Installing LibreOffice On Slackware 15
Installing LibreOffice On Slackware 15
by Terrell Prude’ Jr.

?Slackware has been one of my favorite GNU/Linux distributions for a very long time, especially since Version 8.0 came out, many moons back. The reason is that it embodies the “KISS” method of designing a distribution. “KISS” means, “Keep It Simple, Stupid!”, and that’s what the Slackware team has done since the distribution’s inception. When Slackware 15.0 came out in February 2022, I celebrated like other “Slackers”, and I’d been running the beta and release candidates (the then-“Slackware-current”) since early 2021.

I’ve even used Slackware at work in a “Microsoft shop”. Yes, it can be done, and it can be done well. To do so, I needed something compatible with Microsoft Office file formats. OpenOffice.org was the ticket back then even in its Beta Build 638c days (yes, I’ve been using it for a long time!), and the tradition continues today, 21 years later with today’s LibreOffice. It is this office productivity suite that really makes using Free Software platforms (e. g. GNU/Linux, the BSD’s) on general-purpose business computers possible.

Sadly, Slackware didn’t include OpenOffice.org back then, and it doesn’t include LibreOffice now. This is speculation on my part, but several years ago, Patrick Volkerding stopped including GNOME because it was too much of a pain to package and distribute for a project that doesn’t have the resources of Red Hat, Debian, or Ubuntu. I suspect this may also be true for LibreOffice. Also, the binary packages from LibreOffice come in RPM and DEB format. This choice by the LibreOffice developers is quite understandable, as Red Hat- and Debian-based distros are by far the dominant presence on personal computers. That still leaves us “Slackers” out in the cold, though.

I realize that nowadays there are “Slackbuilds”, analogous to BSD’s “Packages” collection, and the people who maintain those are definitely to be thanked and appreciated (and I do). The reality is that those aren’t always updated to the latest versions of applications, given time constraints. Remember that Slackware is a relatively small all-volunteer project, like OpenBSD. Also, I prefer to stay as up-to-date as possible.

So, what to do?

Fortunately, there is a way to install a fully-functional, latest-greatest, LibreOffice on our Slackware 15.0 computers and use it. The best part is that it’s not difficult to do…at least, not now that you have this handy-dandy HOW-TO document to follow.