How to Download Microsoft Office 2016 for Free on Linux - A Comprehensive Guide

January 11, 2024 3.0K views

As a Linux user, you may seek a way to download Microsoft Office 2016 for free on Linux, requiring a detailed guide for this specific installation. However, confusion arises due to limited official support for Office 2016 on Linux and the desire for cost-free access.

This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide to download and install Microsoft Office 2016 for free on Linux in 2023.

1. Preparation Before Installing Microsoft Office 2016 for Linux

1. Check System Requirements:

Before diving into the process, make sure your Linux system meets the minimum requirements for Microsoft Office 2016:

  • RAM: Ensure you have a minimum amount of RAM as per Office 2016's requirements. Typically, 2GB or more is recommended for smooth performance.

  • Storage Space: Check that you have sufficient available storage space on your Linux machine. Office 2016 may require several gigabytes of free disk space.

Ensuring your system meets these prerequisites will help you install and run Office 2016 smoothly on your Linux system.

2. Download and Install Ubuntu:

Ubuntu is a free and open-source Linux distribution that is known for its user-friendly interface and wide range of software support. It is one of the most popular Linux distributions, and it is a good choice for both beginners and experienced users.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to download and install Ubuntu:

Step 1: Download the Ubuntu file.

Go to the Ubuntu website and click on the "Download" button

Download button

Step 2: Select the Ubuntu version that suits your needs (e.g., LTS for long-term support) and click "Download."

Choose the version

Step 3: Create a bootable USB drive.

You will need a USB drive with at least 4GB of free space. You can use a tool like Etcher to create a bootable USB drive from the Ubuntu ISO file.

Step 4: Boot from the USB drive.

Insert the bootable USB drive into your computer and restart it. Access the boot menu (usually by pressing F2, F12, or Del during startup) and select the USB drive as the boot device.

Select USB device

Step 5: Start the Ubuntu installation process.

Once Ubuntu boots from the USB drive, click "Install Ubuntu" from the welcome screen. Follow the on-screen instructions to select your language, keyboard layout, and installation type. You can choose to install Ubuntu alongside your existing OS or replace it.

Installing process

Choose language


Step 6: Create User Account

Set your username and password for the Ubuntu system. You can also choose to enable automatic login and encrypt your home folder for added security.

Create account

Step 7: Installation Complete

Wait for the installation to finish. Once it's done, click “Reboot” to install the Ubuntu system.

Step 8: Explore Ubuntu

Congratulations! You've successfully installed Ubuntu. Explore its user-friendly interface, access the Software Center to install applications, and enjoy the benefits of this powerful Linux distribution.

3. Install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu:

PlayOnLinux is a graphical frontend for Wine, a compatibility layer that allows you to run Windows applications on Linux. It simplifies the installation and management of Windows software on Ubuntu, making it a valuable tool for gamers and users who rely on Windows-specific applications.

Benefits of PlayOnLinux:

  • Ease of Use: PlayOnLinux provides a user-friendly interface for installing and managing Windows applications, eliminating the need for complex configurations.

  • Wine Compatibility: It integrates with Wine to improve compatibility with a wide range of Windows software.

  • App Profiles: PlayOnLinux creates separate virtual drives (called "wineprefixes") for each application, ensuring that they don't interfere with each other.

  • Community Support: A thriving community offers support, tips, and scripts for installing popular Windows software.

Step-by-Step Guide to Install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu:

Step 1: Open the Ubuntu Software Center

Step 2: Search for the PlayOnLinux application in the search box.

Search for the PlayOnLinux

Step 3: Click on the Install button to actually install the application in the system.

Click Install button

Step 4: Search for the application in the Activities Panel and open the application by clicking on the icon

Search for PlayOnLinux

Step 5: We have successfully opened the PlayOnLinux application.

Open PlayOnLinux

With PlayOnLinux, you can now run Windows applications seamlessly on your Ubuntu system. It simplifies the process, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of Windows software without leaving your Linux environment.

2. How to Install Microsoft Office 2016 on Ubuntu(Linux) with PlayOnLinux

In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of installing Microsoft Office 2016 on Ubuntu using PlayOnLinux, a powerful tool that simplifies running Windows applications on Linux. Let's get started!

Step 1: Install PlayOnLinux

If you haven't already, follow the previous guide to install PlayOnLinux on your Ubuntu system. It's an essential prerequisite for running Microsoft Office 2016.

Comment: Ensure PlayOnLinux is properly installed and configured before proceeding to the next steps.

Step 2: Open PlayOnLinux and click on the "Install" button in the top menu click on the "Install" button in the top menu

Click Install button

Step 3:  Install Microsoft Office 2016

Select "Office" from the categories. Choose "Microsoft Office 2016" and click "Install."

Choose Microsoft Office 2016

Comment: PlayOnLinux will guide you through the installation process, simplifying it considerably.

Step 4: Follow the Installation Wizard

Follow the on-screen prompts to install Microsoft Office 2016.

Wizard dialog box

Comment: Take your time to configure Office to your preferences.

Step 5: Launch Microsoft Office

Once configuration is done, you can now launch Microsoft Office 2016 applications from the PlayOnLinux interface.

With PlayOnLinux, running Microsoft Office 2016 on Ubuntu becomes a hassle-free experience, bridging the gap between Windows and Linux productivity.

3. Best Free Alternative to Microsoft Office 2016 for Linux - WPS Office

WPS Office

WPS Office is a free and open-source office suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, and presentation software. It is also a powerful project management tool, with a variety of templates and features that can help users to plan and manage events.

WPS Office is a great alternative to Smartsheet, especially for users who are looking for a free and easy-to-use solution. It offers a variety of advantages, including:

● Free download and free to use Word, Excel, and PPT: WPS Office is completely free to use, with no hidden fees or subscriptions.

● Powerful PDF toolkit: WPS Office includes a powerful PDF toolkit that allows users to create, edit, and convert PDF files.

Rich template store: WPS Office has a rich template store with over 10,000 templates to choose from, including a variety of scheduling templates.

● Rich functions: WPS Office offers a wide range of features and functions, including the ability to collaborate with others online and to create and edit documents on the go.

● Light weight: WPS Office is a lightweight application that takes up very little space on your computer.

● Support online documents: WPS Office allows users to save and access documents online, making it easy to collaborate with others and to access your files from anywhere.

● Safe and stable: WPS Office is a safe and stable application that has been used by millions of people around the world.

Besides that, these are unique features not offered by Microsoft Office for FREE but WPS has:

  • Co-Editing: Collaborate within Word documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real-time, enhancing teamwork and productivity.

  • Group Document Sharing: Share documents within a group, allowing members to edit with your permission, streamlining group projects.

Don’t stop at that, WPS AI complements WPS Office by offering advanced features such as document analysis, efficient formatting, and intelligent content recommendations. It's the perfect companion to boost your productivity and streamline your document creation process.

4. How to Install WPS Office on Ubuntu(Linux)

WPS Office is a popular office suite for Linux, and installing it on Ubuntu is straightforward. Follow these step-by-step instructions to install WPS Office on your Ubuntu system.

Step 1: Visit the official WPS Office website for Linux

WPS Linux website

Step 2: Click the "Download" button on the page.

Click “Download” button

Step 3: Select the correct WPS Office version for your Ubuntu system.

Typically, 32-bit and 64-bit solutions are both offered. Choose the one that best suits the architecture of your system.

WPS Linux package

Step 4: Once the download is finished, look for the file in your "Downloads" folder.

Choose “Download” folder

Step 5: Use the "Open With" and "Software Install" options from the context menu when you right-click on the downloaded file. The Ubuntu Software Center will now be accessible.

WPS install

Step 6: To start the installation procedure, click the "Install" button.

Click Install button

Step 7: To install software on Ubuntu, you must enter your administrator password when requested.

Linux Authentication required

Step 8: After the installation is complete, you can open WPS Office by selecting it from the programs menu or by using the Ubuntu Dash to search for it.

WPS on Ubuntu Dash

You've successfully installed WPS Office on your Ubuntu Linux system. You can now enjoy using WPS Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheets.

WPS Office- Free All-in-One Office Suite
  • Use Word, Excel, and PPT for FREE, No Ads.

  • Edit PDF files with the powerful PDF toolkit.

  • Microsoft-like interface. Easy to learn. 100% Compatibility.

  • Boost your productivity with WPS's abundant free Word, Excel, PPT, and CV templates.

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Algirdas Jasaitis

5. FAQs

  1. Is there an official Microsoft Office version for Linux?

No, Microsoft doesn't provide an official Office version for Linux, but web-based Office 365 can be used through browsers.

  1. Are there any legal concerns with using Office 2016 on Linux?

Using Office 2016 on Linux through compatibility layers like Wine is legal if you have a valid Office license.

  1. Can I Access Office 365 on Linux for Free?

Yes, you can access Office 365 on Linux through web browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Microsoft offers online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more, which are accessible for free with limited features. To unlock full functionality and additional cloud storage, you can subscribe to Office 365. This way, you can use Microsoft Office applications on Linux without any compatibility concerns.

6. Summary

This article provides a step-by-step guide with screenshots for easy installation on Ubuntu. While there's no official Microsoft Office version for Linux, using Office 2016 through PlayOnLinux with a valid license is legal. Microsoft Office 2016 is accessible via browsers on Linux, offering limited free access and subscription-based full functionality.

Overall, WPS Office is a good alternative to Microsoft Office 2016 on Linux. It is free to use, it is compatible with Microsoft Office formats, and it offers a wide range of features. If you are looking for a free and open-source office productivity suite for Linux, then WPS Office is a good choice.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.