LibreOffice on ChromeOS

If you are using an Intel-powered Chromebook, did you know you can install LibreOffice on it, as a local app? It's extremely easy!

  1. Enable the Linux subsystem and AppImage support
  2. In the Linux folder, create a folder called Applications
  3. Download the AppImage build of LibreOffice into the folder

That's it! ChromeOS will (probably) do the rest. Go to the applications menu (press the search button on the keyboard) and look in the “Linux Applications” group to launch LibreOffice. It's as easy as a Mac!

In more detail:

To enable the Linux subsystem:

ChromeOS is running on a Linux kernel but uses a container to sandbox locally-installed app. That capability is off by default.

  1. Go to Settings (there are various routes you can take – the easiest is via the Settings icon on the app menu)
  2. In the left navigation, click Advanced and select Developers
  3. Enable the Linux Development Environment from this menu

To enable AppImage

  1. AppImage uses the FUSE file system to access, so install FUSE.

To create the Applications folder:

This is optional – you could just put all your AppImage files into the Linux folder, but I find it easier to separate them out into their own folder. Linux apps can only see the Linux folder and its contents, so you can't put AppImage files anywhere else. Your documents will also need to live in or below the Linux folder.

  1. Open the Files app
  2. Under “My Files” in the left navigation, click on “Linux files”
  3. Create a new folder (for example by pressing Ctrl+E) and name it Applications

To download the AppImage

  1. On the LibreOffice web site, go to
  2. For most people, the “Fresh, Standard” image is the best choice to download.
  3. Place the download in your new Applications folder under the Linux folder.
  4. If you have not previously installed Java you will probably have install a JRE.

ChromeOS should spot the AppImage file, create an icon for the application on the applications menu and connect it to the supported file types. If it does not, sorry – you will have to make the AppImage executable and run it from a command prompt.

I'm working on instructions for the “hard” things in this list, which I had overlooked because my ChromeBook was already set up suitably.

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