Issues with LibreOffice and SMB/CIFS shares

Are you having issues when opening documents on a shared drive? Both ODF and DocX document types are effectively archived files which need to expand in order to read their contents and this appears to cause issues when opening such documents across CIFS shared drives.

The error you’ll most likely see is “General I/O Error”, but you might also see a document recovery wizard instead, which then fails, and presents you with the LibreOffice “open file” page instead.

This is especially frustrating because a standard word document (doc) file will open just fine. It’s only the newer file types which cause this issue.

However, (partial) help is at hand. The bug has been reported here: I’ve linked straight to comment #15 there, which outlines a workaround – remove one line from the desktop file which launches your LibreOffice tools and you’ll be able to open these files again.

The workaround notes:

Open the .desktop file (such as /usr/share/applications/libreoffice4.1-writer.desktop for LO Writer) and comment the following line:

However, it’s probably better practice to move the affected .desktop files to ~/.local/share/applications instead and make the edits there. That way, when LibreOffice updates, you’ll keep this setting.

I say “partial” help, because even with this fix, I’m still prompted to open such documents as read-only. However, at least they now open.