Linux - Automate LibreOffice FlatPak


This guide will show you how to automate LibreOffice FlatPak on Linux.

The process is to start LibreOffice FlatPak, wait for it to be ready, and then send commands to it via a bridge connection using API.


The libreoffice-script-provider-python apt package must be installed. This package allows scripts to connect to LibreOffice.

sudo apt install libreoffice-script-provider-python

Set up virtual environment

LibreOffice Flatpak uses a python that is included with FlatPak.

Get Python version

To start, we need to get the major and minor version of Python from LibreOffice.

The FlatPak version of LibreOffice comes with APSO extension already installed. Start FlatPak LibreOffice and open the APSO extension. In this case we are using Writer.

Tools -> Macros -> Organize python scripts

LibreOffice Flatpak APSO Extension

Start the Python Console

APSO python console [LibreOffice]
3.10.11 (main, Nov 10 2011, 15:00:00) [GCC 12.2.0]
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

We can see in the console output above that the python version is 3.10.11 in this case. Now we know we need to create a virtual environment for python 3.10.

Most Likely your system python will match the Major and the Minor version of python.

Find matching Python version on your system

$ /usr/bin/python3 --version
Python 3.10.6

If you do not get a match for python3 then also try with major and minor prefix and suffix. You system may have the version installed.

$ /usr/bin/python3.10 --version
Python 3.10.6

If you do not have a python version matching major and minor version, 3.10 in this case, then it is recommended to use a tool such as pyenv to install a version of python that matches.

Create a virtual Environment

Create a virtual environment for you system.

Make a project Directory.

$ mkdir ~/my-project
cd ~/my-project

Create Virtual Environment using the matching python version found above.

/usr/bin/python3.10 -m venv .venv

Activate Virtual Environment

source .venv/bin/activate

Now that the virtual environment is activated, we can install the required packages.

Install OOOENV

The virtual environment has been created but it does not yet have access to and which are needed to use the LibreOffice API.

For this we will use the oooenv package.

Make sure you have activated the virtual environment.

oooenv is a Python package that allows you to auto configure a virtual environment to be used by LibreOffice.

Install oooenv in the virtual environment:

python -m pip install oooenv

Now that the package is installed we can use it to configure the virtual environment to use and

oooenv cmd-link -a

Now the virtual environment is configured to use and

Automate with ooo-dev-tools

Requires ooo-dev-tools version 0.11.8 or greater.

Install ooo-dev-tools

python -m pip install ooo-dev-tools

Run an automation script

We will create a simple script to automate LibreOffice FlatPak by the Name of

Connecting to LibreOffice FlatPak is a little different than connecting to LibreOffice installed on the system.

First of all starting FlatPak LibreOffice from a python script seems to need the --display argument set to the current display. If it is not set we may get an error and the script may hang.

So in the script below we are getting the current display and setting it to the --display argument via os.getenv('DISPLAY').

Next we must instruct OooDev to use the FlatPak version of LibreOffice. Normally OooDev will use the system installed version of LibreOffice by default; However, we need to instruct OooDev to use the FlatPak version of LibreOffice.

This is done by setting the soffice argument to the flatpak run org.libreoffice.LibreOffice/x86_64/stable value. The display setting are passed to the extended_args argument. It also seem ConnectPipe does not work with FlatPak LibreOffice so we are using ConnectSocket. The same thing is true with Snap installed LibreOffice. The rest is straight forward for OooDev.

from __future__ import annotations
import os
import uno
from import Calc
from ooodev.gui.gui import GUI
from ooodev.utils.kind.zoom_kind import ZoomKind
from ooodev.loader.lo import Lo
from ooodev.dialog.msgbox import (
    MsgBox, MessageBoxType, MessageBoxButtonsEnum, MessageBoxResultsEnum

def main():
    display_str = f"--display {os.getenv('DISPLAY', ':0')}"
    _ = Lo.load_office(
            soffice="flatpak run org.libreoffice.LibreOffice/x86_64/stable",
        doc = Calc.create_doc()
        GUI.set_visible(True, doc)
        Calc.zoom(doc, ZoomKind.ZOOM_100_PERCENT)

        sheet = Calc.get_sheet(doc, 0)
        Calc.set_val(value="Hello World!", sheet=sheet, cell_name="A1")

        msg_result = MsgBox.msgbox(
            "Do you wish to close document?",
            "All done",
        if msg_result == MessageBoxResultsEnum.YES:
            Lo.close_doc(doc=doc, deliver_ownership=True)
            print("Keeping document open")

    except Exception:

if __name__ == "__main__":


The Code to connection to LibreOffice FlatPak is something like this:

# is it important to use shell=True
import os
from subprocess import Popen
Popen(f'flatpak run org.libreoffice.LibreOffice/x86_64/stable --invisible --norestore --nofirststartwizard --nologo --accept="socket,host=localhost,port=2002,tcpNoDelay=1;urp;" --display {os.getenv("DISPLAY")}', shell=True)

Once the script is created and save as we can run it