My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

LibreOffice moves up to 4.3 – today, you can’t own a better Office Suite

Two versions of LibreOffice were released in quick succession. You’ll find the latest iteration of the successful 4.2 series announced here, but slightly ahead of that 4.2.6 release, there was also the bump to a new development cycle. I was on a field trip to the US at the time of the 4.3.0 release announcement and was unable to devote time to updating the SlackBuild script and provide packages earlier than today.

The 4.3.0 announcement claims that the new release comes with “a large number of improvements and new features, including: Document interoperability, Comment management and intuitive spreadsheet handling“.

What’s new in LibreOffice?

Here is some more detail about these three major improvements in 4.3.0:

  • Document interoperability: support of OOXML Strict, OOXML graphics improvements (DrawingML, theme fonts, preservation of drawing styles and attributes), embedding OOXML files inside another OOXML file, support of 30 new Excel formulas, support of MS Works spreadsheets and databases, and Mac legacy file formats such as ClarisWorks, ClarisResolve, MacWorks, SuperPaint, and more.
  • Comment management: comments can now be printed in the document margin, formatted in a better way, and imported and exported – including nested comments – in ODF, DOC, OOXML and RTF documents, for improved productivity and better collaboration.
  • Intuitive spreadsheet handling: Calc now allows the performing of several tasks more intuitively, thanks to the smarter highlighting of formulas in cells, the display of the number of selected rows and columns in the status bar, the ability to start editing a cell with the content of the cell above it, and being able to fully select text conversion models by the user.

Equally interesting news is that the developers state the following about the first 4.3 version even though this is a milestone release: LibreOffice “has reached a point of maturity that makes it suitable for every kind of deployment, if backed by value added services by the growing LibreOffice ecosystem“. This is a claim which would be made in the past only after several bug fix iterations had seen the light. To stress this point, the announcement informs us that “the quality of LibreOffice source code has improved dramatically during the last two years, with a reduction of the defect density per 1,000 lines of code from an above the average 1.11 to an industry leading 0.08“. Impressive maturing of a complex piece of software, which tells something about the dedication with which the developer community works on LibreOffice!

If you want to read more about all the new stuff in LibreOffice 4.3.0 there’s also the release notes. Lots of information there!

Note that I upgraded the LibreOffice packages in my Slackware 14.1/current repository from 4.2.5 to 4.3.0, which means that currently there is no 4.2 version to be found anymore (I offer LibreOffice 4.1.6 in the Slackware 14.0 repository). I am assuming that there are no major regressions in the 4.3.0 release but in the case where LibreOffice 4.3.0 proves unworkable, let me know and we’ll work something out with regard to availability of the old 4.2.5 packages. I added a build script for LibreOffice 4.2.6 in the sources directory, in case you want to try building 4.2.6 yourself.

Font compatibility:

With regard to MS Office compatibility, I have another remark. In the 4.2 releases I added copies of two open source TrueType fonts which are metric-compatible with two popular Microsoft fonts. Having these fonts available to LibreOffice means that the layout of MS Office documents when you open them in LibreOffice will be unaltered because the replacement fonts (Carlito for MS Calibri and Caladea for MS Cambria) have the same font metrics as the Microsoft ones. When updating the libreoffice.SlackBuild script I decided that I would rather have these two fonts available to the whole system, not just to LibreOffice. Therefore I created two separate packages for these fonts, and if you do not yet have the (non-free) Microsoft web core fonts installed I advise you strongly to install the open source Carlito and Caladea font packages.

Package availability:

LibreOffice 4.3.0 packages for Slackware 14.1 and -current are ready for download from the usual mirror locations:

A note about KDE integration:

If you are on KDE and simply “upgradepkg” the libreoffice packages, your application may suddenly look very out of style, having switched to a GTK look & feel. All you need to do is “installpkg” the new libreoffice-kde-integration package (I split the KDE support out of the big LO package and into its own separate package for LO 4.2.3, so it’s possible that you already have it).



  1. MDK

    Hey Eric, thanks for the package!

    But I’m getting this weird message when trying to open any document (by command line or by the libreoffice interface):

    “Component cannot be loaded, possibly broken or incomplete installation.
    Full error message:

    loading component library failed.”

    An image for the error:

    Thank you,
    Rodrigo Oliveira

  2. LoneStar

    Hi, yes
    seems on -current the package is linked to but now we have instead

    A manual “ln -s /usr/lib64/ /usr/lib64/” solves it, but a recompiled package would be better.


  3. LoneStar

    “ln -s /usr/lib64/ /usr/lib64/

    sorry for the typo

  4. LoneStar

    Oh, also, the Caladea package directories are empty. Carlito’s directories do contain their packages instead.

    Thanks for your work Eric!

  5. Didier Spiaer

    Being now retired I less often use an office application.

    That doesn’t prevent me to be very grateful of the tremendous work and the countless hours you devote to help Slackware be a full featured distribution that benefit of the most recent software.

    Huge thanks Eric!

  6. Mike Langdon (mlangdn)

    Thanks Eric! I noticed the empty Caladea directory also. Libreoffice is really nice.

  7. Jen

    Libre Office/Open Office is all I used through grad school. For actual drafting of things I use Scrivener, but for final edits/formats I still use Libre Office. (LaTeX/lilypond if I’m doing something involving embedded musical examples.)

    Wish more journals would support ODT and LaTeX. They all want doc or docx now. (At least in my discipline.)

  8. José Ribeiro

    Eric, Thank you very much for Libreoffice 4.3! 😀

    LoneStar, Thank you for the tip! 😉

  9. cwizard

    I getting a similar error message to the first post in this thread, but LibreOffice won’t open and the message is,

    “loading component library

  10. MDK

    Hey LoneStar, thank your for the tip, it’s working here now.

  11. Willy Sudiarto Raharjo

    It seems that current is symlinked to 14.1 or vice versa, while the package is different, thus a new rebuild for current version is needed to differentiate with 14.1 package.

  12. Deny Dias

    José Ribeiro,



    I’m sure we will get some package bumps from Eric very soon. 😉

  13. alienbob

    I am fixing the empty caladea package directories at the moment.
    The libreoffice package directories for 14.1 are indeed symlinked. I am not going to compile separate packages for Slackware-current because of the amount of time and diskspace it needs. Symlinking libGLEW is a quick workaround, and I will try to think of something I can apply to the existing packages without recompiling them. Still strange, because I configured the build to use the internal… apparently the linker picked up Slackware’s in the end. Perhaps a patch to fix this exists somewhere. And _that_ would warrant a re-compile.

  14. Deny Dias

    Thank you for the clarification Eric. It just works fine with the manual symlink.

    Off topic: Since I stated that my company have to work with LibreOffice for all its office suit needs and completely vanished proprietary ones, I’m having such a terrific moments explaining to our customers why they are receiving odt/ods/odp instead of docx/xlsx/pptx. It have became kinda mantra that I repeat over and over and that brings me peace of mind. I just love to do it! Actually, I’ve even made a template email message with those reasons (ISO/IEC links, freeware/free/proprietary software, interoperability, compatibility… all that tech/legal talk) that I careful read every time I have to send it to someone. 😀

  15. kyrill

    Thank you for your effort!
    1. When I have Russian localisation package installed pressing F1 or the ‘Help’ button anywhere results in an error message saying just ‘std::bad_alloc’ and an immediate crash. Hungarian localisation works fine.
    2. What do I need to actually enable KDE intedgration? I have the integration package installed, but don’t get KDE open/save dialogs. The same was for 4.2.5.

  16. mcnalu

    Many thanks for this Eric. I see the Caladea dir is fixed now. Really appreciate your efforts.

  17. alienbob

    kyrill, no idea why the KDE “file open” dialog does not show up. Let me know if you find out why.

  18. Eduardo

    I second Kyrill comments re: absence of KDE dialogs. Thanks Eric for everything!

  19. Helios

    Thank you for this new version.

    But there is still a bug. The following file

    cannot be displayed properly (I even got a segfault with it :

    soffice.bin[7391]: segfault at 47054d30 ip 00007ff3a0ff87fd sp 00007fffc833eab0 error 4 in[7ff3a0fbe000+1b9000] )

    I have submitted this bug some time ago to the libreoffice team, and they acknowledged it.

    The same problem occurs with OpenOffice. But the file can be read perfectly with calligra.

  20. ponce

    Hi Helios,

    FYI, I self built from Alien’s script on 64-current: I installed the resulting package and opened your file fine.

  21. alienbob

    Hi Helios

    I can not help you with functional bugs. I see that you reported it, there is nothing to be done but wait for a fix.

  22. Helios

    This is a very strange bug. I tried to open it again, and this time it killed X (or kde) and I am back to the console.
    It does not work on windows XP too, but this times only libreoffice dies.

    I could try this, but I am a little afraid. How much disk space do I need ?

  23. ponce

    @Helios: a lot.
    to be sure of not having problems, I built it inside a vm with 18 gigs of RAM, 24 cores and 100 gigs of /tmp, but you most probably will be ok with less…

  24. ponce

    I experimented more with that file, Helios: I had done my previous tests with my work desktop machine, with intel graphics and the rendering of the vector images was slow but it was a matter of seconds.
    at home, with the proprietary nvidia driver, it takes minutes to render the images and all the rest of the X rendering “suffer” while it’s trying to elaborate the pages of the document… but it doesn’t crash.
    I suppose too this has nothing to do with Alien’s packages or Slackware, instead seems related to libreoffice’s renderer…

  25. Deny Dias

    I can confirm @ponce statement on intel graphics. I can open your file here using just Eric’s plain packages.

    It opened just fine, although navigating in the document is quite slow on my underpowered Core i3@1.4GHz, 10GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 3000. I’m not experiencing LO crash or segfaults within this hardware. I did not recompiled anything to test this.

  26. alienbob

    I found a workaround so that I can build the package on Slackware 14.1 and it still works on -current (no more errors) by first removing the existing glew package. In the absense of the system libGLEW library, the package will link properly to the private version of contained inside the package.
    I am still building the 32-bit package. When that is done I will upload them all to the repository (will happen after I wake up).
    I did not find a patch that forces linking to the private libGLEW in case there is a system library available but this works for me.

  27. Lasie

    Just upgraded; cannot open an xlsx: get an error that says:
    Component cannot be loaded, possibly broken or incomplete installation.
    Full error message:

    loading component library failed.

    Googling the error I get issue with libreoffice-common?

    Please help.

  28. Lasie

    Component cannot be loaded, possibly broken or incomplete installation.
    Full error message:
    loading component library failed.

  29. Lasie


  30. Lasie

    Apologies; missed first comment. we are good thanks Eric 😉

  31. alienbob

    I have uploaded recompiled packages for libreoffice-4.3.0.
    The packages with BUILD tag “2alien” do not have the issue with the and you can use them on Slackware 14.1 and current.
    What I did, was “removepkg glew” before recompiling so that the internal library gets picked up and used.
    If you would recompile this package yourself, you do not have to remove the glew package first! I needed to do this because I want the same package to work on both Slackware 14.1 and -current.

  32. Deny Dias

    Thank you, Eric. The new libreoffice*2alien worked like a charm after ‘$ sudo rm /usr/lib64/’ in -current.

  33. alienbob

    Yeah I had forgotten to tell you all “if you created that symlink, you should delete it now”.

  34. Gilcio Amaral

    Thanks Eric. Now everything is OK. KDE integration is working too. My compliments for the great work you are doing all this years for the Slackware community.

  35. adioe3

    If they added smooth scrolling in Calc (i.e. not following the cell boundary) I’m sending them some money.

  36. lems


    thanks again for your LibreOffice packages, Eric. I’m using them on two systems, my own desktop (64 bit) and a Thinkpad T60 (which is 32 bit). I can confirm that the KDE file dialog is not used, but this was the case with 4.2.5 as well, as far as I can tell.


  37. Deny Dias

    To all LO users out there:

    LibreOffice is coming to Android

  38. Deny Dias


    After I installed the new KDE5/Plasma5 packages, I started to get this errors when opening LibreOffice 4.3.0:

    $ libreoffice
    /usr/lib64/libreoffice/program/soffice.bin: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib64/libreoffice/program/ undefined symbol: hb_icu_script_to_script

    I’ve got a look on the web about it and all that I found was some bug reports from 2013. They don’t seen straight related to what is happening here.

    Do you have a clue on why is that? Can you reproduce it?

  39. alienbob

    Hi Deny

    This is caused by the newer harfbuzz package in the Plasma 5 set. I thought I had taken care of the ABI breakage but apparently that did not help.
    Quick fix is to re-install harfbuzz from Slackware. Plasma 5 should not be harmed by that rollback, at least I did not experience anything bad.
    Libreoffice has been the only application so far where I noticed bad effects caused by the harfbuzz upgrade.
    You could of course recompile libreoffice with the newer harfbuzz present, and that will solve the issue as well.

  40. luvr


    There’s a small error in the ‘dict-be’ text file: It claims that “[t]his package contains the ‘Belgian’ dictionary for LibreOffice”, when it should say that it contains the “Belarusian” (be-BY) dictionary (as the README_be_BY.txt file states). I’d be surprised to find something like a “Belgian” dictionary, since there are three official languages in the country: Dutch, French, and German.

    Further, I got an error, “XDM authorization key matches an existing client”, when I attempted to start LibreOffice, but that issue was easily solved (cfr.

    Apart from this, your LibreOffice build works great. Many thanks!

  41. alienbob

    Hmm I will fix that Belarusian dictionary error in my sources, thanks.

  42. Deny Dias


    Downgrading to harfbuzz-0.9.16-x86_64-1 from regular -current did the trick. LibreOffice works again.

    Many tks.

  43. cwizard

    4.3.0 and the latest kernel (as of 25 August) do not get along. The error is,

    /usr/lib64/libreoffice/program/soffice.bin: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib64/libreoffice/program/ undefined symbol: hb_icu_script_to_script

  44. alienbob


    Are you certain it is the kernel’s fault? Check what version of the harfbuzz package you have installed.

  45. Dependency Hell

    I can own a better office suite with fewer bugs and “.so” dependency hell… it is called SoftMaker FreeOffice!

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