UPDATE: This post is deprecated now that there’s a more automated way thanks to the OpenOffice.org Scribbler PPA at Launchpad. They provide OO.o 3.0.1 to Hardy and Intrepid users through the update system. See the quick details about how to add the PPA to your system here at PPA For OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 For Hardy/Intrepid.

What follows are the original instructions. Users are advised to go to PPA For OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 For Hardy/Intrepid for a better solution.

It’s a good bet that OpenOffice.org won’t be making its way into the Ubuntu 8.04.1 Hardy Heron repositories. A quick look at the package information for openoffice.org shows that Ubuntu devs, while keeping up with security fixes, don’t backport OO.o to previous Ubuntu releases. Considering that I’ve decided to stick with Hardy Heron on my personal laptop until the release of 10.04, I don’t feel like being stuck with OO.o 2.4.1 until then. Not that 2.4.1 isn’t any good. I use it quite a bit, which is why I’d like to stay up-to-date with it.

Since the word got out early that OO.o 3.0.0 was being distributed to the mirrors, I wanted to see if I could get it installed before the official announcement is made. Surprisingly enough, it was easier than I had anticipated. There was only one small snag which was easy enough to fix.

Step 1

First we need to get the new release from the mirrors. Chances are, even after the announcement is made, the download option that OpenOffice.org presents you with may be for the RPM archive with JRE included. Since Ubuntu is Debian based, this will present a difficult challenge. Fortunately, they also offer DEB archives through the mirrors. JRE isn’t included, and not needed, in them but can be obtained through Ubuntu’s repositories if you wish to install it later.

The OpenOffice.org mirror list can be found HERE. Choose the closest location and preferably a HTTP link. Some web browsers don’t work well with FTP and even fewer users have a FTP client installed. Once at the mirror, click on stable/ and then 3.0.0/ and you will be presented with a list of archives. To download the release, click on OOo_3.0.0_LinuxIntel_install_en-US_deb.tar.gz for i386 installations or OOo_3.0.0_LinuxX86-64_install_en-US_deb.tar.gz for AMD64 installations.

Step 2

Open a terminal window (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and change to your download location. Extract the files with:

tar xzvf OOo_3.0.0_LinuxIntel_install_en-US_deb.tar.gz


tar xzvf OOo_3.0.0_LinuxX86-64_install_en-US_deb.tar.gz

You will have a new directory named OOO300_m9_native_packed-1_en-US.9358 with a DEBS/ directory inside. Navigate to that DEBS/ directory.

cd OOO300_m9_native_packed-1_en-US.9358/DEBS/

Inside will be all of the DEBs that you’ll need to install OO.o 3.0.0.

Step 3a

There are two options for Step 3. If OO.o 2.4.1 isn’t installed, proceed to Step 3b.

If you already have OpenOffice.org 2.4.1 installed through Ubuntu’s repos, you will need to remove it. One of the 3.0.0 packages (debian menus) has a conflict with one of the 2.4.1 packages, openoffice.org-core. Removing openoffice.org-core will also remove OO.o 2.4.1 from your computer.  Remove OO.o 2.4.1 by using apt-get at the command line:

sudo apt-get remove openoffice.org-core

You’ll see apt-get prompt you for removing the other 2.4.1 packages as well. Just hit enter and apt-get will do the rest. Proceed to Step 3b.

Step 3b

Install OO.o 3.0.0 using dpkg. You could try installing each DEB one by one, but dpkg will figure out the correct order for you and do it all automatically. Just issue the following at the command line and watch the magic happen: (UPDATE: More concise command used)

sudo dpkg -i -R .

All the OpenOffice.org 3.0.0 apps can now be launched from the Applications > Office menu. The first time you launch one, you’ll be presented with a setup screen for your personal details and to register with OpenOffice.org.

Now For The Bad News On Dark Themes

Some dark themes still won’t work well with OO.o 3.0.0. You can still apply the workaround I posted HERE, but you’ll need to change the directory locations accordingly. This version of OO.o 3.0.0 installs to a different directory than where Ubuntu installs 2.4.1. Those changes are detailed at the end of the workaround instructions.

Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

Also, this should work for Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid as well, but there’s still a possibility that OO.o 3.0.0 will be included in the final release of Intrepid. If that is the case, I would rather have it installed from Ubuntu through the repositories with the package managers. UPDATE: OO.o 3.0.0 did not ship with Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex, so you’ll have to do it yourself. Just follow the steps above. UPDATE UPDATE: You can use the new Ubuntu Tweak 0.4.2 to have an OO.o 3.0.0 source installed that will update your Intrepid system easily.

Removing OpenOffice.org 3.0

If you no longer want OO.o 3.0 installed, removing it is rather simple. At a command line, just enter the following:

sudo apt-get remove ooobasis3.0-* openoffice.org3* openoffice.org-debian-menus

Afterwards, to put 2.4.1 back use the following command:

sudo apt-get install openoffice.org

Difficulty With ubuntu-desktop

I’ve seen some people stating that the ubuntu-desktop gets removed when removing the OO.o 2.4.1 packages. It really shouldn’t as they are listed as recommended packages and not dependent for ubuntu-desktop. However, in response to a comment below, I experimented with re-installing ubuntu-desktop after OO.o 3.0.0 was installed and detailed it below.