because many software packaged in .flatpak depends on this as a dependency.
  3. Download the .flatpak package of a software. You may find some popular free software like LibreOffice and GNOME already has Flatpak version of their software. Nowadays, Flatpak is still a new thing, so there are not too many software already available yet in Flatpak format.
  4. Install the .flatpak package using the Flatpak user program.
  5. Once you have Flatpak user program and GNOME Platform Runtime, you can install any number of .flatpak packages.

1. Install Flatpak User Program


Type these command lines in Terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alexlarsson/flatpak
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install flatpak



2. Install GNOME Platform Runtime


GNOME Platform Runtime is a collection of software and library from GNOME as a requirement to install LibreOffice.flatpak package. Installing this runtime is important. Please remember that this runtime is huge, around 180 MB in size for now (at your time, it can be different). To install it, run the following command line in Terminal:
$ flatpak install --user gnome org.gnome.Platform 3.20 



3. Download Flatpak Package for LibreOffice


After having the two requirements, you just need to download the LibreOffice package in .flatpak file format. Download it from this URL: http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/flatpak/latest/LibreOffice.flatpak. At the day I write this guide (20 December 2016), it is 156 MB in size and it contains the LibreOffice software version 5.2.3.3.



4. Install The .flatpak Package


After having all the requirements and the .flatpak package, now you just need to install the .flatpak file using Flatpak user program. This installation lasts for few minutes and it does not show any progress information (by default) while processing (by contrast, APT shows a lot of information). You install it in using Terminal by this command line:
$ flatpak install --user --bundle LibreOffice.flatpak


5. Run The LibreOffice Software


Once installed, the software (LibreOffice here) is ready to run by using this command line in Terminal:
$ flatpak run org.libreoffice.LibreOffice


6. Uninstall Flatpak Software


Once installed, a software installed from .flatpak package can be uninstalled by this command line:

$ flatpak uninstall --user org.libreoffice.LibreOffice



6. Additional Info about Using Flatpak


Here are some useful information to use Flatpak just like you use the default apt-get package manager.

  • $ flatpak list : command line to show what Flatpak packages installed in your system.
  • $ man flatpak : command line to show complete Flatpak user manual.

References



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