02 August, 2006

Lotus Notes on Linux works

Want to try Lotus Notes on Linux? Now you can. IBM finally got decided that Notes on Linux is needed and created a full-blown client. Well - actually it is a plugin for Workplace client, which is a plugin for Eclipse. Ever heard of a box inside a box inside a box...?
But any way - thanks for the effort. The result is pretty good, for a first version.

First you have to find the download on Passport Advantage. And even if you select Lotus or Linux as your preferred downloads you won't find it. Look for this:
IBM Lotus Notes Client 7.0.1 for Linux eAssembly English(CR41WNA) - filename is C93D1NA.zip

It is a hefty download - some 380 MB - and the only supported system is claimed to be Red Hat Linux.
So I did some testing and tried several distros to see if I can make it work on them. On all of them I had to follow the install procedure for Debian and create the gre.conf file described here

CentOS 4

Install as described in the manual, instead of Mozilla 1.7 install Seamonkey ("yum install seamonkey"). Do not forget to create the apropriate gre.conf file, use 1.7.13 as Mozilla version.
Works as expected, the only problem here is that CentOS is sort of too conservative for me.

SUSE 10.1

Works both under KDE and Gnome, the only thing I had to install besides Mozilla was OpenMotif package. Head for Yast to find it.


Works both under Ubuntu and Kubuntu (Gnome and KDE).
A very comprehensive How-to on Ubuntu forums


  • The client is not as slow as I feared. Actually it is quite bearable. I daresay it is faster than running the Win client through Wine.
  • The "international" bugs (those related to 2-byte characters) seem to be gone. Thank you, Java!


  • I am totally unable to run it on Ubuntu on one of company Dell notebooks. It installs fine and even the initial setup runs OK. Then something happens and all subsequent runs end up running NDS, The interesting part is that my home installation on Kubuntu works just OK. Maybe it is the 1600x1200 resolution..
  • Vieving attachments usually ends in NDS, running them does not work at all. I have to save them first to disk and open them from there.

  • One final warning - the client works only under KDE or Gnome. Under Windowmaker or IceWm I experienced some strange UI incosistencies where parts of database design were missing.

All in all - "Close but no cigar". The client is quite OK, but the instalation is too quirky. IBM should take some notes (pun intended) and make a decent installer or a proper RPM/DEB for the next version.

Where'd you get the coconuts?

- We found them.
- Found them? In Mercia? The coconut's tropical!
- What do you mean?
- Well, this is a temperate zone.
- The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land?
- Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

..and in case you wonder where did you hear this dialogue - it is The Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail.
And No, I won't be writing about Pythons here (maybe just from time to time). I would like to write about things that I am struggling with - technology, computers, software - you get the idea. This is a start and I hope I will have enough time and energy to make this blog somehow regular.
Josef out!