5 Known Office Suites for Linux

A typical desktop computer user will almost always need an office suite. A typical Windows user has to empty their wallet just to pay for that over-priced Microsoft Office. A typical Linux user will just use the office suite that comes with their distro free of charge.

There are actually 5 known free and open source office suites that work best in Linux. They are:

GNOME Office
GNOME Office is an office suite for GNOME desktop environment. The integration between various applications in the suite is rather loose, and therefore many consider GNOME Office to be merely a collection of desktop productivity applications written for the GNOME environment rather than an office suite in the usual sense.

GNOME Office consists of:

* AbiWord - word processor
* Evolution - groupware and e-mail application
* Gnumeric - spreadsheet
* GNOME-DB - software that provides database connectivity

Learn more about GNOME Office HERE.

KOffice is an office suite for the K Desktop Environment (KDE). KOffice applications use OpenDocument as their native file format when possible and the suite is released separately from KDE and can be downloaded at the KOffice homepage.

KOffice includes the following components:

* KWord - word processor
* KSpread - spreadsheet application
* KPresenter - presentation program with image and effect support
* Kivio - programmable flowchart drawing program
* Karbon14 - vector drawing application with a variety of drawing and editing tools.
* Krita - bitmap graphics manipulation program
* Kugar and KChart - integrated report and chart generators
* KFormula - integrated mathematical formula editor
* Kexi - integrated data management application, designed as a Microsoft Access or FileMaker competitor.
* KPlato - project management application that can create Gantt-style charts

KOffice 1.6.3 is the current official KOffice release.

Learn more about KOffice HERE. (OO.o or OOo) is a cross-platform office application suite that supports the ISO standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) for data interchange as its default file format, as well as Microsoft Office '97–2003 formats, Microsoft Office '2007 format, among many others. is a collection of applications that work together closely to provide the features expected from a modern office suite. Many of the components are designed to mirror those available in Microsoft Office which includes:

* Writer - word processor similar in look and feel to Microsoft Word and offering a comparable range of functions and tools
* Calc - spreadsheet similar to Microsoft Excel with a roughly equivalent range of features
* Impress - presentation program similar to Microsoft PowerPoint
* Base - database program similar to Microsoft Access
* Draw - vector graphics editor comparable in features to early versions of CorelDRAW
* Math - tool for creating and editing mathematical formulae, similar to Microsoft Equation Editor

Learn more about HERE.

Siag Office
Siag Office is a tightly integrated office suite for Linux. It consists of the spreadsheet Siag, the word processor PW, the animation program Egon, the text editor XedPlus, the file manager Xfiler and the previewer Gvu. It is known to be extremely light-weight and hence to run on very old (such as 486, 16MB systems) systems reasonably well. Because it is kept light-weight, the software lacks many of the features of office suites like or Microsoft Office. Siag Office is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

The components of the Siag Office suite are:

* Siag - the spreadsheet based on X and Scheme (specifically using home-grown variant SIOD).
* PW (Pathetic Writer) - X-based word processor
* Egon Animator - X-based animation development tool

Learn more about Siag Office HERE.

IBM Lotus Symphony
IBM Lotus Symphony is originally released in July 1984 as an integrated software application for DOS. IBM revived the Symphony name for a new office suite that was first released free of charge in 2007. Symphony supports the OpenDocument format (ODF), as well as Microsoft Office and Lotus SmartSuite formats, but not the Office Open XML format used by Microsoft Office 2007. It can also export Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

IBM Lotus Symphony is a set of applications comprising of:

* IBM Lotus Symphony Documents - word processor
* IBM Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets - spreadsheet program
* IBM Lotus Symphony Presentations - presentation program

Learn more about IBM Lotus Symphony HERE.

Among these 5 Office Suites, which one works best for you?


  1. On an unrelated note, is it possible to get a real version of that mug in the image? :)

  2. I've great expectations in Koffice but at present there isn't anything as complete as for daily use.

  3. Open Office all the way. I also use Abiword from time to time for simple stuff as it is much faster to start up.

  4. To be honest, when I'm migrating non-technical users over to Linux who need an Office suite for work, I always install MS Office 2003 in Crossover Linux.

    It integrates itself into the OS very nicely, and it makes their transition sooo much easier than explaining the differences between odt and doc to someone who needs to be able to rely on their docs for work.

    The transition to Linux is plenty change in their world to confuse them enough, i let them have their office suite until they've become comfortable with the new os before pushing oo.

    That being said, I do push openoffice on windows for home users who don't need it for work.

  5. Lotus Symphony for old 123 spreadsheets keeps 95% of the formating which OO does not.
    Once in ODF format then OO's ok

  6. OMG that little penguin is SO cute!


  7. I use OpenOffice all the time and regularly send Excel, Word and Powerpoint format documents to MS Office users all the time. it works great.

  8. open office kicks ass. cant wait ver version 3 to be finished

  9. I used openoffice for a while, but we do a lot of word documents that have drawn images, and we find that OO does not actually export them to word when you do a conversion or a save as a doc file. I am so very deeply disappointed. Some software is worth paying money for, Cross over linux, Autocad, MS Office, ArcView, TransCad are to name a few, even photoshop(although i use gimpshop since I'm not a pro). Linux and FOSS dumb-ed down versions exist for most software, but I'd rather pay $$ to get something i can be more productive with, than something that'll make me grind my teeth, tense my toes, and spend an extra hour at work to figure out an option. IF you can afford good proprietary software, then do it :D

  10. I use Open Office for no particular reason, other than the fact that it comes with my Linux distribution (Ubuntu Hardy Heron). Although KOffice is starting to look attractive since it has more applications and seems more like the Microsoft Office I used to use.

  11. Well, Ahmed, the people to blame for the problems you have with Word documents with drawn images is Microsoft, which hasn't documented the format of Word documents.

  12. would love to see an MS Outlook replacement?
    especially if it can sync with mobiles & PDA's

  13. Yeah! Like Anonymous said, some alternative groupware that supports emailing, calendaring, scheduling would be good. After all, the site says "Office" suites. Microsoft Office tends to be found in many businesses due to its collaboration and LDAP support

  14. Back in the 2002 timeframe, there was a Linux office suite called Hancom Office. It was out of South Korea and based on KDE. I had a copy and thought it showed great promise. Then they dropped off the face of the earth. Now says 'coming soon...' with and email address to write to. Maybe this will be a resurrection of Hancom Office? Anybody know anything more about them?

  15. Muy buenas referencias y muy buenas alternativas a OpenOffice. Felicidades.
    Es una lástima que GNOME Office no tenga un programa para presentaciones.
    Me gustó KOffice, porque es ligero y muuuuuuy completo.
    Por otro lado, la versión 1.3 de IBM Lotus Simphony ya soporta los archivos de Office 2007, tiene solo lo necesario y no es tan pesada, creo que me quedo con ella.