Collabora brings LibreOffice Online to ownCloud

Collabora and ownCloud, Inc. just announced a partnership and released CODE (Collabora Online Development Edition), a VM containing LibreOffice Online and ownCloud Server. This brings powerful viewing and editing capabilities for spreadsheets, presentations and text documents to the ownCloud web interface. As a development preview, it is still work in progress but we welcome you to get it running, provide feedback and get involved. Read on to learn more!

LibreOffice Online and ownCloud

LibreOffice Online is what the name suggests – an online version of the well known LibreOffice suite of productivity apps: word processor Writer, spreadsheet Calc and presentation tool Impress. “Collabora and LibreOffice Online” integrated in ownCloud Server brings these powerful productivity features to ownCloud users. They can work on their documents on the go from the browser or share a spreadsheet through a public link and have recipients edit directly in their browser. No other cloud technology offers the quality of rendering LibreOffice brings to the browser and this development edition already offers a wide range of features, with more to come.

More behind shortcuts
More behind shortcuts


The current online version of LibreOffice has a simplified user interface available through the ownCloud integration app. This is not inherent to the technology, work on expansion is ongoing and the team certainly welcomes any help in adding functionality. Already many more capabilities are available behind shortcuts.

The rendering used is identical to the desktop version, which means documents will look exactly the same in the web and offline version. Images, tables, graphs, word-art, styles and anything else embedded in the document will be there and will look exactly as it should. This is unique to LibreOffice as other web based office suits have created new rendering engines which typically introduces subtle differences and missing features compared to their desktop counterparts and the standards they implement.

Learn more about Collabora Online Development Edition and grab your copy here.

collabora Online DE running in a VM
Collabora Online DE running in a VM

Getting it

“Collabora and LibreOffice Online” requires LibreOffice Online to be installed on the server, so a fully functioning document viewer won’t be easily installable from the ownCloud app store. For testing, Collabora has made available a Development Edition including ownCloud Server with LibreOffice Online integration on their website. It comes in the form of a virtual machine combining ownCloud Server and “Collabora and LibreOffice Online”. It is still very experimental but that’s its charm: you can get involved right away!

You can get started on this page with build instructions for the online version of LibreOffice and you can find “Collabora and LibreOffice Online” in this repository.

Get involved and help make LibreOffice Online and ownCloud the perfect online collaboration tools!

EDIT: Here’s a link to the latest update about CODE.

13 Responses to “Collabora brings LibreOffice Online to ownCloud”

  1. Francis Kim

    Would be cool if there was a demo set up somewhere.

  2. SuperHappy

    This is great news. Very happy to be able to simply start a vm to play around with it. Thanks for this. For me it’s the best work related news for 2015, 2014 was the uk gov support for odf.

  3. Andras Timar

    We (Collabora) should have written that CODE VM works with VirtualBox, period. This is what we tested in the first place. The VM was created with Kiwi / SUSE Studio. But after creation, we booted the VM in VirtualBox and made a few tweaks (initial setup of ownCloud and enabling CODE app). Unfortunately VirtualBox changed the image in a way, that it became unusable in Vmware Player. We did not know this in advance. Our goal was to create a VM that is easy to use, that’s why we made the initial setup, instead of adding two more lines to instructions. Next time we will do it better. 🙂 Thanks for the feedback.

  4. Chris


    i really wonder why people are seeking for support in a blogpost or posting issues like the previous. :-/

  5. Chris Hills

    After managing to enter the rescue prompt, I saw this message:-

    Warning: /dev/disk/by-id/ata-VBOX_HARDDISK_VB8a7efd8a-bec50378-part1 does not exist

  6. Chris Hills

    I tried using the provided *.vmdk file in vmware, but it hangs after the boot screen with the following messages:-

    Section un-aligned hotplug range: start 0x100000000, size 0x4dc0000
    acpi PNP0C80:02: add_memory failed
    acpi PNP0C80:02: acpi_memory_enable_device() error

    Can you please provide a *.vmx file to use with the vmdk?

    • beccon

      as the whole version is not production ready – I skipped the efforts to get it to run in my virtualization infrastructure and started directly from qemu/kvm – which showed me what I wanted to see 🙂

  7. beccon

    I gave it a try today – via the vm. After some bumpy start – the vm wouldn’t start within my kvm/libvirt environment (strange: “Failed to access perfctr (MSR c1 is 0)”- disk UUID??) and manual kvm start including network configuration I could get it to work.

    The app itself is really cool and given the fact that we talk about a tech preview/pre alpha/dev version it is quite stable and runs smoothly. I was able to edit some of my texts, spreadsheets and presentations and do some changes to them. OK as exprected some rough edges prevailed: changes to one of my spreadsheets’ cells disappeared after pressing ENTER – but I was able to create, enter and change a new one – so it is probably related to that particular file which went back and for between LO and Excel quite a few times)

    Anyway – great work – many thanks to the developers – looking forward to the stable version which is – even with the functionality implemented yet a big leap ahead.

  8. Aldi

    This is a great announcement. I am looking forward to LibreOffice Online in OwnCloud.
    But, didn’t OwnCloud bundle the WebODF ODF for collaborative editing? What happens to that?

    • beccon

      There hasn’t been much activity on the WebODF’s Github repo in recent times – and not much in its founding company KO-GmbH either.

      Why Libreoffice Online by Collabora is so cool because it gives us a complete office suite online which the current Documents app is not. The latter is fine to somehow view files and collaboratively edit texts (which is pretty cool and useful – better than Etherpad)- but that’s all. I hope it will be possible to still access the current collaborative Editing while Libre Office Online is active.

  9. BloodyIron

    I wonder what Collabora plans to do with this in the end? FOSS or paid or?

    • Holger Dyroff

      LibreOffice Online by Collabora is completely Open Source licensed. ownCloud has the option to provide a commercial license for its part and the integration, otherwise its AGPL.

    • beccon

      Paid FOSS 🙂 Full working community and supported enterprise versions paid for with service contracts. The same concept as with Owncloud itself.

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