My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Libre Office 7 packages for Slackware-current

New! LibreOffice 7.0.0 was released last week and I built packages for Slackware-current.

The release announcement gives a concise overview of the new features and enhancements all over the board – among which a much improved support for Microsoft Office document file formats. I will not repeat all of that here on the blog, so please check out the content behind above link.
Amazing that even with several big companies driving the development of this Open Source office suite, still 26% of LibreOffice’s code contributions come from non-corporate individuals.

LibreOffice and KDE Plasma5

The libreoffice.SlackBuild script is now defaulting to building KDE5 (aka Plasma5) support. It will generate errors if you try to compile on a system that does not have KDE Frameworks5 and libdbus-qt5 installed. See the README.kde5 in the source: you can get all of them from my ‘ktown‘ repository.
Or, if you do not want to install KDE5 components, you set the value of the “ADD_KDE5” variable in the script to “NO”.
Note that you can safely install the KDE support package on a system that does not have any trace of KDE; it will simply do nothing.

Java support dropped from the libreoffice Slackware package

One caveat with the new packages is that to build Java support into them, one will need Oracle JDK 9 or higher. I do not have OpenJDK 9 or higher in my repositories and I will not, until IcedTea adds support for these versions. Until then, I stick with Java 8 and that means I had to disable Java support in the libreoffice packages that I compile from source. There’s a new variable in the libreoffice.SlackBuild script, “USE_JAVA“, and it defaults to “NO”. If you want to recompile the packages adding Java support, get a recent enough JDK from Oracle and be sure to also install Apache Ant.

From ??the LibreOffice Wiki page:

What is Java used for in LibreOffice?
LibreOffice is written primarily in C / C++, a language that generates programs called “native” designed for specific platforms. There are versions for Windows, Linux or Solaris, but not for all three at the same time. However, some modules can be written in other languages, including Java.
Specifically, currently (as of version 6.3) at least these components/functionality require Java:

  • HSQLDB (optionally used for embedded database in Base; default is Firebird that doesn’t depend on Java)
  • JDBC
  • Some wizards (particularly, Table/Query/Form/Report Wizards in Base)
  • ReportBuilder (used to generate actual reports from report templates in Base)
  • Non-Linear solvers built-in extension (DEPS and SCO) in Calc (there is an experimental Swarm solver that doesn’t depend on Java)
  • MediaWiki extension (Wiki Publisher)
  • Support for scripts and extensions written in Java/Beans

I hope none of you are in dire need of this functionality, in that case I would suggest installing the official binaries from the Document Foundation and a Oracle JDK (or JRE) version 9 or higher.

Also, this is a .0.0 release – do you feel that you can use this release as your daily driver? Should I make the previous 6.4.5 available somehow (not that I would like that)? Note that these packages are available only for Slackware-current anyway, and that is a testing ground already.



  1. Eduardo

    Hi Eric,
    Thanks for these packages! As far as I can tell there’s no need for me of using Java with LO.
    I downloaded 7.0 and everything works OK so far. Thanks again!

  2. chrisretusn

    Thanks Eric, I use LibreOffice almost exclusively with Calc and Writer, no issues so far with out Java.

  3. Fellype

    Hi Eric!
    Thank you for all your efforts in providing the most recent version of LO and other software.
    Regarding a possible availability of LO 6.4.5, my opinion is that this could be useful for some users. A policy like: provide a stable LO version until the latest reaches .0.2, could be interesting. Particularly, I don’t need you keep LO 6.4.5 because I already have a backup copy here 😀
    Best regards

  4. svily0

    Wonderful, thanks for the new Office release.
    Eric, I know that you have much more important things to do, but since I have no clue where to direct my question, do you know what is going on with the scripts lately? – looks like every new package just moves the /etc/*/*.new over your existing files. They call mv instead of the config function. Am I the only one who is changing his setup?

    Again, you don’t need to answer me, I just don’t know whom else to ask about this. Perhaps I’ll place this on too.


    • alienbob

      svily0, can you give an example of a package which has such a script?

      • svily0

        It seems to be more of a problem with the security updates in 14.2 (I have a few servers which I dare not upgrade to -current). Looked around, openssh-8.2p1-x84_64-3 does it though, in -current. I like to add a keygen function to my script (which only generates keys) and then all of a sudden there are errors since it’s overwritten. eudev also moves the .new file, but at least states that it’s on purpose. I think NetworkManager also did this. Shall confirm later, don’t have access now.


        • alienbob

          Sometimes, *.new files need to be installed on the system – because things would break otherwise. The /etc/rc.d/rc.ssh file is such a script. If you want to customize its content, better to do it in rc.local. The rc.udev file is similar, in that a user should not be editing it.
          The reason that there is a .new version of these files in the package is purely meant to be able to preserve the permissions of the already installed script – i.e. if you would have removed the executable bit from rc.udev then the updated script will also not have the executable bit set.

  5. Jen

    I haven’t noticed anything strange with 7.0, but I don’t do anything wild with Libre Office, either.

  6. ArTourter

    Thanks Eric, for the new release.

    All seem to be working fine. The only thing I noticed is that the dropdown list of fonts is all white when using a dark theme (except for the highlighted font). No other dropdown lists have this issue. It is probably a bug upstream but I thought I’d report it anyway.


  7. Dave

    Excellent, thanks again!

  8. Widya Walesa

    Well, I’m accessing my databases (personal/work) using dbeaver community edition, so I don’t think I need java in libreoffice. Thanks. Downloading it now from Tadgy’s repo

  9. Owen Greaves

    I’m the odd guy out, since all the latest updates, Libreoffice won’t work – I’m sure it’s my fault : (


    • Owen Greaves

      Here’s the error I get when I try to run it from the CLI in Plasma Konsole:

      /usr/lib64/libreoffice/program/soffice.bin: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

      • Owen Greaves

        Nevermind, I fixed it, just reinstalled boost-compat : )


  10. Eduardo

    Eric, maybe this has been answered before and in that case my apologies.

    I am trying to sign documents in Libre Office with my GPG signature which, as usual in Slackware, is stored in ~/.gnupg/

    When I select File > Digital Signatures > Digital Signatures… the resulting dialog box shows an empty signature list.

    Clicking the “Start Certificate Manager…” button opens Kleopatra which duly show my GPG key, but there is no way that LibreOffice could recognize my GPG setup so that I could sign a document.

    Is this support disabled or is there some step which I should do before I could sign documents in LibreOffice? Thanks in advance!

    • alienbob

      Hi Eduardo,
      In “File > Digital signatures…” you see the signatures for the document, if you have not yet signed the document that list will be empty. When you click “Sign document” button at the bottom of the window you will get a popup asking to “Enter password for NSS Certificate DB” and after entering that password you will be able to select one of the GPG private keys in your keyring for signing the document. After entering the passphrase for your GPG private key, the new signature will appear in the document.
      Works here…

      • Eduardo

        Thank you Eric! I saw that and I can say it apparently works.
        However, I cannot see my GPG private key when I use “Sign Existing PDF” and then I select a PDF file.

        However, this could work for me. Thanks!

        • alienbob

          LibreOffice does not implement a key management itself, and it uses the Mozilla Firefox keystore by default. This is why you have to enter your Firefox browser’s master password for that keystore at the “NSS Certificate DB” popup when starting the signing process.
          t looks like signing PDF files can only be done with SSL private keys; however the other Office file formats can be signed with your GPG private key. That is why the list with available keys is empty when you try to sign a PDF and you only created a GPG key.

          You can create a self-signed SSL certificate easily using openssl, but I doubt that many people will trust such a certificate. Alternatively you can purchase a SSL client certificate. IF you are a member of you can generate as many SSL client certs as you want, for free, connected with your various email addresses. The drawback is that none of the big browsers accept the CACert root certificates out of the box so you people will have to import these root certs manually into their browser. There’s a blog post about that here on Alien Pastures:
          Also unfortunately, Lets Encrypt who also run a free SSL CA (Certificate Authority) are only allowing server certificates, they do not support the client certificates you will need for document signing.

          • Pedro Neves

            So it’s somehow my fault.
            Thanks anyway

  11. Pedro Neves

    Hi Eric,
    Do you have any reports of LibreOffice 7.0.1 stopped working?
    Yesterday I’ve updated my Slackware64 current with all slackpkg updates and LibreOffice stopped working :(. Starting it on the konsole it stops without any error. Starting it within plasma it shows the splash screen and then exits.
    I’ve reinstalled you packages but the problem persists.
    Its just me or are anyone with the same problem?
    Thanks for all of your work.

    • alienbob

      I am fully uptodate here with Slackware64-current with exception of the kernel (running 5.4.61 at the moment) and LibreOffice programs start just fine. I can not reproduce your issue.
      Running Plasma5 here on the laptop. Note, I have not tried on a desktop with Nvidia graphics drivers.

  12. Eric

    I have the same problem with Zenwalk (Xfce and kernel 5.10.18), LibreOffice starts with the splash then crashes, no error message in console.

    • Eric

      I am on Intel UHD Graphics 620 and the problem appears few weeks ago.

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