Linux Apps

The Best Free Office Suites for Linux in 2018

Best Free Office Suites for Linux
Written by Martins D. Okoi

FossMint is particular about FOSS and related projects or partnerships. Sadly, though, not all the applications that are vital to certain needs fall under that category. Maybe someday they will but until then, potential users deserve the right to know about all their alternatives.

All the listed software are free to use with similar features to the ones in Microsoft’s Office Suite and even documents that are compatible with the same.

Some are desktop software while others are browser-based so you have the option to choose which one better suits your setup. Without further ado:

1. FreeOffice 2016

FreeOffice 2016 is a free collection of office applications that includes a word processor, spreadsheets app, and a presentation app in the form of FreeOffice TextMaker, FreeOffice PlanMaker, and FreeOffice Presentations.

It is an excellent alternative to Microsoft’s suite of apps except that it doesn’t come with an email client or calendar app. On the bright side, you are free to use this app for even commercial purposes coupled with a familiar Microsoft Office UI.

2. Google Docs, Sheets and Slides

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides is Google’s solution to clients who are always on the move. It features a modern UI and virtually all the features necessary for creating and editing text documents, spreadsheets, and powerpoints. It doesn’t have a mail or calendar app but you can always use the Gmail app, Inbox, and Google Calendar.

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides documents are compatible with Microsoft Office and other office suite applications.

3. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is the most favored office suite app in the Linux community and this is not just due to the fact that it works as an excellent alternative to Microsoft Office Suite but also that it is completely free and open source.

It has successfully branded itself as more than just an app to be a community of culture, collaboration, and sharing. If you ever have any use issues or encounter platform-specific bugs be rest assured that your situation can be taken care of.

4. Microsoft Office Online

Microsoft Office Online is a Microsoft’s online solution to clients who are always on the move. For the most part, it does a good enough job of duplicating its desktop version in the cloud even though it doesn’t have all of its features.

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It works in any modern browser and apart from giving you access to Microsoft’s suite of apps, it is fully compatible with its desktop equivalent and other office suite apps for free.

5. Open365

Open365 is a free and open source office suite solution excellent for collaborators. It works right in your browser with robust support for all the desktop apps it incorporates. These apps include LibreOffice suite’s Writer, Calc and Impress apps, together with Kontact (for email), Seafile (for cloud storage), and GIMP.

Run Open365’s installer on your PC to set up all its requirements (Docker, Docker-compose, and Python3) on your workstation and everything should be smooth onward. You will find its installation and usage instructions on its GitHub page.

6. WPS Office for Linux

WPS Office for Linux is arguably the perfect office suite app for users who want a beautiful, lightweight, and yet, efficient app. It features a modern UI, a swift performance, and almost all the features Microsoft’s Word, Excell, and Powerpoint offer.

The free version comes with just the 3 most important office apps and their documents are fully compatible with other office suites. It is also available for all modern Linux distros including Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, CentOS, and Fedora.

7. Feng Office

Feng Office is an integrated suite of office applications aimed at teams, businesses, and organizations. Its chiseled workflow and selection of apps make it easy to monitor and manage projects as well as to manage clients, workflow processes, and tasks; to track time, create documents, reports, workspaces, etc.

Feng office has been tagged the world’s most powerful business platform and its free Community Edition includes all the fundamental apps required to run a business free of charge. You should check it out if you’re looking to manage your business, team, or organization.

8.Calligra Suite

Calligra Suite is an open source suite of graphic art and office applications developed by KDE. Its bundled applications include Braindump, Flow, Karbon, Kexi, Plan, Stage, Sheets, and Words.

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It is available for desktops (except macOS), tablets, and smartphones so you can be sure to enjoy a uniform experience across platforms.

9. OnlyOffice

ONLYOFFICE is an online open source office suite for managing documents, projects, teams, and customers from a single avenue. It features a beautiful modern UI with virtually all the features you will find in all of the aforementioned suites.

It does an excellent job of creating and managing documents and reports as well as ensuring privacy & security, and managing business workspaces. You can choose to run ONLYOFFICE on a private server for free among other user options.

10. Apache OpenOffice

The last but certainly not the least is Apache OpenOffice. It is a free and open source office suite for creating and managing reports, documents, tables, smart art, and presentations.

The project is always being improved upon by various contributors who have successfully satisfied millions of people all over the world due to the quality of time and thought they put into it.

Honorable Mention – SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018

SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018 is my personal pick for a Microsoft Office Suite alternative on Linux but the reason why I’m listing it as an honorable mention is that it is only free as a trial version.

It is developed by the company that owns FreeOffice 2016 with 2 more apps – Basicmaker and Extended Thunderbird. Its premium version comes with even more apps for businesses – cash you might not mind spending if you want a desktop app exactly like Microsoft Office on your Linux machine.

That wraps up our list of office suite software that you can use for free on your Linux machines and they all have their pros and cons.

You’ve probably used a couple of them in the past; what was your experience with them like and which ones do you think offer the best performance?Drop your comments, suggestions in the discussion box below.

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About the author

Martins D. Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and programmer.