For many people who work from home, Google Workspace is the go-to platform for all your office suite needs. However, some view Google as a questionable option, especially for sensitive documents. For such documents, those users may choose to use a client-based solution, such as MS Office or LibreOffice.
The caveat to using client-based solutions is that they are only available to those users who have access to devices on which the software is installed. If you have a home office or small business, where you need to give multiple users access to those client-based tools, you must either use the open source option (LibreOffice) or pay for enough licenses for a proprietary solution. This can become costly and timely to install on every computer.
However, what if you could deploy a solution that is accessible to everyone, is free, and includes features, such as a full office suite (with documents, spreadsheets, projects, and templates), project management, CRM, email, contacts and chat, and user and community management?
All this can be obtained through a platform called ONLYOFFICE. there even ONLYOFFICE DOCUMENT EDITORS The application, which can be installed on most operating systems and makes it extremely easy for users to create and work with their documents.
If you prefer to avoid using tools hosted on third-party services, you can go the ONLYOFFICE path by purchasing a file Cloud-hosted ONLYOFFICE instance (They offer free plans as well as paid plans.) I’ll show you how you can deploy ONLYOFFICE as a Docker container. The only drawback of the free account is that it only gives you access to the office suite features (Documents, Sheets, and Presentations). To get the full set of features, you must register with ONLYOFFICE Business (which is $5 per user/month).
If you are good at spending cash to get an ONLYOFFICE business license, you will find that accessing your account from anywhere is a great feature. However, you’re still saving documents to a third-party host, which could be a deal breaker for anyone trying to avoid exposing sensitive information.
Another way to get the full feature set, without having to pay a fee for licensing prices. This method is to deploy ONLYOFFICE on an internal device. I will walk you through the process of doing so. Although it might be a bit tricky for the average user, anyone with the ability to copy and paste some commands should be able to handle the process.
Since I’m going to demonstrate deploying ONLYOFFICE as a container with Docker, you’ll need a machine capable of running the Docker runtime engine. Go to my server is ubuntu server And this is the operating system I will be showing you (you can also do this on Ubuntu Desktop as well). To proceed with this, you will need to have a running instance of the Ubuntu server and a user with sudo access.
Install Docker on Ubuntu
1. Install dependencies
The first thing to do is install Docker. Log in to your Ubuntu machine and install the necessary dependencies using:
sudo apt-get install ca-certificates curl gnupg lsb-release -y
2. Add GPG key and repository
At the install pool, add the required Docker GPG key with the command:
curl -fsSL https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu/gpg | sudo gpg –dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg
Add the official Docker repository with the command:
Echo “Deep” [arch=$(dpkg –print-architecture) signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg] https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) stable” | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/null
3. Install Docker
Update apt and install Docker-CE with the following commands:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli containerd.io -y
4. Start and enable the service
Now you need to make sure that the Docker service is running and that it is enabled to start when the machine restarts. So, issue the following command:
sudo systemctl now enables the docker
5. Add your user to the docker group
Next, add your user to the Docker group with the command:
sudo usermod -aG docker $USER
Make the system aware of changes by:
Publishing ONLYOFFICE with Docker
1. Download the installation script
There is an easy-to-install script that simplifies the deployment process. Download this script with:
2. Run the script
Run the installer with the command:
sudo bash workspace-install.sh
The script will take a long time to complete (more than 1 GB of files must be downloaded).
ACCESS TO ONLYOFFICE
After the installation is complete, you need to give the services time to start (a minute or so). After this time has passed, open a web browser and point to http://SERVER (where SERVER is the IP address of the machine hosting ONLYOFFICE). You will be greeted with a process indicator that tracks the remaining installation. This process will take 5-30 minutes, so sit back and wait or do something else to pass the time.
When the installation is complete, a setup page will appear (shape 1), where you must set a password, register an email address, and configure your language and timezone.
Make sure the box to accept the license is checked and then click Continue. Once this is taken care of, you will find yourself in the main window ONLYOFFICE (Figure 2), where you can get started with the new in-house project management / project management / CRM tool.
Congratulations, you now have your own tool that can replace Google Workspaces and more.
While it may not be a perfect 1:1 alternative (so you’ll need to configure the email part of ONLYOFFICE – we’ll do that in a later article), ONLYOFFICE is a great option for anyone looking to migrate away from hosted third-party tools.