IBM Notes (formerly Lotus Notes) is a corporate email and database collaboration tool. It’s still popular and widely used, and at the time of writing is now up to version 9.0.
Unfortunately IBM have a bad habit of assuming no-one uses 64-bit operating systems (yes, even in 2014), so with the exception of the Apple OS X version which doesn’t have a 32-bit version at all, IBM continues to compile the Linux and Windows versions as 32-bit only applications.
Installing the 32-bit Linux version does not work on 64-bit Ubuntu/Debian systems “out of the box” because of some hard-coded 32-bit only pre-requisites. This article will describe how to modify the installer so that it will work on 64-bit systems.
- A copy of the full release of the IBM Notes 9.0 client package for Debian-based Linux distributions. This is a tar file. As this is commercial software, I obviously cannot provide you a link to this, but your company’s Notes Administrator will be able to source this for you.
- A 64-bit Ubuntu system to install to. In this article, I will be using the desktop version of Ubuntu Linux 12.04.4 LTS.
PLEASE NOTE: This instruction does NOT work on Ubuntu 14.04 at this time due to missing 32-bit dependencies in the Trusty repository.
- Download the IBM Notes 9.0 package for Ubuntu/Debian Linux as normal. It’s a TAR file called NOTES_9.0_LINUX_DI_EN.tar (523MB). Only a 32-bit package is available.
- Extract the content of the tar archive into a working directory:
$ mkdir notes9linux
$ cd notes9linux
$ tar -zxvf /path/to/NOTES_9.0_LINUX_DI_EN.tar
$ ls -l
You should have the following files:
- Delete the “licence.tar” and “smartupgrade.sh” files as we don’t need them.
- Create a new folder in your working folder called “ibm-notes-9.0.i586″ (do not put “.deb” on the end).
- Rename the “ibm-notes-9.0.i586.deb” file to “ibm-notes-9.0.i586_ORIGINAL.deb”.
- Open the “ibm-notes-9.0.i586_ORIGINAL.deb” file in Archive Manager (or any other archive management tool) and extract the contents of it to the “ibm-notes-9.0.i586″ folder you created in Step 4. You should now have the following directories in there:
- Get into the “DEBIAN” folder.
- Open the “control” file in a text editor.
- Go down and modify the “Depends:” line to REMOVE the following part of that line: “gdb, coreutils, unzip, bash, procps, grep, sed,”. When you’re done, the line should now look like:
Depends: libart-2.0-2, libasound2, libatk1.0-0, libbonobo2-0, libbonoboui2-0, libc6, libcupsys2, libfontconfig1, libfreetype6, libgcc1, libgconf2-4, libgtk2.0-0, libglib2.0-0, libgnome2-0, libgnomecanvas2-0, libgnome-desktop-2 | libgnome-desktop-2-7 | libgnome-desktop-2-11 | libgnome-desktop-2-17 | libgnome-desktop-3-2, libgnomeui-0, libgnomevfs2-0, libglib2.0-0, libice6, libjpeg62, liborbit2, libpam0g, libpango1.0-0, libpng12-0, libpopt0, libsm6, libstdc++6, libx11-6, libxcursor1, libxext6, libxft2, libxi6, libxkbfile1, libxml2, libxp6, libxrender1, libxss1, libxt6, libxtst6, libz1
- Save your changes and close the text editor.
- Open a terminal and change to the root of your working directory where you have the “ibm-notes-9.0.i586″ directory, but don’t actually go into it.
- Now let’s repackage a new deb file from our modified data using the following command:
$ dpkg-deb -b ibm-notes-9.0.i586
…and hit Enter. You will see the following message and the repackage process will take about 30-60 seconds:
dpkg-deb: building package `ibm-notes:i386' in `ibm-notes-9.0.i586.deb'.
- Once the new package has completed building, you will have a new “ibm-notes-9.0.i586.deb” file, ready for installing onto a 64-bit system.
Installing everything on a 64-bit system
- First we need to install the 32-bit dependencies manually. In a terminal, type in the following and hit Enter:
$ sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install ia32-libs libgnomeprint2.2-0:i386 libgnomeprintui2.2-0:i386 libbonobo2-0:i386 libbonoboui2-0:i386 libgconf2-4:i386 libgnome-desktop-2-17:i386 libgnomevfs2-bin:i386 libgnomeui-0:i386 libjpeg62:i386 libpam0g:i386 libxkbfile1:i386 ttf-xfree86-nonfree t1-xfree86-nonfree -y
- Now type in the following and hit Enter (yes, we have technically already installed this but for some reason it doesn’t configure itself until we install it again):
$ sudo apt-get install libgnomeprintui2.2-0:i386 -y
- Now we can start installing the Notes debs in order:
$ sudo dpkg -i ibm-notes-9.0.i586.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i ibm-cae-9.0.i586.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i ibm-connections-4.5.0.i586.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i ibm-activities-9.0.i586.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i ibm-sametime-9.0.i586.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i ibm-opensocial-9.0.i586.deb
- If there were no error messages, IBM Notes 9.0 is now successfully installed and you can now launch it from the Unity Dash (in Ubuntu) and manually add the icon to your Unity launcher.
- Pat yourself on the back. You are done.