Is LibreOffice Safe to Install and Use?

LibreOffice is a fantastic, free option for Microsoft Office. But how safe is it to install and use? Let’s investigate together.

LibreOffice is classified as safe to use and has a 100% VirusTotal scan pass rate from over 40 security assessment vendors on the platform.

Click here to view the clean test results.

What is LibreOffice?

LibreOffice is a versatile office suite that helps users improve their productivity. Its clean interface and numerous tools make it a popular choice for users who want an efficient way to manage their work.

One of its most popular applications is “Writer” word processing, which allows users to create documents. “Impress” is professional-looking presentation software that allows users to create slideshows.

“Draw” allows users to create flowcharts and vector graphics. “Base” is a database program that will enable users to access and store data. “Math” is a tool that allows users to perform equations and calculations.

These free applications make LibreOffice an excellent option for users who want affordable software that doesn’t sacrifice quality or features.

While LibreOffice is a popular choice for people who need a free and open-source alternative to MS Word, some people are concerned about its safety. 

How Do I Know if LibreOffice is Safe?

The first thing to understand is that LibreOffice is a type of software where the source code (the code that makes the software work) is available for anyone to download and view.

As a result, the global open-source community has extensively vetted the suite for security flaws and vulnerabilities.

In addition, because LibreOffice is developed by The Document Foundation, a nonprofit organization, it does not have any commercial interests that could potentially jeopardize its commitment to safety and security. 

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LibreOffice has an excellent safety track record. In over ten years of development and over 200 million downloads, there have been no reports of any significant security problems with the software.

Of course, like any program, LibreOffice is not entirely immune to security risks.

Still, the risk is minimal and easily mitigated with common-sense precautions (such as not opening files from unknown or untrusted sources). 

The best way to ensure you’re getting the safe and secure version of LibreOffice is to download it from the official website.

You can download LibreOffice for Windows, macOS, and Linux. It is also available in app format on Google Play and Apple Store.

Is LibreOffice Legal?

Yes, LibreOffice is legal. The software is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPLv3), a free and open-source license.

This means anyone can download, use, and modify the software without paying a licensing fee.

The only requirement is that if you make any changes to the source code, you must make those changes available to others under the same license.

Because the program is legal under the Lesser General Public License, many businesses prefer to use LibreOffice as there is no risk of legal action due to unpaid licensing fees or copyright infringement.

Does LibreOffice Collect Data?

The only data that LibreOffice collects and sends is the crash report data that is used to improve the software.

The Crash Report Tool is designed to help the developers gather necessary information about the program to improve its code.

This data is anonymous and does not contain any personally identifiable information.

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The data sent contains information about the type of error that caused the crash and the contents of the process memory at the time of the incident.

It also provides a list of the current threads, stack memory, and the processor register’s current state.

Why Is LibreOffice a Popular Choice?

One of the main reasons people choose LibreOffice is its compatibility with other document formats. LibreOffice can open and save documents in Microsoft Office and other common file types used by popular applications like Adobe Photoshop and InDesign.

This compatibility is vital for people who need to share documents with others who do not use LibreOffice.

Another reason for LibreOffice’s popularity is its feature set.

LibreOffice includes features usually only found in premium suites like Office, such as a built-in PDF export and support for creating diagrams and mathematical formulas.

These features make LibreOffice an appealing choice for people who need robust features and fast performance without any security risks.

LibreOffice vs OpenOffice

LibreOffice is a fork of the now-defunct OpenOffice project. It was created in 2010 by members of the OpenOffice community who were concerned about the direction that Oracle, which had acquired Sun Microsystems (the original developers of OpenOffice), was taking the project.

LibreOffice is now developed by The Document Foundation, a nonprofit organization supported by several sponsors.

OpenOffice, on the other hand, is an Apache project. After Oracle stopped developing OpenOffice, the project was handed over to the Apache Foundation.

Apache then released version 3.4 of OpenOffice. Since then, development has continued steadily, with new versions being released every six to twelve months. (Latest is 4.2.0).

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Recently, development has picked up even more steam, with new versions being released every few months.

So, which should you use? If you’re looking for an office suite that’s regularly updated with new features and bug fixes, LibreOffice is a good choice.

However, OpenOffice would suit your needs if you’re not fussed about having the latest features and just want a stable, functional office suite.

Final Thoughts

Overall, LibreOffice is a safe, legal, and practical alternative to commercial office suites like Microsoft Office. If you’re looking for an affordable way to improve your productivity, LibreOffice is worth considering.

It compares well against rival office suites and, of course, its open-source rival, OpenOffice, with a complete set of features and compatibility with popular document formats.

It’s also backed by a large community of developers and users, which means it’s constantly being improved and updated.