on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS undefined symbol: png_set_option, version PNG16_0

Hello there, libreoffice refuse to start even in --safe-mode on my just updated ubuntu 20.04 LTS system.
LibreOffice_6.4.3.2_Linux_x86-64_deb/DEBS$ libreoffice --safe-mode
/usr/lib/libreoffice/program/soffice.bin: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/libreoffice/program/libmergedlo.so: undefined symbol: png_set_option, version PNG16_0

Any time I try to run it, it starts the recovery of old documents without success, both trying to start or cancel the recovery process.
Can you please help me to fix this error?

Many thanks


Where did you get that from (TDF = libreoffice.org download or from PPA)? I’m asking because default Ubuntu repository still install 6.4.2 - just checked)

Seeing it’s installed under /usr/lib/libreoffice/ it should be some Ubuntu source (PPA), so ask the friendly package maintainer.

I download from both libreoffice.org and from PPA. Both with no lucky


the following procedure worked for me on Ubuntu:

Completely remove anything related to LibreOffice

  • dpkg --list | awk '/ii/&&/libreoffice/||/libobasis/{print $2}' | sudo xargs apt purge -y ure
  • sudo apt autoremove -y
  • sudo rm -r /usr/lib/libreoffice/*

Note: Don’t care about libobasis appearing here. I do use the command regularly to de-install TDF packages as well


  • sudo apt install libreoffice
  • Depending on you locale you may want to install sudo apt libreoffice-l10n-<countrycode>
  • Depending on you locale you may want to install sudo apt libreoffice-help-<countrycode> (Offline Help)

May be this will help you as well.

Hope that helps.

If the answer helped to solve your problem, please click the check mark (:heavy_check_mark:) next to the answer.

It does not solve in my case. Any suggestion?

Hmm - what does ls -l /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libpng* show?

ls: cannot access ‘/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libpng*’: No such file or directory

but trying to install libpng–dev it returns
sudo apt install libpng-dev
[sudo] password for joyce:
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
libpng-dev is already the newest version (1.6.37-2).

Force the installation using reinstall instead of install