What is it?
LibreOffice Online is a server service built from the main LibreOffice project code which provides display and collaborative visual editing of a range of document types. It does not include any form of file system. To be fully functional, it has to be integrated with file access and authentication provision from an underlying stack of software.
For anything more than casual use it also needs to be deployed with due consideration for load balancing and other scaling issues. As such, LibreOffice Online can be considered an enabling technology for the public cloud of ISPs or the private cloud of enterprises and large organizations, when integrated - for example - with an enterprise file sharing or a groupware solution.
Why not provide a hosted service?
The Document Foundation is not planning to develop and fund a cloud solution similar to existing products from Google and Microsoft, because this would require selection and integration of the other technologies needed for deployment - file sharing, authentication, load balancing and so on - which for desktop LibreOffice is part of the operating system provided by the user. This would be a significant growth of scope and not in line with the original mission of the project. The task is therefore left to large deployers, ISPs and providers of open source cloud solutions, and several options are already available on the market. TDF would welcome provision of a public LibreOffice Online offering by another charity.
Why is this un-supported?
TDF does not offer end-user support for any of the projects it hosts. End-user collaborative self-help is available at ask.libreoffice.org.
Since LibreOffice Online requires integration with many other technologies to allow deployment, The Document Foundation will not be maintaining binaries for enterprise use. Even if it were reasonable to pre-select all the elements of a deployment stack, providing enterprise production binaries would create expectations which could not be fulfilled by volunteer-based support.
However, builds of the latest code suitable for home users and for contributing to development - which is encouraged - are available. TDF is keen to avoid situations where an unsuitable version is deployed at scale, so when used in what would be likely to imply an enterprise situation - more than 10 concurrent documents and/or more than 20 connections - LibreOffice Online will display a prominent "not supported" warning and a link to this page, while continuing to function.
We encourage others providing un-supported binaries derived from LibreOffice to follow this pattern.
How can I get support and help fund development?
The Document Foundation suggests that all large-scale deployers of LibreOffice use certified developers either directly or via a commercial provider who employs them. This is especially important for LibreOffice Online where your business plays an important role paying for the further development of the software.
Please do not attempt a public or enterprise production deployment of LibreOffice Online without professional support. As explained above, it is not intended for direct production deployment.
Can I use this for free?
Absolutely, LibreOffice Online is Open Source Free software, just download and use it, inspect, study, share, modify and contribute back to the project. Just be aware that the version you have downloaded is designed for personal and/or development use so there is an un-supported notification displayed when you exceed to 10 concurrent documents and 20 connections.
How can I compile a version without this warning?
LibreOffice is Open Source Free software and you are entitled to make whatever changes you wish to the source code. Each version of LibreOffice Online has a Help/About page with the Git hash of the source code it is built from and a link to clone that source. Please bear in mind that if you remove such support statements from the code you may need to change the name of the project, especially if you intend to make it available outside your organisation - check out our trademark guidelines. This also serves to make it clear that you are committing to support the version you have created.
While TDF provides only source releases, there are binaries available from many other sources including:
Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE)
LibreOffice Online has been mainly developed by Collabora. There are packages for Debian, Ubuntu, centOS, openSUSE, Univention Virtual Machines, and docker images of this work available here.
These are provided by Kopano, for Debian and Ubuntu and are available here.