Get Desktop Access to Your OnlyOffice Account from Linux


OnlyOffice is yet another entry in a long line of cloud-based office suites. Because it is cloud-based, you can use it from any browser on any platform. However, if you prefer working with such applications in their own dedicated window (with their own features), you might be interested to know that you can also install the OnlyOffice Desktop Editors suite on Linux. Desktop Editors is quite a nice piece of work. With it, you can use your OnlyOffice account (either personal or business), work with local files, upload files, work with a team, and much more.

Yes, all of this can be done through your standard web browser, but if you want to ensure full compliance, there’s no better way than to use OnlyOffice’s official Desktop Editors. This is actually one application that gets you direct access to the word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation tools—all from one, well designed interface.

I am going to walk you through the process of setting this up on an Ubuntu 16.04 desktop. As of this writing, OnlyOffice only supports Debian-based Linux distributions. I also tested it on elementary OS Freya with equal success.

The system requirements for this installation are:

  • CPU: dual-core 2 GHz or better

  • RAM: 2 GB or more

  • HDD: at least 2 GB of free space

  • OS: 64-bit Debian-based distribution, running at least kernel 3.8


The installation requires the use of the command line. If you follow these simple instructions, however, it will go off without a hitch.

First, you must add the OnlyOffice GPG signing key:

  1. Open a terminal window

  2. Download the OnlyOffice key with the command sudo wget

  3. Add the key with the command sudo apt-key add onlyoffice.key

Next, it’s time to add the OnlyOffice repo to apt. You’ll do this from the same terminal window you just worked in.

  1. Open up /etc/apt/sources.list with the command sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

  2. Add the line deb squeeze main to the end of the file

  3. Press Ctrl+x to save the file

  4. Press y when prompted

The next step is to update apt and install. You’ll do this in the same terminal window as before.

  1. Issue the command sudo apt-get update

  2. Install the software with sudo apt-get install onlyoffice-desktopeditors

  3. Allow the installation to complete

During the installation, you will be prompted to OK the installation of the Microsoft Core Fonts (if it is not already installed). Okay that and then accept the license to continue and complete the installation. Once the Desktop Editors is installed, open up the Unity Dash (or your desktop menu, whichever you are using), and do a search for desktop. You should see the launcher for Desktop Editors lists (Figure 1). Click the icon to start the application. NOTE: You can also start the application with the command desktopeditors.

Figure 1: Launching the OnlyOffice Desktop Editors from the Unity Dash.

Logging In to OnlyOffice

When the Desktop Editors application opens, click on the edition of OnlyOffice you will be using (Figure 2 — either Home or Commercial). If you’re using a free personal account, click on Home, otherwise click Commercial.

Figure 2: Choose either a Home or Commercial portal.
In the next window, you will enter the server address, email, and password for your OnlyOffice account. If you haven’t created one, you can click on Create Portal (which will take you to the OnlyOffice registration page). Click the Connect link and then enter the required information. If you’re using a Home account, you will use as the portal server address and then the email and password you signed up with (Figure 3). If you’re using a Commercial account, use the portal you created when you signed up (along with the email address and password associated with that account).

Figure 3: Logging into your OnlyOffice account from the Desktop Editors app.
Once you’ve logged in, you will be greeted by the OnlyOffice Desktop Editors associated with the type of account you’ve logged in with. If you log in with a Commercial account, you will gain access to a number of added features, such as project, common, and shared documents (Figure 4).

Figure 4: The OnlyOffice Commercial portal.
Log into a Home (personal) account and you’ll see leaner version of OnlyOffice, sans project, common, and shared documents (Figure 5).

Figure 5: The OnlyOffice Home portal.
One nice addition to OnlyOffice Desktop Editors is the ability to access multiple accounts. This means you can have a Home account and a Commercial account, both, or multiples of each. To add a new account, follow these steps:

  1. Open OnlyOffice Desktop Editors

  2. Click on Connect to server

  3. Click Add Portal

  4. Enter the information for the new portal

  5. Click Login

Each portal will open as a new tab (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Multiple portals open simultaneously.
If you leave the OnlyOffice Desktop Editors app open, to open a new portal, just click on the File tab and follow the steps above. From the Files tab, you can also open a local file, check your recent files, or start a new file. When you open a new file, that file is then saved locally. You can, in turn, upload that file to your OnlyOffice account by clicking the upload button. Text files can be saved in .odt, .docx (default), .rtf, .txt, or .pdf formats. Spreadsheets can be saved as .ods, .xlsx (default), .csv, or .pdf formats. Presentations can be saved as .pptx or .pdf formats.

Is It Worth It?

OnlyOffice Desktop Editors is actually a really nice addition to the office suite toolkit. No, it’s not open source (which will be a turnoff to some users), but it works on Linux and can serve as a solution that can easily serve as your main productivity tool. If you’re looking for an outstanding cloud-based office suite, and neither Google or Office365 appeal to you, OnlyOffice might very well be what you’ve been looking for.

Give OnlyOffice Desktop Editors a try and see if it doesn’t meet or exceed your needs.