Installing the Lotus Notes 7 Client

Here is a list of all the distributions that I have got this working in so far:

  • CentOS 4.4
  • Debian 3.1 (sarge)
  • Debian 4 (etch as well as testing/unstable)
  • Fedora 6
  • Fedora 7 (installer doesn't work - see notes below)
  • Gentoo 2006.1 and 2007.0
  • Kubuntu 6.10 (edgy)
  • Mandriva 2007.1 (spring)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
  • Ubuntu 6.10 (edgy)
  • Ubuntu 7.04 (feisty)

Fedora 7 Users: I haven't been able to get the installer to run.  If you have Fedora 6, either upgrade to Fedora 7, or alternatively take a backup of /opt/IBM, /home/username/IBM and /home/username/notes.  Once you've installed Fedora 7, make sure you meet the dependencies here, and then restore the directories backed up.  Then just run the script to start Lotus Notes, and you're done! 

Installing the Lotus Notes 7 Client: 

Installing Lotus Notes 7 client under Linux can be a bit of a nightmare.  First off, the documentation doesn't list the full dependency list.  This then causes you a few problems.

  1. “Can not validate Mozilla version” error message.
  2. When launching the client, you just receive a blank window with no wizard for configuring the client.

There is one other error you get.  Although this isn't due to dependencies, but more a setting for something else.  I shall explain all of this throughout the document.

Please note, that this product seems to be more like a beta than a full release based on the documentation listing bugs as well as the fact a lot of what you are doing from the extracted download, is, well, extracting more stuff, and manually placing certain files in certain places to ensure that the installer works correctly.  However, the client itself is pretty damn stable, and runs perfectly well most of the time.  I say most of the time, because sometimes it does crash, but I have found this to be quite a rare occurrence.

The dependency list is as follows:

  • Gnome
  • libmotif3/openmotif/libtiff
  • mozilla/firefox/xulrunner/seamonkey
  • libstdc++5 (Mandriva 2007.1 and Fedora 6 users have to install libstdc++5 and libstdc++5-devel)
  • libXp (Fedora 6 users have to install libxp and libxp-devel)
  • gawk 

Let me explain the dependencies.  Gnome is required, even if you use KDE.  It relies on a lot of the libraries.  OpenMotif or libmotif3 is required for running the client after installation, along with libstdc++5 and gawk.  Depending on your distribution, the package will either be libmotif3 or openmotif.  Red Hat and Fedora don't have OpenMotif, but libtiff works but requires a little extra work.  libXP is required and usually installed on most distros, with the exception of Fedora 6.  Mozilla 1.7.x, Mozilla Firefox, xulrunner or Sea Monkey are required.  Which you decide to install is up to you.

So, let's explain the problems you will encounter.  First up is the “Can not validate Mozilla version”.  IBM state you should have Mozilla 1.7.12 installed.  In reality you don't need Mozilla 1.7.x.  You can use Mozilla Firefox, xulrunner or even seamonkey (unbranded Mozilla browser in CentOS and Debian Etch/Unstable).  I use xulrunner under Debian and Ubuntu purely for ease of install.

So, why does this error appear?  The Lotus Notes installer does an “ldd” from reading the /etc/gre.conf or /etc/gre.d/gre.conf file.  The easiest way to see if you are going to have a problem is to manually ldd this file yourself, and see if you have any missing dependencies from the application you set (Mozilla/Firefox/xulrunner).  For example, on Ubuntu, if I use Firefox, I have a problem with and  These files exist in the Firefox directory but fail to be read.  If I install xulrunner, and ldd the in the xulrunner directory, everything works perfectly.  So I then configure the /etc/gre.conf or /etc/gre.d/gre.conf file to look at xulrunner.  It's simple, and this is how the file should look:


for example, if you wanted to use Firefox.  Or:


for example, if you wanted to use xulrunner instead.  Alternatively, download and extract or install Mozilla 1.7.x to your system, and then configure gre.conf with:


Under Mandriva 2007.1 (spring), configure /etc/gre.conf as follows:


and if you are having problems with the ldd, it is probably because of and  The easiest way to solve this in Mandriva 2007.1 (or any other distro in fact) is to do this:

ln -s /usr/lib/firefox- /usr/lib/
ln -s /usr/lib/firefox- /usr/lib/

that will fix the ldd problems, and the installer will now work correctly.  You have to check with ldd to make sure the in the directory of the application you have installed to ensure there are no problems, else you will still receive the validation error message.

Now that has been done, you have to create the /opt/IBM directory manually with the root account (using su) or using sudo (Ubuntu).  Afterwards, I change it to the account that will use it for the install, because you don't install Lotus Notes as root, but as the user of the system.  So:

chown ian:ian /opt/IBM

for Ubuntu users, make sure you do the following:

ln -sf /bin/bash /bin/sh

the reason for this is sh is a symlink to dash and not bash.  If you attempt to run the install, it will fail.  Pointing it to bash instead, will fix the problem.

For Mandriva 2007.1 and Fedora 6 users, the installer will not launch in the GUI unless you do the following first in Gnome:

System/Preferences/Login Window (System/Administration/Login Screen in Fedora 6)
Click the Security tab.
Uncheck "Deny TCP connections to Xserver" and reboot your system.

now the installer will be able to launch from a console window into the X environment for a GUI install.  You can always re-enable this later if you prefer once the installation has completed. 

So, once that has been done, the installer will work correctly.  Ensure you are logged in as your user, or in my case “ian”.  A bit of preparation work is required.  Extract, and afterwards your directory should look similar to this:


if you also have a setuplinux.bin file here, you need to move this to the following location:


otherwise, the installer will fail to run setuplinux.bin during setup.  This is very important.  Also, make sure that you do the following:

chmod +x setup_wct_platform.bin
chmod +x setuplinux.bin

To start the install process:


After the installer has completely finished, close the Lotus Notes client that opens, and then check your home directory for a “notes” directory.  If this doesn't exist, you need to run setuplinux.bin manually to create it.  I have found on some distributions (Gentoo and Fedora), that I had to do this.  Normally the standard installer will do this for you.  I don't know why it fails, but manually running it fixes the problem.  You'll then have a notes directory.

Multiple versions of Java on a system can also stop the client from working.  This is where a nice script comes in handy:

export NOTESBIN=/home/ian/notes
export NOTESDATA=/home/ian/notes/data
export NOTESDIR=/home/ian/notes/data
/opt/IBM/Workplace\ Managed\ Client/rcp/richclient -personality

this ensures you use Java 1.4.x which was installed by the Lotus Notes Client within your home directory.  If you still have problems running the client after this, running the script from the console is the best way to debug it.  You will see error messages, and therefore can see if you are still missing some dependencies.  If you have followed this document, then you should be fine providing all dependencies are met, and problems don't exist.

If you get NSD errors when launching the script, this is because of your printers.  Go into cups configuration in your browser with “localhost:631” and ensure that you have a default printer.  The printer must be set as the default, otherwise the NSD errors will occur.  Either that, or delete the printer so that you don't have any printers.  The error will also not occur if you have no printers.  I found this, as soon as I added a printer, I got the NSD problems.  Setting as default, and you're all fixed!

Post-installation for Fedora 6 users

Please note, since Fedora 6 doesn't have openmotif, you have had to install libtiff instead.  Therefore, before you can run the client successfully, you have to do the following:

ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

this fools the system to thinking you've got the openmotif libraries installed, and it uses libtiff instead.