LibreOffice: reverting to V5 from V6 [SOLVED]

Lenovo Thinkpad T500 and Ubuntu 16.04

After thoroughly screwing up LibreOffice (don’t ask!) I decided to remove it and re-install. The new version that installed turned out to be Version and is a real pain. It takes ~30secs to load the application then ~20secs to load any file into Writer or Calc – indeed all actions like saving a file take an age to complete. Worse still, the general functionality is much reduced, especially in Calc.
At one point I noticed that the path shown at the top of the “file/open” window included a directory “59” which I knew wasn’t one of mine and further investigation revealed that this Version 6 is based on Snap.

The snap/libreoffice directory contains the following sub-directories: 59, 63, common and current. Directories 59, 63 and current all have identical contents (links to Desktop, Documents, etc.). A web search informs me that snap offers developers great convenience, especially when it comes to updating code (I think), but it offers the user great inconvenience and I yearn for those halcyon days with Version 5.

I’ve found I can download Version 5.4.6 from Download LibreOffice | LibreOffice - Free Office Suite - Based on OpenOffice - Compatible with Microsoft and I would like to remove every trace of Version 6 from my PC to ensure that no files are “borrowed” for use in Version 5. In view of my propensity for screwing up I would be very grateful for advice on how to achieve all this.

Many thanks.

How did you install versions 6 ?

I’m asking for two reasons

a) to work out how to uninstall it, then reinstall the default version

b) because for everyone I’ve asked version 6 is faster than 5 (at least it is when installed via the PPA rather than as a snap), so removing and reinstalling 6 properly might be a better bet.

Hi Mark.

There are two software sources on my system:

  1. SystemTools/Administration/Ubuntu Software Centre (libreoffice 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial3)
  2. SystemTools/Software (libreoffice

and I installed it from the second one as the first option (my normal source of software) looked suspiciously complicated in the listing .
Even if V6 turns out to be faster when installed correctly I am concerned about the reduction in usefulness. For example; in Calc, I can no longer hover over a data point in a graph to shown its x,y values, and I can’t access files in ~/.bin (or any other hidden directory). Very few people would want to do either, but I do. And there are other minor niggles. If these get ironed out with a better installation then all well and good but recent “improvements” to several applications (Nautilus being a particular example) seem to serve little practical purpose except to reduce productivity.

Okay what’s the output from:

snap list


dpkg -l | grep libre

Here’s the output:
keith@T500:~$ snap list
Name Version Rev Tracking Developer Notes
core 16-2.32.6 4571 stable canonical core
libreoffice 63 stable canonical -


The “dpkg -l | grep libre” output is very long but the “insert code” box doesn’t have a scroll bar on it, which I’m sure I’ve seen occasionally. How do your prefer us to display long texts?

Open a terminal and run:

sudo snap remove libreoffice


sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice*


sudo apt-get install libreoffice

I still think it’d be a good idea to try the non snap version of LO 6 … if you want to try this, let me know.

Thank you, Mark. Yes, I would like to try the non-snap version 6 first, please.

Okay, run:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge


sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice*


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa


sudo apt-get update


sudo apt-get dist-upgrade


sudo apt-get install libreoffice

If you don’t like it and want to go back to v5, run:

sudo ppa-purge ppa:libreoffice/ppa

It’s wonderful! Very many thanks for sorting that out for me.

May I trespass on your patience once more? I still have the former, malfunctioning, Snap version of LibreOffice V6 installed also. It is listed in the Applications menu as “LibreOffice V6” and the “Properties” button in alacarte confirms that it is the Snap version. I can switch off the menu items via alacarte but it would be nice, if possible, to remove them neatly.
Can we do that?

Just run:

sudo snap remove libreoffice

Thank you, Mark. Everything is fine now. You’re a gent.

You’re welcome Keith.