How to install LibreOffice onto a Chromebook

With Linux Development Environment (LDE), we can make any number of Linux applications run from within ChromeOS. However in order to install a Linux application onto our Chromebook, we will need to use a terminal window. So in this video we are going to show you the commands we used to install LibreOffice onto our Chromebook.

Notes: In order to run LibreOffice from a Chromebook, you will need to install Linux Development Environment (LDE). LDE is really just a Virtual Machine of Linux within ChromeOS. So by default Linux will be isolated from ChromeOS and any data you have stored on it. If you are using a school or work Chromebook you might not be able to use Linux. So please contact your system administrator or tech support before trying.

Quick reference notes:

  • Open the Linux Development Environment menu
  • From within the menu select Penguin to open a Linux Terminal windows
  • First we are going to check for update by typing:
sudo apt update
  • As we did not have any updates, there was no need to perform an update. However, if you need to update the applications and services in your instance of Linux you will need to type:
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
  • We now need to install something called Flatpak. To do this we need to type:
sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub
  • We now need to wait until the command prompt become available.
  • Next we need to run a series of commands to install LibreOffice
sudo flatpak install flathub org.libreoffice.LibreOffice
  • When prompted “Do you want to instal it” type Y
  • When prompted to “Proceed with these Changes to the system installation?“, type Y
  • LibreOffice will now install onto your Chromebook
  • Finally we need to set file permissions for LibreOffice
sudo chown root:root /usr/bin/bwrap && sudo chmod u+s /usr/bin/bwrap
  • Now wait until you once again see a command prompt
  • We can now exit the terminal window
  • We can no try and run one of the LibreOffice application.
  • In the ChromeOS app launcher you will a folder called Linux apps which will contain any Linux applications you have installed onto your Chromebook. You should find the suite of applications for LibreOffice here.

Note: As most cheap Chromebooks use eMMC drives rather that SSD’s, you might find that it takes a while for the LibreOffice applications to load. So this slow load speed is more a limitation of your model of Chromebook, rather than LibreOffice as an application.

Reference materials:

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