Install FreeOffice on Ubuntu Linux

The free alternative to MS Office can be a decent choice for some. Learn to install it in this tutorial.
Warp Terminal

If you are looking for LibreOffice alternatives on Linux, FreeOffice can be an excellent choice, especially if you are ok with using non-FOSS software.

Its developer. SoftMaker, has a proprietary office product which comes at a cost. Their free version is labelled FreeOffice which offers fewer features but costs you nothing.

This makes FreeOffice a decent choice for those who are not happy with LibreOffice for some reason and want a more modern, MS Office like product without the licensing fee.

Want to try it? In this tutorial, I will walk you through two ways you can install FreeOffice on Debian and Ubuntu-based distributions:

  • Using the FreeOffice repository (recommended)
  • Using the FreeOffice .deb file

So let's start with the recommended method.

Non-FOSS alert: Softmaker's FreeOffice is not open source.

You may be wondering why I recommend this method over the other one. Well, that's pretty simple.

When you use SoftMaker's repository to install FreeOffice, it will be updated when you update your system repository in Ubuntu (when you use sudo apt update).

This means you don't have to update the FreeOffice manually, it will be taken care of automatically while upgrading the system itself.

First, you will have to create a new directory keyrings using the following:

mkdir -p /etc/apt/keyrings

Next, download the GPG key for the SoftMaker repository using the following:

sudo wget -qO- | gpg --dearmor > /etc/apt/keyrings/softmaker.gpg

After downloading the repository key, set up a new repository entry in your system:

sudo echo "deb [signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/softmaker.gpg] stable non-free" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/softmaker.list

To take effect from all these changes you've made, update your system repository:

sudo apt update

Finally, install the FreeOffice using the following:

sudo apt install softmaker-freeoffice-2021

That's it!

From now on, you can access FreeOffice from your system menu:

access freeoffice from Ubuntu start menu

Uninstall FreeOffice

If you don't want to use FreeOffice anymore, then you can uninstall it using the following command:

sudo apt remove softmaker-freeoffice-2021

But if you want to remove the FreeOffice repository as well, then I would suggest reading our detailed guide on removing repositories from Ubuntu:

Remove Software Repositories from Ubuntu [3 Easy Ways] 😎
From apt-add-repository to Software & Updates tool, here are several ways to remove software repositories from Ubuntu.

Method 2: Install FreeOffice using the deb file

If you use this method to install FreeOffice, the only way to update this package is to install the newer version of .deb package.

If you don't want to go through the hassle of adding the repository to Ubuntu to install FreeOffice and you want a straightforward solution then you will find this interesting.

To download the FreeOffice .deb file, visit the official download page of FreeOffice:

Download the .deb file of FreeOffice

Once you are done downloading .deb file, open the terminal, and move to the directory where the downloaded .deb file using the cd command.

For the most users, it will be located in the Downloads directory:

cd ~/Downloads 

To install the downloaded deb file in Ubuntu, simply execute the following command:

sudo apt install ./softmaker-freeoffice*.deb

That's it!

Uninstall FreeOffice

If you are tired of updating FreeOffice manually and you no longer want to deal with it then here's how you remove it.

To remove the deb package, it is necessary to know the exact package name which can be done using the following:

apt list --installed | grep freeoffice
Know the name of the installed FreeOffice deb package in Ubuntu

Once you find the exact package name, you can use the apt remove command to remove it in the following manner:

sudo apt remove <package_name>

In my case, the package name is softmaker-freeoffice-2021 and to remove it, I will be using the following:

sudo apt remove softmaker-freeoffice-2021

That's all it takes to remove the FreeOffice deb package.

Here are more MS Office alternatives

If you are on the journey of finding the best alternative to MS Office, then here are the top 6 alternatives you can try:

6 Best Open Source Alternatives to Microsoft Office for Linux
Looking for Microsoft Office on Linux? Here are the best free and open-source alternatives to Microsoft Office for Linux.

If you want, you can also try a paid alternative SoftMaker Office:

SoftMaker Office: A Premium Office Suite for Linux
Brief: SoftMaker Office is an interesting paid alternative to Microsoft Office on Linux. Compared to some free and open-source office suites out there, it offers some extra features and a better user interface. SoftMaker is a premium office suite for Linux, Windows, and macOS. It is neither fre…

I hope you will find this tutorial helpful.

About the author
Sagar Sharma

Sagar Sharma

A software engineer who loves to write about his experience with Linux. While reviving my crashed system, you can find me reading literature, manga, or watering my plants.

Become a Better Linux User

With the FOSS Weekly Newsletter, you learn useful Linux tips, discover applications, explore new distros and stay updated with the latest from Linux world


Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to It's FOSS.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.