If you don’t trust cloud providers and focus exclusively on the privacy of your data, finding a reliable office suite for real-time document collaboration might be challenging. Google Docs and Microsoft Office Online, the most popular web-based document editing tools, don’t seem to be the best choice for this task for some obvious reasons: they are cloud-based and are often associated with data security concerns.
However, there is an alternative solution that offers similar editing and collaborative functionality without the need to share your data with third-party providers. In this article, you will learn how to create a secure collaborative environment on Linux Ubuntu by installing ONLYOFFICE Docs, an open-source office package for document editing and collaboration.
What is ONLYOFFICE Docs?
Before we install ONLYOFFICE Docs on Ubuntu, we need to have an understanding of what this office suite of capable of and what we can expect from it.
In a nutshell, ONLYOFFICE Docs is an open-source office suite. When using it, you can create, open and edit text documents, spreadsheets presentations and digital forms in your web browser. Additionally, ONLYOFFICE Docs has a PDF viewer that can be also used as a conversion tool. For example, you can turn your PDF file into a DOCX document for further editing.
With ONLYOFFICE Docs, it’s possible to work with different documents and file extensions. You can easily open and edit Microsoft Office files (created in Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and open other formats by converting them to OOXML, Microsoft’s native format.
ONLYOFFICE Docs allows you to create and edit documents in real-time. It has a full set of collaborative features to replace Google Docs and Microsoft Office Online:
- Various access permissions;
- Fast and Strict co-editing modes;
- Version History;
- Track changes;
- User mentions;
- Communication via the built-in chat and third-party plugins (e.g. Telegram):
- Document comparison.
Let’s discover how to get ONLYOFFICE Docs installed on your Ubuntu server.
How to install ONLYOFFICE Docs on Ubuntu Linux
It’s important to mention that your system must have PostgreSQL, NGINX, libstdc++6 and RabbitMQ installed so that ONLYOFFICE works correctly. Some other required components are:
If you are running one of the latest versions of Ubuntu, they are automatically installed during the installation process.
In ONLYOFFICE Docs, NGINX and PostgreSQL are used as databases. These components can be found in the system repository and are installed automatically with the help of the apt-get install command.
To install PostgreSQL, included in your version of Ubuntu, run this command:
sudo apt-get install postgresql
After that, create a database and a user. Use onlyoffice in the created database both for the user and password:
sudo -i -u postgres psql -c “CREATE DATABASE onlyoffice;”
sudo -i -u postgres psql -c “CREATE USER onlyoffice WITH password ‘onlyoffice’;”
sudo -i -u postgres psql -c “GRANT ALL privileges ON DATABASE onlyoffice TO onlyoffice;”
The next step involves the installation of RabbitMQ:
sudo apt-get install rabbitmq-server
When it comes to Ubuntu 18.04, you need to install nginx-extras with the following command:
sudo apt-get install nginx-extras
Changing the default port
By default, ONLYOFFICE Docs runs via port 80. To make it use another port, you need to change the default port for the debconf system:
echo onlyoffice-documentserver onlyoffice/ds-port select <PORT_NUMBER> | sudo debconf-set-selections
Specify the desired port number instead of the <PORT_NUMBER>.
Installation of ONLYOFFICE Docs
First of all, add the GPG key using this command:
mkdir -p ~/.gnupg
chmod 700 ~/.gnupg
gpg –no-default-keyring –keyring gnupg-ring:/tmp/onlyoffice.gpg –keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 –recv-keys CB2DE8E5
chmod 644 /tmp/onlyoffice.gpg
sudo chown root:root /tmp/onlyoffice.gpg
sudo mv /tmp/onlyoffice.gpg /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/
After that, add the ONLYOFFICE Docs repository by running the following command:
echo “deb https://download.onlyoffice.com/repo/debian squeeze main” | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/onlyoffice.list
You also need to update the package manager cache. This can be done this way:
sudo apt-get update
Then, you need to install the mscorefonts component:
sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer
Finally, install ONLYOFFICE Docs:
sudo apt-get install onlyoffice-documentserver
After successful installation, open your web browser and type http://localhost at the address bar. You will see the ONLYOFFICE Docs welcome page with detailed instructions on how to launch document examples or integrate the ONLYOFFICE online editors into a web application via API.
To create a collaborative environment, you are allowed to integrate ONLYOFFICE Docs with its own platform, ONLYOFFICE Workspace. In this case, you will get a groupware solution with document management, CRM, calendars, email management and communication tools.
Another option is to connect ONLYOFFICE Docs with a third-party DMS or file-sharing platform via an official connector. There are a lot of solutions to choose from. Some of the most popular ones are Nextcloud, ownCloud, WordPress, Chamilo, Moodle, Jira, Redmine, Seafile, Alfresco, Plone, Strapi and so on. The full list is available on the welcome page. You just need to click Connectors for 3rd party apps, and you will be redirected to the official website where you will be able to choose the required integration app.
No matter how you integrate ONLYOFFICE Docs, you always get a secure collaborative environment. You can edit, share and collaborate on office files without having to worry about the safety of your information.
As you can see, secure document collaboration on Ubuntu Linux can be easily enabled by installing and configuring ONLYOFFICE Docs. This office suite allows you to enjoy all the benefits of collaborative work in real time without spending a lot of money. However, if you need professional tech support and assistance, you can always switch to a commercial version.
Remember that you need to have at least 2 GB of RAM, 1 CPU with 2 cores minimum (2 GHz+), 40 GB of storage space and 4 GB of swap space to ensure the flawless operation of ONLYOFFICE Docs. Today, such requirements don’t seem to be tremendous.