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The content of this page is no longer maintained and could be outdated soon or already is. The reasons could be various, like this information became obsolete or there is by now a better way to handle the information on this page. This page will be retained here for archiving reasons.


Lotus Notes (actually by now it is from IBM) is the client-platform for Lotus domino.


For all Windows versions you will need WINE (a Windows Compatibility Layer) to run Lotus Notes on Linux. In modern distributions you can install the version that is shipped with it, no need for extra repositories.

Lotus Notes 9.x (Social Edition)

Notes 9 runs unspectacular out of the box on Debian Wheezy. The only thing that still bugs me is that it won't run on 64 bit, although Debian 7 is fully multiarch-compatible. This has to do with an uninstallable 32bit package of libgnomeprint2.2-0 and this will never be fixed. See this bug report for an explanation.

If you already run Jessie and try to get Notes 9 to run on it… have fun. I had to add Wheezy sources for a lot of dependencies and even then the Notes .deb wouldn't install due to a dependency for libcupsys2 which couldn't be satisfied. I had to re-package the .deb, removing the dependency for libcupsys2 from the control file. Finally, Notes would install and run just fine. This will be my last Notes version anyway (for the time being). My employer abandoned Domino/Notes for the combination I don't even dare to mention the name of ;-)

Update 26-08-2014

Currently I am running Notes 9.0.1. I didn't even bother to test on amd64, but at least running it on Jessie is a little simpler now. There is no more need for the Wheezy sources, removing the dependency for libcupsys2 is still necessary though.

Lotus Notes 8.5.x

YES! I just got a hold of Notes 8.5. The first thing I noticed was that there's a CD labelled “Lotus Notes 8 Version 8.5.0 for Ubuntu Desktop Edition 8.0.4”. On the package it even says “Notes Client for Linux English (Debian install)”. Well… I was very curious.

And indeed. Another YES! There are some .deb's on the CD. Just dpkg -i them (or the required components) and have fun. Incredible, at least on Lenny it is really that easy. Thanks a million, IBM!

Here's one reason not to be happy though: it will only run on i386, not on AMD64 (even with –force-architecture) :-( But heads up: I've heard rumours that Notes 8.5.4 will run natively on 64bit.

Important note for Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 (Wheezy)

If you try to run Notes on Wheezy out-of-the-box, you will encounter heavy display issues. The Workspace won't display at all, the search view will only be a greyish area, several options in the preferences won't render and so on. This affects all distributions running GTK 2.23.3 or newer.

Luckily there is a fix, but you'll need to do one thing I always try to prevent at all costs (because it means more maintenance): compile a GTK library that contains a fix.

  1. First, you've got to download the fix (check for the “ZIP” button at the top of the screen).
    The linked location also contains instructions, but because they are aimed at Ubuntu I'll summarize the necessary steps for Debian Wheezy anyway.
  2. Second, install a few necessary packages (if you don't have them already):
    # apt-get install build-essential libgtk2.0-dev
  3. Then unzip the downloaded file and go to the directory where the unzipped files reside. There, type make.
  4. Copy the compiled file and the script notes-wrapper to your Notes installation directory (usually /opt/ibm/lotus/notes):
    # cp notes-wrapper /opt/ibm/lotus/notes
  5. Finally, from now on start Notes using the wrapper-script instead of the Notes binary:

NOTE: The content below this box is no longer maintained and could be outdated soon or already is. The reasons could be various, like this information became obsolete or there is by now a better way to handle the information on this page. This content will remain here for archiving reasons.

Lotus Notes 8.0.x

Notes 8 has been released and although you need a fast system to run it (AFAIK it's not suitable for Terminal Server or Citrix environments) I must say I really like it. The most positive thing for me: the Workspace is back and you can set it as homepage! So far I have only tested and used the native Linux client, experiences with the Windows Client in WINE won't follow.

The installation is quite straight-forward. Become root, run the installer-script (Clients/Linux/ on the original CD) and follow the steps. When you're done, run Notes as normal user and follow the well-known Notes first-run setup. To run Notes the installer creates an icon in your menu. If that is not there (yet) you can create one for yourself using (default install) /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/notes as executable and /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/notes.ico as icon.

Since this release I have been using the native Linux Client instead of the Windows Client in WINE. I fire it up only when I need the Administrator or Designer, the regular daily work is done in the Client anyway.

As far as I am concerned one of the main advantages of Notes 8 over earlier versions is that you now can use <Shift> and <Control> to select multiple documents. E.g. when cleaning up spam collector mailboxes of mails older than x days this can come in very handy ;-)

Possible problems


First of all: you really really want to disable Beryl or Compiz Fusion before installing or using Notes 8 under Linux. When it's enabled the rendering of some screens within the installer and Notes is disfunctional.

Server error: entry not found in index.

When first starting the client and after running the setup you may get the error message Server error: entry not found in index.

This is an annoying one. There are two possible solutions, one of which didn't work for me. The first one is quite easy to test, just delete the ~/notes directory. Notes will then create a new one for you when you fire it up again.

If that doesn't work for you (as it didn't for me) you have two options which worked for me. Either configure the client with another user-ID and server (if you have that possibility) or configure no connection to a domino server. In both cases the connection (locations and connection documents) to the desired domino server needs to be configured manually afterwards.

These are the only sites where I could find information on this problem:

XUL runner problems

When opening internet HTML mail you may get this error message: The value of MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME : /usr/lib/xulrunner-addons, is not a correct path of Mozilla verion 1.8.* or later. DOMBrowser can not work. Also, the mail is not rendered correctly or not at all.

In this case you may need to set another value for the environment variable MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME. In Gnome the file ~/.gnomerc can be used for this, just add this line and relog:

export MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME=/usr/lib/xulrunner-1.9

Although this has only been tested on Lenny it might work for you as well.

Lotus Notes 7.x

The following information is based on the latest WINE version (0.9.19 or newer) on Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (Etch, Lenny might work as well). This (unfortunately) does not work on Debian/Sarge!

Win32 Client

  1. Install the latest version of WINE.
  2. Run the installer.
  3. Launch and configure Notes in your usual way.
  4. Start Lotus Notes and immediately edit your current Location Document. On the tab “Ports” make sure that only TCP/IP is selected. Most certainly not LAN0!

That's all!

Linux i386 Client

I finally got a grip on the Linux Client. And I got it running as well! I won't discuss the installation here as it was quite difficult to get it running and Notes 8 has been released which is working fine.

Comparison Win32 and Linux Client

Some advantages and disatvantages of the two clients. These may help you decide which one to use.

Advantages of the Windows Client

  • Faster than the Linux Client
  • Administrator and Designer are available

Disadvantages of the Windows Client

  • “File → Preferences → User Preferences” crashes the client
  • sametime doesn't work stable (at least not for me)

Advantages of the Linux Client

  • Native
  • No graphical problems whatsoever
  • (Of course) better integration with your Window Manager (e.g. no problems with “focus follows mouse”)

Disadvantages of the Linux Client

  • Very slow
  • No Administrator and Designer
  • No Workspace as Homepage, just the Welcome-Page :-(
  • No sametime client (as of now, there is one planned)

Personally I decided in favour of the Windows Client in WINE because I regulary need the Administrator and occasionally the Designer. BTW: the desktop6.ndk files between the two clients are not interchangable!

Lotus Notes 6.5.x

Note: all of the following information is based on the WINE versions which were available when this Notes Client version was released!
The latest WINE versions probably make the installation as easy as with the Notes 7 Client.

Unfortunately running Lotus Notes 6.5.x with WINE in Linux is not as easy as was the case with version 5.x. But unlike version 6.0.x at least it is possible.

  1. First you need to run the basic installation on a Windows computer.
    Make sure this is a Single-User installation!
  2. Do not take any further action after the installation!
  3. Copy the complete installation folder to your Linux machine.
  4. Copy these DLL files to the windows-directory of your fake Windows installation:
    • mfc42.dll
    • mfc42u.dll
    • msvcp60.dll
    • msvcrt.dll
  5. Proceed with the basic Notes configuration on your Linux machine by just running wine nlnotes.exe.

The rest is just the same as with Notes 5 on Linux. Enjoy!

Lotus Notes 6.0.x

I don't know any way to run this version of Lotus Notes on Linux.
If you know a way, please let me know!

Lotus Notes 5.x

Running Lotus Notes 5.x on Linux with WINE is very easy. Just make sure to install and configure the latest WINE version, run the installation program as you normally do, configure Lotus Notes on its first start as you are used to &ndash; done.

Depending on your window-, desktop- or filemanager it may not be sufficient to just “double-click” the notes.exe or the nlnotes.exe but you may have to launch it with wine notes.exe. To be specific:

% wine /path/to/notes/installation/nlnotes.exe

This command can be used in menus, launchers etc. as well. By the way: did you ever wonder what the difference is between notes.exe and nlnotes.exe? Notice that you don't get a splash-screen with the latter…

archive/notes.txt · Last modified: 2016-08-10 11:54 by jens