Upgrade LibreOffice from one PPA to another on Ubuntu

19 Nov

With version 4.3.4 of LibreOffice just released, and 4.2.7 reaching its end of life today, you might want to upgrade your office suite from the 4.2 “still” branch to the 4.3 “fresh” branch.  You might also be excited about the new features that the 4.3 branch brings along, including better format compatibility, printable comments (Writer), better pivot table layout and improved statistics wizard (Calc), 3D models (Impress), improved PDF import, neater GUI (including a brand new colour picker), plus lots more.

I have noticed in previous attempts that when I change the LibreOffice PPA I use, I end up still using the older version even though I have upgraded the packages.

I am writing down here the process that actually properly upgrade LibreOffice by using PPAs, especially because I know I will have forgotten how to do it next time I am upgrading.

You can find all the LibreOffice PPAs on this page. In my example, we will upgrade from the 4.2 PPA to the 4.3 PPA, but you can easily replace the version numbers by the ones that suit you.

You will first need to remove the old PPA, if you already had one. You can do that by going into “Software and Updates” in your system settings and deleting it in the “Other software” tab, or you can install the nifty package ‘ppa-purge’ by opening the terminal (ctrl + alt + T) and typing in ‘sudo apt-get install ppa-purge’, and then using the command ‘sudo ppa-purge ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-4-2’.

You can now add the new PPA with the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-4-3

Then you need to uninstall entirely LibreOffice with the following command:

sudo apt-get purge libreoffice*

Make sure you update the repository information now that you have a new PPA:

sudo apt-get update

And finish with installing LibreOffice:

sudo apt-get install libreoffice

And you should be right!

You can also do all this by copy-pasting one single command after you removed the old PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-4-3 && sudo apt-get purge libreoffice* && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install libreoffice

Nota bene: At the time of writing, 4.3.4 for Trusty (14.04) is not in the 4.3 PPA yet. There always is a bit of lagging between the official release and the PPA upload, but lately the packaging team has been way more responsive than in the past.

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