How to Install FreeOffice on Debian 11 Bullseye

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FreeOffice is a free, open-source office suite with a word processor, spreadsheet application, and presentation program. The suite is compatible with Microsoft Office, making it an ideal choice for users who want an alternative to expensive proprietary software. FreeOffice offers all the features of a mainstream office suite, including support for complex documents, multimedia elements, and more. The suite also includes several unique features, such as the ability to open and edit password-protected files. Whether you’re looking for an affordable alternative to Microsoft Office or a free and open source option, FreeOffice is worth checking out.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install FreeOffice on Debian 11 Bullseye desktop with the official SoftMaker APT repository using the command line terminal and instructions on how to update and remove the software in the future if required.

Update Debian

First, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date to avoid conflicts.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Install FreeOffice

The first and easiest method is to install FreeOffice using the source APT repository. This version is often up-to-date, but if you prefer working with the latest versions, then using the Flatpak or Snapcraft version would be best.

First, install the required packages.

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sudo apt install dirmngr ca-certificates software-properties-common gnupg gnupg2 apt-transport-https curl -y

Next, import the GPG key required to verify the authenticity of the packages as follows.

curl -fsSL https://shop.softmaker.com/repo/linux-repo-public.key | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/softmaker.gpg > /dev/null

Now import the APT repository using the following command.

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echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/softmaker.gpg] https://shop.softmaker.com/repo/apt stable non-free' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/softmaker.list

Run a quick APT update to reflect the newly added APT source.

sudo apt update

Lastly, install FreeOffice using the following command.

sudo apt install softmaker-freeoffice-2021 -y

How to Launch FreeOffice

Now, the best method to launch FreeOffice is using the application icon.

Activities > Show Applications > FreeOffice {Text Maker, Presentations, PlanMaker}

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Example:

How to Install FreeOffice on Debian 11 Bullseye

Alternatively, you may want to use it for applications quite frequently. Right-click the icon and add it to favorites, making the icons appear on the taskbar.

The first time you open any FreeOffice applications, you will be prompted to select a theme. This user choice has multiple light and dark theme options with icons.

Example:

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How to Install FreeOffice on Debian 11 Bullseye

Once configured, you can proceed to use the FreeOffice version of the application you launched; they would look similar to the one below.

Example FreeOffice Text Maker:

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How to Install FreeOffice on Debian 11 Bullseye

Example FreeOffice Presentations:

How to Install FreeOffice on Debian 11 Bullseye

Example FreeOffice PlanMaker:

How to Install FreeOffice on Debian 11 Bullseye

How to Update/Upgrade FreeOffice

Next are the commands to run in your terminal to check for updates. These commands will blanket check all installed packages on your system that match the installation package manager. Ideally, you should run this regardless, even if auto-updates are set up to ensure your system is up-to-date and no update errors occur for newer users.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

How to Remove (Uninstall) FreeOffice

First, remove the office suite using the following command for users that no longer wish to have FreeOffice installed.

sudo apt autoremove softmaker-freeoffice-2021 --purge

Users that will no longer require the APT import repository since you will not use it again can safely remove it, which is good housekeeping and security best practices.

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/softmaker.list

Optionally, you can remove the GPG as well with the following command.

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sudo rm /usr/share/keyrings/softmaker.gpg

Comments and Conclusion

If you’re looking for a low-cost or free alternative to Microsoft Office, FreeOffice is worth checking out. The suite offers all the features of mainstream office software, plus a few unique extras that make it worth considering. So if you’re on a tight budget or want an open source option, FreeOffice is worth a closer look.

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