Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

Summary: The popular Linux distribution has elected to go with the new LibreOffice office suite over Oracle's OpenOffice.

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The Ubuntu developers met last week in Dallas to make final design decisions about the popular Linux distribution’s features and decided to use LibreOffice for its office suite.

This comes as no surprise to Ubuntu watchers. Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth told me back when LibreOffice developers were forking away from Oracle’s OpenOffice had told me that, “The Ubuntu Project will be pleased to ship LibreOffice from The Document Foundation in future releases of Ubuntu.” It wasn’t a sure thing though that Ubuntu 11.04, aka Natty Narwhal, due out on April 28th, would have LibreOffice. It is now.

First, Canonical started packing LibreOffice in the daily alpha releases of Ubuntu 11.04, but I decided to check further. So, I gave Canonical a call and Neil Levine, Canonical’s VP of corporate services told me that the Ubuntu developer team had indeed decided to make LibreOffice its default office suite over OpenOffice.

This decision means that Ubuntu will probably be the first major Linux distribution to release a Linux that uses LibreOffice. It won’t be the last. Red Hat’s community Linux distribution, Fedora has also decided to use LibreOffice. Fedora will release this in Fedora 15 due out on May 10th. According to the Fedora LibreOffice development documentation, the Fedora programmers are doing this because, “LibreOffice can continue without hampering from Oracle should it decide to kill the project like it did to OpenSolaris.”

Novell’s openSUSE has also decided to use LibreOffice. Since many Novell and openSUSE developers also work on LibreOffice that comes as no surprise. In theory, openSUSE should be the first Linux to arrive with LibreOffice since its release date was set for March 10th, but the acquisition of Novell by Attachmate seems to be slowing them down a bit.

There seems to be little chance that Oracle would do that to OpenOffice. Well, not any time soon anyway. The next version of Oracle OpenOffice, 3.3, should be out within the next month or two. On the other hand, Oracle has also announced a cloud-based office suite, Oracle Cloud Office. Will Oracle continue to support both? We just don’t know yet.

What we do know though is that first Ubuntu, then Red Hat and Fedora and Novell and openSUSE will be releasing Linux distributions without OpenOffice.

Topics: Oracle, Collaboration, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

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43 comments
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  • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

    As long as the two are similar (and they are) either one is fine. I can understand why Linux, who have a history of wanting to go with FOSS solutions would switch to LibreOffice over OpenOffice.
    Lerianis10
    • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

      LibreOffice will do well with all Linux distro's.
      choyongpil
    • Fragmentation isnt good

      This isn't good news. Oracle acquired some pretty important open source products. The news so far isn't promising.

      Linux hasn't made much progress in the desktop, but our eyes are on Java. This is mission critical technology.
      Richard Flude
    • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

      @Lerianis10
      I have never in my 10 years of IT, heard of LibreOffice... that should tell you how far behind linux is..
      Hasam1991
      • "I have never in my 10 years of IT, heard of LibreOffice..."

        @Hasam1991

        I think that speaks more to your breadth of exposure, than "how far behind linux is"
        SonofaSailor
      • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

        @Hasam1991
        I don't know about his breadth - many people I know who don't keep up to date haven't realized the OO has forked. It's pretty recent news in the grand scheme of things. Now is when we see whether the community steps up and keeps LibreOffice alive.
        crazydanr@...
      • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

        @Hasam1991

        You couldn't hear about LibreOffice in even "20 years of IT" because it was only started months ago. That only tells us that you don't read the article you comment, and nothing more.
        gnufreex
      • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

        @Hasam1991 <br><br>or ahead...<br><br>LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice, spawned by the uncertainty of OpenOffice's future now that Oracle has acquired it (part of the Sun Microsystems acquisition) and demonstrated its animosity toward opensource in general with its handling of other Open Source projects it acquired such as OpenSolaris

        10 years or 50 years wouldn't matter, this is very recent news
        erik.soderquist
      • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

        @Hasam1991 ,,, Not a case of Linux being behind! LO is very, very new and word is just getting out. About the only people who know so far are the ones that followed OO.o or its newgroups but word is spreading. A lot of people who can't help because they're "just" users are waiting for the release that's called stable. Don't look now, but it's here, actually.
        twaynesdomain-22354355019875063839220739305988
    • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

      @Lerianis10 ... Either one is NOT fine with me. OO.o contains a bunch of bugs and things needing workarounds that are not only simple to fix, but have been evident since day one. In my earlier talks with TDF they assured me things like that would be addressed and fixed but to date I haven't seen any evidence of it online. I'll be making my first download of LO late this week or early next week; those things are SO basic they should have been part of the defelopment plan. They're well documented on OO.o but no LO yet.
      Here's hoping!!
      I really want LO to take its rightful place in prime time.
      twaynesdomain-22354355019875063839220739305988
      • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

        @twaynesdomain
        Specifics? I'm interested.
        daengbo
  • Ellison &amp; Co. Shouldn't AT ALL Be Surprised By This Development

    "According to the Fedora LibreOffice development documentation, the Fedora [developers] are doing this because, 'LibreOffice can continue without hampering from Oracle should it decide to kill the project like it did to OpenSolaris.' "<br>==================================================<br>One can only ASSUME that Ellison and his bozos decided that pissing off the Linux developer community made economic sense. Only time alone can tell exactly just how well these assumptions will play out on the various balance sheets.
    nbahn
    • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

      @nbahn Oracle will fail over time. They are destroying everything Sun did. MySQL already has a fork, and over time it will get bigger. MySQL support has already been branched out, since Oracle started charging retarded prices for MySQL support.
      Jimster480
  • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

    I might give this a try, I've used open office for years, I managed to get it installed on a few hundred work PC's when Microsoft wanted $1000 a seat for Office.

    Open Office has gone pretty stale lately with not much being done.
    alsobannedfromzdnet
    • $1000 a seat for Office?

      [b]Never[/b] saw it sold for that price. not even close to $1000.00
      John Zern
      • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

        @John Zern <br><br>depends when and what options... the <i>complete</i> office suite, depending on how you count it, currently can easily exceed $1000/seat<br><br>for example, from Microsoft's own website:<br><br>Office professional 2010: $499.99<br>--Word<br>--Excel<br>--Outlook<br>--PowerPoint<br>--Access<br>--Publisher<br>--OneNote<br>Visio 2010: $249.95/$559.99/$999.99<br>Project Professional 2010: $905.99 (not directly available from Microsoft, this is CDW's price)<br><br>and yes, these are considered by Microsoft to be part of the Microsoft Office 2010 suite...<br><br>going with the cheapest version of Visio, 1 seat of the complete office suite is $1,655.93<br><br>if you need premium Visio, your complete suite is $2,405.97<br><br>so yes, Microsoft Office at $1000/seat is not only possible, it is realistic even with the current versions if you need either Visio or Project

        (reference: Microsoft's Office website)
        erik.soderquist
  • What about Debian GNU/Linux?!

    A little hint (What about Debian GNU/Linux?!)
    It is ridiculous to hear all that "great things" that will be done in ubuntu without any mention about the Debian GNU/Linux. The Libre Office packages will appear in Ubuntu, because Debian maintainers did the job. Period.
    benzynka
    • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

      @benzynka The Ubuntu community can handle packaging and maintaining those packages as well. Now what about the next release of Debian? Will be Libreoffice the default office suite?
      xogui
      • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

        @xogui
        Ubuntu took the packages from Debian repository.
        I can't find any information about that fact. Maybe I'm missing some part of the article?!
        There was an joke about distros
        And the last part of it was:
        Ubuntu takes the credit...

        That's not fair.
        benzynka
      • RE: Ubuntu opts for LibreOffice over Oracle's OpenOffice

        @xogui

        If they run true to form, as long as OOo remains under an OSI approved free software license, they will include both. the freest one would be the default install, but the other will be available.
        YetAnotherBob