How to Download Microsoft Office for Ubuntu Linux: A Comprehensive Guide

January 15, 2024 2.8K views

Ubuntu Linux has become a strong option for customers looking for a dependable, secure, and open-source operating system in the rapidly changing world of technology. However, one of the enduring challenges faced by Linux enthusiasts is achieving seamless compatibility with software from other ecosystems, notably Microsoft Office. This comprehensive guide serves as a valuable resource, providing Ubuntu Linux users with a clear, step-by-step roadmap to download and install Microsoft Office.

Part 1. What is Ubuntu Linux?

Ubuntu Linux is a widely used open-source, community-driven operating system based on the Debian Linux distribution. It is known for its user-friendly interface, robust security features, and extensive software repository. Ubuntu is designed for desktop and server use and is one of the most popular Linux distributions globally.

Function: Ubuntu Linux serves as a versatile and powerful operating system that can be used for various purposes:

  • Desktop Use: Ubuntu provides a user-friendly desktop environment, making it suitable for personal and office use. It includes a range of pre-installed applications for productivity, web browsing, multimedia, and more.

  • Server Use: Ubuntu Server is a robust platform for hosting web applications, databases, and various server-related tasks. It offers strong security features and efficient server management tools.

  • Development: Ubuntu is favored by developers and programmers for its extensive support for programming languages, development tools, and containers.

  • Customization: Ubuntu's open-source nature allows users to customize and modify the operating system to suit their specific needs and preferences.

Part 2. 3 Ways to Download Microsoft Office for Ubuntu Linux

Here are three ways to download Microsoft Office for Ubuntu Linux:

1. Use Microsoft Office Online

It is a simple way to use Microsoft Office apps on Linux, and also, you don’t need to buy a license to use the Office suite. All the widely used apps from the Microsoft Office suite, such as Word, Excel, Presentation, and Outlook, can be used and accessed using web browsers.

  • Simply open a web browser, go to the Office Online website, and sign in with your Microsoft account to start using Office applications online.

  • This method doesn't require any installation on your Ubuntu system and is suitable for users who prefer working in a web-based environment.

My experience: Using Microsoft Office Online was incredibly convenient and user-friendly. It offered a seamless way to access Office applications directly in my web browser without the need for installation. Compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats was excellent, and it felt like a native experience. This method is ideal for users who prefer a cloud-based approach and want to work on Office documents from anywhere with an internet connection.

2. Using PlayOnLinux

PlayOnLinux is a graphical front-end for Wine, a compatibility layer that allows you to run Windows applications on Linux. Here's how to use PlayOnLinux to install Microsoft Office:

Step 1: Install PlayOnLinux: Open the Ubuntu Software Center, search for PlayOnLinux, and install it.

Step 2: Launch PlayOnLinux: Open PlayOnLinux from the applications menu.

Step 3: Install Microsoft Office: Click on the "Install" button in PlayOnLinux and search for "Microsoft Office." Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

My experience: PlayOnLinux provided a unique solution for running Microsoft Office on Ubuntu. While it required some initial setup and configuration, I was impressed by how it managed compatibility and dependencies. The graphical interface made it relatively straightforward to install and use Office applications. However, it's worth noting that performance may vary depending on the specific Office version and your system's capabilities. Overall, it's a valuable option for those who prefer running Office natively on Linux.

3. Install Microsoft Office 365 in a VM

This is not a straightforward way to install and use Microsoft Office on Linux and distros, but it is one of the most effective ways. You need to install Virtual Machine on Linux, then install Windows on it

In this case, all you need to do is boot your virtual machine, sign into Windows, and install Microsoft Office. Linux users can install any version of Office this way, unlike using Wine/PlayOnLinux, which can be useful for file compatibility.

My experience:  Setting up a virtual machine to run Microsoft Office was a more involved process compared to the other methods. It required additional resources and time to configure the VM and install the Windows OS. This method is suitable for users who require a full Windows environment for other tasks as well. It offers the most native Office experience but comes with the complexity of managing a virtual machine.

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Part 3. Free Office Software for Linux: WPS Office

WPS Office is a versatile and free office suite that provides comprehensive tools for opening, creating, editing, and saving Microsoft Office files, including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. It is designed to be fully compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems, offering users a seamless office productivity experience.


  • Price: WPS Office is free to use, making it a cost-effective solution for individuals and businesses seeking powerful office software without the need for expensive licenses.

  • Ease of Use: The user-friendly interface and intuitive design of WPS Office make it accessible to users of all skill levels, ensuring a smooth and productive experience.

  • Capability: WPS Office provides a wide range of features and functionalities comparable to Microsoft Office, allowing users to perform tasks such as document formatting, data analysis, and presentation creation.

  • Customer Service: Users have reported positive experiences with WPS Office's customer service, offering valuable support and assistance when needed.

  • WPS AI: WPS Office integrates AI features that enhance productivity, including document formatting suggestions, content summarization, and intelligent data analysis.

My experience with WPS Office on Linux has been favorable, particularly in terms of its compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats and the ease of use. It's an excellent choice for Linux users looking for a free and capable office suite that meets their productivity needs.

How to Install WPS Office on Ubuntu?

Step 1: Visit the official WPS Office website for Linux.

Step 2: To begin the download process, click the "Download" button on the page.

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.

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

Step 6: The WPS Office installation page may be found in the Ubuntu Software Center. To start the installation procedure, click the "Install" button.

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

Step 8: The installation procedure will start, and you might have to wait a short while for it to finish.

Step 9: 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.

I'm done now! WPS Office has been successfully downloaded and installed on your Ubuntu computer. You may immediately begin creating, editing, and managing your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations using WPS Office.


1. Is Microsoft Office free for Linux?

Yes, Microsoft Office is not available to install on Linux. Not having Microsoft Office on Linux creates additional pain for some existing users. Sure, there are several good open source office suites available and they are sufficient for most users. But there are situations when you are compelled to use MS Office.

2. Is there a version of Microsoft Office for Linux?

There's no 'Microsoft Office for Linux' and unlikely there ever will be. That doesn't mean a Linux machine can't access the full power of Office for Windows or Mac with a little geeky trickery.

3. Which office is best for Linux?

Here are the 6 best office suites for Linux in 2023 that you can use now (for free).

  • WPS Office.

  • LibreOffice.

  • SoftMaker Office.


  • Nimbus Note.


WPS Office is a versatile and cost-effective office suite compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems. It enables users to create, edit, and save Microsoft Office files, including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. WPS Office stands out for its affordability, user-friendly interface, comprehensive features, and the integration of WPS AI, which enhances productivity. This open-source office suite is a valuable choice for Linux users seeking a reliable and capable office productivity solution.

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