LibreOffice 5.2 messed up

This is a cross post from the G+ page.

This is the state of LibreOffice 5.2 right now. Lets make this clear I’m not asking for help to fix this issue but pointing out to the devs this is what has happened. Throught the software boutique I have selected the option to keep LibreOffice up to date. A couple of days ago LibreOffice updated to 5.2 but had some issues with the size of text in the menus. I posted about it at the time Link to G+ . Today I ran auto update and there were more things for LibreOffice. This is the state of the software right now on my PC. LibreOffice is currently unusable.

Please follow the link to find the attached video

Seen this?

I had that problem. As usual I took the nuclear option and purged it and then reinstalled…:grinning:

It came back looking right.

I can get it sorted, that’s not the issue. What of the people that don’t know how to sort out these things themselves. When updates bork things it’s an issue. One that I think is important, not everyone using the OS are enthusiasts. Or more to the point whilst stuff like this happens we can no expect “regular” users to run Ubuntu-Mate on their computers. This type of stuff is important. Updates should not break stuff.


Did this update affect other flavours (who also added the PPA)? Or just Ubuntu MATE and Software Boutique users?

Since our flavour is primarily GTK 2 based and the lack of libreoffice-gtk2 package caused all this trouble… I’m not sure how we could prevent it happening again besides adding a warning about stability or do not offer an opt-in “latest and greatest”. :thinking:


When you accept software from PPAs you expose your system to greater risks.

People who are not enthusiasts should stay on official Ubuntu repo versions of software. Maybe there should be a message in Software Boutique about stability?

I mean the latest stable version from PPA is seldom as stable as the Ubuntu repo version.

Same thing can happen on Windows. What is important is clear communication about tradeoffs.

It might be a nice idea if there was an unsubscribe button on the page for the software boutique. May be a roll back option?

People new to linux will need clear communication (warnings?) everywhere :slight_smile:
How easy is it to just click the remove button as compared to explaining ppa-purge?
A warning about PPAs would first need an explanation of what a PPA is. The welcome screen was designed simple by choice so not to confuse newcommers. I would not like to see it turn into a wiki :slight_smile:

Thats not very clear communication to me. I have had a high success rate with PPAs through the years, IMO I find them to be a valued source and cannot be bunched together into one line saying not stable :slight_smile:

I think this is not realistic to expect no breakage. It happens with all distros. All that can be accomplished here is some venting since you are not looking for solutions. So I guess vent on :slight_smile:

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Since this is a discussion group isn’t venting expected? :grin:

I have a basic question for anyone in the know. Is it as simple as missing dependency sloppiness? Or is that overly simplistic for a gtk2/3 thing?

It is just so long as the one doing the venting makes it clear that is what they are doing. I am beginning to lose count of the number of people I have expended time and energy on, only to find that their initial "request for help" was merely a ruse to have a winge. Which, as I said, is fine in and of itself. Indeed, I am partial to the occasional winge myself. It's just important to be honest about it.

I should say, the above is a general point and is not specifically directed at the OP here since I have not properly read the OP.

sorry for any miss understanding, but it’s just because I think it’s so very important. Desktop Linux in general is so very close. Close to being the best option for all users whatever their situation or use case. It’s been a long journey, from my first time playing with Linux on the desktop in the mid/late 90’s to now. As it stands now I don’t think of it as a hobbyist OS anymore but almost ready for mainstream. When these things happen it’s a face palm moment. I think what would have happened if my sister or my mum called me because something like this happened. I guess I’m more passionate about this than I thought. Please do not misunderstand my words, no malice or disrespect is intended. I just want Linux on the desktop to be the best it can be, I guess we still have a little way to go.


Maybe this thread can be moved to a discussion section of the forum to avoid any further confusion.

Sure can, at the request of OP. Just so you know, I was doing some venting myself :slight_smile:

One of the great things about the Software Boutique is to have access to the latest software in a way that is easier than if one were to download it separately. So I think despite the recent problems the opt-in of having the "latest and greatest" should stay. But I think it would be helpful to add a troubleshooting button (clicking it would provide information such as how to install libreoffice-gtk2 or a warning sign that there is always a trade-off between stability and having the latest software available. How about introducing different update policies similar to what Linux Mint is offering with their Update Manager?

This is a very important point that needs further clarification in the Software Boutique. I don't think it is too much for newcomers (such as myself) to be introduced on the first page of the Boutique to these issues. I would very much welcome a short explanation about these different software sources. I know some may perhaps argue that this would unnecessarily confuse new users. I don't think so. Coming from from a Windows and MacOS environment, the first thing I want to know is: how is software installed in Ubuntu MATE? But instead of lengthy paragraphs of text a more visual approach with graphics highlighting the different sources would be very helpful.

Great idea! Not sure how this would be solved technically. Are old files simply erased or overwritten when updating software through the Software Boutique?

1 Like

I am the OP :slight_smile:

I agree :slight_smile: I changed it yesterday

@Wimpy, have you recently released a Software Updater fix for this?

Reason for asking, updated a MATE 16.04 (32-bit) system yesterday, which hasn’t been used for couple of weeks, LibreOffice upgraded to, and menus display as GTK2 (without installing libreoffice-gtk2). :slight_smile:

Just updated a MATE 16.04 (64-bit) virtual machine, LibreOffice also updated without any GTK menu issues.

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I can say that I fixed the weird look in Libreoffice really easily the following way about 5 days ago:

sudo apt-get remove libreoffice

sudo apt-get purge libreoffice

sudo apt-get autoremove

sudo apt-get install libreoffice

I have just done it again now to make sure I am correct.

So, the above suggests that whatever the problem was with libreoffice, it has been fixed in the software repositories.

[quote=“v3xx, post:8, topic:8169, full:true”]People new to linux will need clear communication (warnings?) everywhere :slight_smile:
How easy is it to just click the remove button as compared to explaining ppa-purge?
A warning about PPAs would first need an explanation of what a PPA is. The welcome screen was designed simple by choice so not to confuse newcommers. I would not like to see it turn into a wiki :)[/quote]

This is an important idea indeed.

One cannot just predict what is going to happen next with a PPA release. In fact, we know very well that official repos also have had their problems in the past and will continue to have them in the future. I think the very idea of installing or updating software, regardless of origin, is a dangerous proposition.

In our desire to include warnings about this or that to protect newcomers from making the wrong decision, we risk two things that I think instantly make the effort worthless:

  • We overpopulate the Boutique with text and warning boxes and whatnot, giving the whole program an over-saturated look that risks having the opposite effect of those warnings being ignored because they are so many (after all, the Software Boutique is heavily centered on the idea of distribution of software through official PPAs).
  • We present a negative message to the user that Linux, and Ubuntu-MATE in particular, are probably built on glass and too sensitive and easy to break. Not only this isn’t true, but also promotes the also wrong idea that official repos are safe.

I don’t think Ubuntu-MATE has the need to teach how to use the Linux system to anyone. Its strenths are in its ludic and professional capabilities.

Newcomers will always face problem with or without warnings. We all went through it. And some of us have one, two, or many stories to tell about the systems we had to reinstall because we took a left when the sign said right, or simply because we didn’t know any better. And yet… we are still here. Still using Linux. We have learned what’s best or not through good use of our accumulated experience. And we still make mistakes.

The newcomers of today are the same as the newcomers of last year, or the year before that, or 10 years ago. The newcomers of today are all of us, a few months ago or a few years ago. So we can be sure lack of explicit warnings on Ubuntu-MATE won’t make a difference to the distro ability to deliver a great computing experience for those that really want to use it.


I noticed there were “another” update for LibreOffice a day or so after, so it’s possible the package maintainers updated their dependencies.