New Platform 12.0.5. Download or Buy on Drive
Over 300 free and legal portable apps including Xonotic (Mar 1, 2015) needs your help: Please donate today

LibreOffice too slow for flash drive use?

NCL - January 28, 2011 - 9:42am
Share on Facebook

Running LOP on flash drive is too slow for use. Is anybody else seeing this? Is anybody able to run this on flash drive w/o lagging - Typing, toolbars, menu items all take up to about 5 sec to respond. I started mentioning this in this post in this node:, but thought this may need it's own topic.

I tried my flash drive on a couple of machines, all using WinXP, with and without anti-virus. To see if it is portableapps or LibreOffice related or not and there was no change - still slow. I then tried the other portable package from the people I'm not going to mention here, but lets justs say there's an "X-" in it. Their version was no better - same lag time. I also saw that they have their version of the OpenOffice 3.3 too. I tried that and wouldn't you know it works perfectly without the slowness. So, to me it seems LibreOffice is doing something different than the OpenOffice version in the way it handles it's resources.

For now I'll go back to the Portableapps OO v3.2.0 for now, because that worked perfectly on flash drive. I would rather not keep using the other peoples version of 3.3. Any thoughts?

( categories: )

Maybe more file accesses?

Maybe they introduced more file accesses (notably writes) with LibreOffice 3.3.0, compared to OpenOffice 3.2.0?

It very very much depends on the speed of your USB device, and if you use USB 2.0 or 3.0 instead of the painfully slow 1.1. If using an adapter stick with a card, it can also be a slow card or controller. I have a (medium-fast) USB-to-SDHC stick, and can only recommend getting at least a class 8, better class 10, SD-HC card.

Still, I have to admit that I found even portable OO 3.2.0 being too slow for much real work when I tried it, so I switched over to a 500GB portable USB disc at that time, which made things real fast. And I’m now using Portable LO 3.3.0 on it without noteable speed differences. About the most useful 69 bucks I ever shelled out. I didn’t yet try LO on a stick.


LibreOffice 3.3 does seem slower on my own flash drive than Portable 3.2.0 and you do notice a hesitation when clicking bold, italic, etc. On my drive it's noticeable but livable. I have not tried my dev package of OOo 3.3 (awaiting approval) on this same drive yet, though.

Keep in mind that all portable packages of 3.2.1 or 3.3 are illegal software. Any repackaging of OO.o 3.2.1 or 3.3 requires Oracle's express permission and they have not given it to anyone. I thought the site you mentioned was trying to be more legal after past violations (Firefox, etc) but it's looking like we're the only legal portable site.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Night and day difference

I guess John, you must have a better flash drive and/or PC than I do, because what I'm seeing isn't even close to being usable. It is night and day between LO and OO (v3.2 or 3.3) on flash drive. So, people should be aware that using LO on flash drive may be a disappointment at this time - better to use hard drive instead. I thought LOportable was going to be a god send and OO could be left behind, but now I will be waiting for your OOportable V3.3 to be released whenever that happens, because flash drive is more practical for me when I'm on the go. On my main PC I use the standard install, so none of this is an issue.

I know that the other peoples versions are not legal, but I thought it was a good test and it showed there's something different between the two (OO & LO) at least for slower media devices. And it doesn't seem to have anything to with PortableApps packaging.

Citius, Altius, Fortius

Not every user is willing to upgrade hardware (of any sort) to accommodate a software programme. If one of the aims of LibreOffice is to expand its base across the globe they should test on somewhat not-state-of-the-art hardware. Otherwise, it will rapidly morph into something elitist. Keep in mind that IE6 isn't yet dead despite several well-written obituaries.

As I mentioned in the first thread on LibreOffice, for one, the post-install size can be brought down to ~250 MB (without resorting to the App Compactor). How this will affect speed, I'm not competent to say. But it wouldn't seem too illogical to hope!

However, the post-install

However, the post-install size will in no way affect the speed of the application. (And thus, this is the wrong thread.)

I agree with the "somewhat not-state-of-the-art hardware", though. But again, that’s something to mention to the Document Foundation, not

This is the first release from the Document Foundation

I know that this is based on OOo code, and a huge number of developers left the OOo project to join LO, but as they've stated in their press releases, they are doing extensive rewrites to the code. It's understandable that performance changes would occur, and I'm sure that the LO developers are open to this kind of feedback, and will work to improve it in future versions.
I still haven't installed LO Portable, I'm using the normal installed version, and it's definitely FASTER than OOo.
I will have to check out LOPortable on a hard drive, and on a USB drive, to see how significant the performance issues are.

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

Downloaded the other day,

 haven't used it much, but I'm experiencing much less lag when I use it (over latest OpenOfficePortable release) so I don't know what's causing it to slow down so much for these users, but I can only hope (for their sake) that the Document Foundation people figure it out and fix it.

I've been busy IRL for the past month or two, but I'm back.


I have the same experience - the startup time may be slightly longer than with OOop 3.2, but apart from a bit of lag for the first few seconds of typing, the lag seems to me to be less than it was with the earlier version. I also agree that there is some lag with using the toolbar buttons, but again, it's negligible and I have no problems using it from a flash drive.

I'm using LOp 3.3 from a (cheap but good) 2 GB Kingston USB2.0 flash drive "DataTraveler 2.0 v 1.0", connected to my (win7 x64 dualcore Pentium D 3GHz, 3 GB RAM) PC thru a unpowered 4-port USB hub "COOL HI-SPEED USB 4 Port Hub" on a USB2.0 port. The hub should be powered, but my cat chewed up the power cable, and I've found it runs fine without. Connected to the same hub is an iPod Touch and my (old) win-based HTC mobile phone. I have yet to test it on one of the extra USB1.1 ports I've added on the PC.

However, I did install LOp to the stick on a very old and slow Dell Latitude laptop PC, running Win7 x86 - it's single USB-port was either 1.0 or 1.1, I never got around to check, and that went extremely slow, upwards of an hour. So clearly (and logically) the hardware on which it runs has a lot to do with it. On the same laptop FFp 3.6 took over a minute to start initially - unfortunately I didn't get the chance to try starting LOp on it.

I get the same problem with

I get the same problem with GIMP , I bought a 32GB thumb drive and it got solved. May be you should try that too.


LibreOfficePortable starts in less than a quarter of the time OpenOfficePortable takes for me (except on first run, then it's a little longer)

But yes, what hardware you are running it from will affect it's performance, and I wouldn't be surprised if your "USB 2.0 hub" is running at USB 1.1 speeds (a number of powered USB 2.0 do that without power) causing some "slight lag" for you. And every piece of hardware that it has to work with (CPU, RAM, Hard Drive [if that's where the TEMP & Working Directories are], USB ports [preferably 2.0 {or 3}], any USB Hubs, Speed of the USB drive) must be fast enough to run it well, or you will get lag like that (or worse).

I've been busy IRL for the past month or two, but I'm back.

I think you both

I think you both misunderstand - I find that the lag is significantly smaller in the program (at least the writer) itself in LOp 3.3 compared to OOop 3.2.

And you're partially right 3DITOR - it was only the first run that was a really slow start, its much faster now. But I still have a 5-6 sec lag before the 'loading' splash screen comes up (again, starting LibreOffice Writer).

Also, I think I got lucky on the hub part - according to properties for the hub, it's a "Generic USB Hub" and under Advanced it states "This hub is working at high speed" and "Hub with single transaction interpreter". However, under Power it also claims that "This hub has a separate power supply" - that's as may be, but it's not connected to it... ^_^


I'm pretty sure that you would have to test the speed yourself to know if your hub is actually working at 2.0 speeds without the power adapter.
as far as being slower on first run, that is likely due to incomplete (or not included) settings files that must be built on first run (haven't tested this idea, it's just something I've seen with other apps, and it would make the download size smaller so it makes sense)
5-6 seconds to appear doesn't seem like too long to me, I sometimes have to wait 30-40 seconds for OpenOffice (installed version) to show it's splashscreen, (I've never had to wait that long for the Portable version, except when my AV system was taking up 99% of the CPU, but that doesn't count).

Edit: Also I think the Original Poster is talking about the program itself lagging, not just a few seconds lag between telling the program to start, and it acknowledging on the screen that it is starting.

I've been busy IRL for the past month or two, but I'm back.

Correct, not talking about startup

I was talking about using the program not starting it up.

I also found that if I used MicroSoft's Process Explorer to monitor my PC's resources I find that LO will cause bigger jumps in CPU usage percentage when comparing it to OO. I find just hovering my courser (w/o clicking the tool) over the tool bars will cause the CPU% to spike up to 15 to 50%. While doing the same thing with OO it only goes up a few percentage at most. If LOportable is installed on C: drive it will do the same thing but doesn't cause the tool bar lag, probably because the HD is much faster, and my test were all done using USBv2 on two different PC's. Could this be the cause of the slow performance? I know somethings, but I'm not a guru on this stuff. All I see is something different between the two.

I mostly use Calc and Writer. Calc seems to be impacted the most out of the two with the lagging of tool bar response for me. Is it usable - yes, but if you do a lot of formatting it does drive you crazy. I see some people don't seem to see this, while others do. For me I'm going to stick with OO for now at least for USB flash drive use, perhaps a future update of LO will solve this performance issue.

Disable extended tips

I find just hovering my courser (w/o clicking the tool) over the tool bars will cause the CPU% to spike up to 15 to 50%.

Try disabling "Extended tips" in Tools - Options - LibreOffice - General - Help. I find the toolbars much more responsive even in the local install with this option disabled. (See Edit2 below).

EDIT: It seems the menus also benefit from this change.

Edit2: Extended tips ARE disabled by default in portable version, so I can only say that turning them ON makes things much worse. But I can also add that the problems with menus and toolbars disappear altogether if you turn ALL tips off. Of course, you have to be familiar with the UI to some extent to do that.

No typin th las lette ca sav yo plent o spac

That was

really useful. I've turned off ALL tips and now no CPU spikes on hover. Thanks Saki for the solution and thanks NCL for pointing out the issue!

Same problem here

So slow it is unusable.

Best regards,

Disable Tips, Default

Try disabling tips. Head into Tools - Options - LibreOffice - General. Uncheck Extended tips and Tips. Try that and see if the helps (and report back your results).

Also, you could try adding back in the unaltered toolbar icons. Download and replace the file of the same name in LibreOfficePortable\App\LibreOffice\Basis\share\config with this one. See if that helps and please let me know.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

No difference replacing file


Replacing the file didn't seem to have any impact to me. Unchecking the tips & extended tips seemed to make the most difference, but still slower to respond than OOportable - but there was an improvement. I noticed that if I do check extended tips in LOP it slows things down for sure, but the extended tips don't show when the courser is over a tool icon - just the tips. If I do this in OOportable then it does show and it doesn't seem to affect the performance at least that I can notice. So, it seems there's something a little buggy in LO in this area.


Hi there John

"Extended tips" was disabled already, but disabling "Tips" did the trick on another (and much slower) PC. The toolbar lag is now completely gone, and the 30 page test document I made with pictures, headings, an index and more did not slow LibreOffice Portable down at all. I did not add back the unaltered icons, no need. Menus appear instantly. Starting Calc from the toolbar was no problem either. Export to PDF ran smoothly.

Excellent - thanks a lot!

What a relief. Smiling

Best regards,