Installing Notes 8 on Ubuntu: partly successful

by Volker Weber

Today I set out again to install Notes on Ubuntu 7.04. First thing I did was to replace dash with bash, so that the installer runs on a supported shell. Initial launch sequence started with "sudo ./":

Installing Lotus Notes 8 on Ubuntu

As on Windows, the installer does not load the new stuff by default:

Installing Lotus Notes 8 on Ubuntu

Just a few minutes later.

Installing Lotus Notes 8 on Ubuntu

When the installer quits, you won't see the newly installed launchers in the menu:

Installing Lotus Notes 8 on Ubuntu

Just log out and back in. Gnome will reload the launchers:

Installing Lotus Notes 8 on Ubuntu

When I clicked in the launcher for Lotus Notes 8, nothing happened. Try again. Silence. Check the properties and it points to /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/framework/../notes. Open a terminal, "cd /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/framework" and launch "../notes". Silence.

Then I remembered that there were some issues with /lotus. So I "cd " and "rm -r lotus". As it turns out I have no rights to write to this directory. So I "sudo rm -r lotus". Hit the launcher again. Splash screen! It loads! Standard setup wizard appears. As you can see it is missing a font:

Installing Lotus Notes 8 on Ubuntu

After going through the wizard, I get to the home page, where the missing font becomes more visible:

Installing Lotus Notes 8 on Ubuntu

Currently I fail to to connect to my IMAP server. But as I have been told, the IMAP feature is a ten year old use case. So it may or may not work.

 Installing Lotus Notes 8 on Ubuntu


"First thing I did was to replace dash with bash" - it is more than ever time to learn that the shebang-line in scripts should reference the shell that is wanted.

#!/bin/sh - skripts should work with the very very limited function set of sh (which /bin/dash provides too).!binsh-....html (German content).

Dirk Deimeke, 2007-08-21

Volker, any particular reason why your doing the install on Ubuntu rather than the supported SLED platform?


Stuart McIntyre, 2007-08-21

Maybe he is using Ubuntu for the same reason than me, because it costs nothing and for SLED you have to pay.

I tried the notes 8 install on Opensuse yesterday and it works perfect except the installer looks not very well. So i think opensuse is a good distro to work with Notes 8.

Ralf M Petter, 2007-08-21

IMAP might be historical in some people's view (pun intended), but it is still alive and kicking in many places!

Back on topic: the N8 Beta gave me some trouble with an incorrect locale setting. Have you tried forcing export LC_TYPE=en_US.UTF-8 before launching the installer?

Jan-Piet Mens, 2007-08-21

Why not try it on Ubuntu? It's probably the most used desktop distro of linux, of course if somebody wants to buy Volker SLED or RHEL I'm sure he'd happily do the install on them also.

I've been working on getting the Domino server working on CentOS5 and OpenSUSE, neither of which are supported platforms either, and with a few tweaks it works good on them also.

Declan Lynch, 2007-08-21

Declan, I can get RHEL or SLED for a phone call. Stuart, did you mean to say Microsoft Linux? ;-)

Volker Weber, 2007-08-21

So which Beta are you using for this since you have complained about not having access to the final builds? ;)

Chris Whisonant, 2007-08-21

Could you get RHEL and SLED for me also then :-)

Declan Lynch, 2007-08-21

LOL, Volker, I get your point.

However, SLED is available to download free. You only get the updates for a limited period under the evaluation licence, but this would give most people a far better experience of trying out Notes8/Linux than fudging the install on Ubuntu.

Now, as to whether IBM should support Ubuntu or any of the other Debian distros that's a different matter...

SLED10 Evaluation download

Stuart McIntyre, 2007-08-21

Declan, why wait for Volker to place a call? Just download from here and there. While these won't be fit to run a production environment these versions should at least give you enough time to try a Notes/Domino install. (Yes, I know. It's not just the testing, it's the keeping ;))

Stefan Rubner, 2007-08-21

From my opinion RHEL and SLED work worse than Ubuntu in many situations (not all) so you are going to pay more to get less. Of course Ubuntu has the advantage that they spend Mr. Shuttleworths money while Red Hat and Novell have to earn it.
If you look at the download sites of e.g. Novell you are going to read a lot about what is probably going to break when the trial period is over.
Ubuntu has a better message to sell but at the end it is all Linux.
I would love IBM to broaden their Linux support for Ubuntu (Desktop) and Debian (Server). Some years ago they started supporting 4 major Linux distributions so it is possible. Even if you go the commercial route you are not safe (United Linux comes to my mind).

Henning Heinz, 2007-08-21

Well, I've got a couple of fedora core linux machines in the computer room, ticking away nicely. I wouldnt describe me as a linux guru - quite the reverse, so there's a nice, free, freely update distro. Okay, its by the Red-Hat people, but if you can get by that, there's another option.

Yes, Ubunto is very very popular at the moment and I sincerely hope their hard work is rewarded.

But before we all get really carried away with the "why dont Lotus support platforms" (okay, we havent but I suspect we could), it costs real money, time, expertise to support each platform. then they have to write technotes so the cheap squirrels in the call centers can fix issues. Its not cheap... (And no, we're not taking a couple of extra bodies and half a dozen machines. I suspect we're talking millions...)

(We support 5 or so platforms. So far, its two AIX machines, three linux boxes, three solaris machines and god knows how many win2k servers on vmware.. It gets complicated and expensive *fast*).

So its not a bad thing that they've identified two distros, and they support them well.. Its a shame they dont do more.. Perhaps if the linux end-user market share overtook the mac one (and its accelerating), then it might improve. Here's hoping.

---* Bill

Bill Buchan, 2007-08-21

Volker, after reading your earlier post I decided to recycle my 7-yr-old HP Pavilion Desktop by doing a clean Ubuntu install. Being my first crack at that sort of thing it took a little fumbling to sort out some driver issues, but after that I turned to the Notes 8 install. It looks like we've been on a parallel course the last day or so, as I hit the same obstacles you describe above, and solve them pretty much the same way. I put together a HowTo post myself that's geared more toward Linux/Ubuntu newbies:

I didn't notice any font problems with the client itself, but the setup wizard screen font was small and fuzzy, unlike the courier font you saw. My different experience could be (not sure) a result of my having installed the extra stuff from EasyUbuntu (, which included several Microsoft and other fonts.

Kevin Pettitt, 2007-08-21

If you don't want to pay for RHEL, take a look at CENTOS. CENTOS is designed to be as close to a clone of RHEL as possible, while remaining free. There is even a simple one line config change you COULD make that would make your system identify itself as RHEL inistead of CENTOS. I've never had to use it, but I'm told for installing some Oracle stuff you have to.

For what its worth, I've been very happy with CENTOS and found SUSE to be problematic.

Andrew Pollack, 2007-08-22

Hmmmm, just the discussion re: distros above has reminded me why I love the Mac so much... One platform, one OS, no compatibility issues, "it just works..."

Undoubtedly Linux has some plus points - price, flexibility, community ownership, geekiness - but is that enough to offset the issues involved? I would readily admit I'm not an uber-geek, but everytime I think there must be more to the Linux story and give it another go, I hit some issue and end up back on the other platforms. Am I missing something?

Stuart McIntyre, 2007-08-22

FYI, the courier font trouble disappeared for me once I added the "ttf-xfree86-nonfree" package as it includes the Notes 8 default "Luxi" fonts.

Rod Stauffer, 2007-08-22

I love ubuntu and use on my laptop so was excited to put Notes 8 on there. Once I got the font thing ironed out (using this post), I get "Error accessing user dictionary file" - I have spell check enabled by default. Not sure if an access issue. Preferences appear to point to English dictionary correctly. I did a search on the ND8 forum but only one post about it and no responses.

Jim Knight, 2007-08-23

I installed Notes 8 on CentOS 5. Worked like a charm but make sure when installing the OS you include the legacy support. Also, when running the install for Notes you must be logged to the GUI as root.... NOT su - . Also, I did not try the install with SELinux enabled but I think there is a release note to remove or disable SELinux prior to installing Notes.

Not the QUICKEST application(s) in the shed but I would definitely run this in a production environment on a newer system. My test box is a little clunky but it works and it's stable.

Geoff Black, 2007-10-02

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