The two main LibreOffice version types | Apertura Designs

The two main LibreOffice version types

When downloading LibreOffice you may notice that two different versions are available. Similarly, new features are often advertised as available in one specific LibreOffice version, but not the other. What does this mean?

LibreOffice ships in two concurrently-maintained major versions to satisfy different use scenarios. These versions are known as LibreOffice Fresh, and LibreOffice Still. Let's describe the differences.

LibreOffice Fresh

LibreOffice Fresh represents the latest major version available at any one time. When brand-new features are announced, you'll find them in LibreOffice Fresh. At the time of writing, LibreOffice 6.0.4 is the current Fresh release.

LibreOffice Fresh is focused on delivering new features to users as soon as possible. Note that some of these enhancements may need further testing and feedback, and could even contain the occasional minor problem. As such, Fresh is best for enthusiastic users or organisations with in-house technical support expertise.

LibreOffice Still

LibreOffice Still represents the latest fully-tested version. LibreOffice Still starts life as the Fresh release, and over time undergoes significant refining and improvement. The end result is a robust, mature product ideal for users and businesses seeking maximum stability—and with the option of professional support. At the time of writing, LibreOffice 5.4.7 is the current Still release.

Although the Still version necessarily takes a less cutting-edge approach compared to Fresh, it's still packed with features.

Another variant: Collabora Office

LibreOffice's code base is completely open source; many organisations leverage this to develop their own innovative products and solutions. For example, Collabora Office is an alternative to the two official LibreOffice versions described above. Collabora Office receives additional testing for business environments, and security fixes are made available immediately. Professional support is integral to Collabora Office—ranging from direct support and training for customers on the ground, to bespoke feature development tailored to the organisation.

While not an official LibreOffice release, Collabora Office is developed and supported by many of the core developers on the LibreOffice project itself. It's an ideal solution for business use—especially for organisations upgrading from Microsoft Office.

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