LibreOfficeCalc for Linux ( is ignoring VCLPlugin KF5 (KDE Plasma 5.20.5, Debian 5.16) from environment variable

When setting “export SAL_USE VCLPLUGIN=kf5” e.g. in ~/.bashrc, Calc is ignoring this environmental variable when opening an existing .ods file and instead uses gtk3 or X11 (when libreoffice-gtk3 is uninstalled) !

More strangely a new .ods file will be opened/created with kf5, but after saving it, Calc opens it with gtk3 (or X11)! Also LibreOfficeWriter opens all files with kf5 correctly!

Is this a known bug?

How can I force the kf5 plugin for all .ods files in LibreOfficeCalc?


B.t.w. I’m preferring kf5 because GTK and X11 plugins are causing terrible (cursor, input line) lags when moving / browsing through complex sheets!

If export SAL_USE VCLPLUGIN=kf5 is what you exactly specify and not just a typo here then it’s lacking an underscore, it should be export SAL_USE_VCLPLUGIN=kf5

Still wouldn’t explain the weird behaviour you describe. Are you sure that opening spreadsheet files is executing the same binary in the same set environment? Are you opening the file from within the running LibreOffice that already uses the kf5 plugin? Or from a file picker that then opens the file with starting a LibreOffice process?

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I also suppose that there are two versions of LibreOffice present on the system, one with desktop integration (used when you create “a new .ods file”), and also associated with ODT, and another associated with ODS.

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The variable was specified correctly with 2 underscores: export SAL_USE_VCLPLUGIN=kf5 (sorry for the typo in my first post!),

but you are right: I open the files (always, usually) from the file manger (Dolphin) by (double)clicking on the file. This caused somehow opening (only the .ods) files with GTK3. Opening it from bash with e.g. “libreoffice file1.ods” opens it correctly with kf5, I discovered!

So the solution for opening the files with kf5 as usual from the file manger (Dolphin) was to set in Dolphin (via right-click) “always open as” and then select Libreoffice or Libreoffice Calc!

Although I don’t understand why it was opening it with GTK3 (or X11) in the first place! I only have one version of LibreOffice ( installed…

Obviously the KDE environment and thus Dolphin and LibreOffice started from there does not source ~/.bashrc (and why should it, it’s not bash). So naturally you get the kf5 plugin only when starting libreoffice from the bash command line. I don’t use KDE myself but Session Environment Variables - KDE UserBase Wiki might be helpful.