Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 11:35

Zotero is a free software to collect and create bibliography via web browser. Zotero licensed in GNU AGPL, and is available in GNU/Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. Zotero has support for free office suite software like, LibreOffice, and NeoOffice. Zotero used in research (or in any field that need citation and bibliography management). Its main features are to collect bibliography library from websites, journals, books, PDF files, images, and another sources; then to create citation and bibliography entries automatically in word processor. We want to introduce how to install Zotero and Zotero LibreOffice Plugin in Ubuntu (and it is compatible with another GNU/Linux distributions). Enjoy your research with Zotero.

System Summary


In this tutorial, we use this set of software:
  • Firefox 37.0
  • LibreOffice 4.4
  • Ubuntu 15.04 32 bit
  • Zotero 4.0.28
  • Zotero LibreOffice Plugin 3.5.11
When writing this tutorial, we find that Firefox 28 (the default in Ubuntu 14.04) is not compatible with this version of Zotero.

Obtain Zotero and Zotero LibreOffice Plugin


We need two different software to install Zotero in our system, and then to integrate it in LibreOffice. First, the main Zotero interface will be united with Firefox (it will collect the bibliography library). Second, the integrator will connect between Firefox and LibreOffice by installing a new toolbar in LibreOffice. To get the two software, go to

  1. and download Zotero For Firefox. It is actually just an XPI file (Firefox add-on file). At this time, the correct URL is
  2. and download LibreOffice Plugin. It is actually also an XPI file. At this time, the correct URL is This add-on will ask you later to install default-jre and libreoffice-java-common packages in Ubuntu.

Install Zotero and Zotero LibreOffice Plugin


First, to install Zotero for Firefox, drag the file (the XPI file) into Firefox window. You will see a dialog appears asking you to install. Just click install. After doing this, you must restart Firefox. After restarting, you will get 'Z' button on your toolbar (which is Zotero button) and when you press Ctrl+Shift+Z you get Zotero interface appears in the bottom of Firefox window.

Second, to install Zotero LibreOffice Plugin, drag the file into Firefox window. Do the same thing like the first. Then, you will see installation dialog with the usual Next button. This installation dialog will ask you to install default-jre and libreoffice-java-common packages in Ubuntu. Please turn on your internet connection and let it install them (it needs about 40 MB). After installing, restart your Firefox once more time and open LibreOffice Writer. You must see this Zotero toolbar in Writer (or enable it first from View > Toolbar > Zotero).

Until this point, your installation and integration are finished successfully. To use Zotero in LibreOffice, you must open Firefox (let LibreOffice and Firefox running concurrently).