Install Lotus Notes 8 in Ubuntu Linux


I was able to get Lotus Notes 8 for Linux working on my Ubuntu desktop at work today. I am using Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn with a GNOME desktop. YMMV.

1. Acquire Lotus Notes distribution

I started with the file C13NCEN.tar. You need to get this from your system administrator or from the IBM web site, if you have an appropriate login there.

Using your favorite archiver, extract C13NCEN.tar to a new folder. (There are three files and a folder in the root of the tar file.)

2. Link bash to /bin/sh

For some reason, the installer assumes /bin/sh is bash and doesn't work if that's not true.

sudo mv /bin/sh /bin/sh.old
sudo ln --symbolic /bin/bash /bin/sh

3. Install some more fonts

When I first started Notes, a lot of text was displayed in Courier font, which takes up a lot of visual space. A blog post (second URL linked in "References" below) points out a fix:

sudo apt-get install ttf-xfree86-nonfree

Note, 31 Aug 2009: Reader Shawn M suggests also non-free PostScript Type 1 fonts if non-free TrueType fonts are insufficient to fix the font problem:

sudo apt-get install t1-xfree86-nonfree

4. Run the installer


cd ~/downloads/notes8   # cd into the directory where you extracted the installer
sudo ./

The installer will run a Java-based GUI setup wizard. When asked, elect to install all of the available features.

Note: Did it fail? If you get the message "sudo: ./ command not found" try copying the installer directory to a local, non-networked volume. I just discovered this now while trying to install from an SSH connection via FUSE, mounted rw; copying it to the local disk fixed the problem.

Note 2: Did it still fail? Try making sure the path to the installer does not contain any spaces. I don't know if this is really a problem or not, but it's a guess I just had. If my friend gets it working for himself after trying this, then yes.

5. Remove ~/lotus

The page at the first URL in "References" below says that the installer creates a faulty ~/lotus data directory and that you should rename or remove it. Since I had trouble removing it while logged in as myself, I suspect there may be files in it owned by root.

sudo chown --recursive brendan.brendan ~/lotus   # substitute YOUR username
rm --recursive ~/lotus

When you start Lotus Notes, it will create a fresh ~/lotus directory.

6. First run

Use this command to start Lotus Notes the first time:


After the application does some basic initialization, it will give you another wizard to setup your connection to your Domino server (or whatever other server you wish to access). Go through this wizard in the normal way.

Now Lotus Notes should be ready to use. Note that if you previously used an older version of Notes, bookmarks you used to have in a narrow sidebar on the left of the window are now in the Open button at the top of the window.

7. Create a launcher

You can create a Launcher on your desktop or in your Applications menu for Lotus Notes. See documentation for your Linux distribution for the exact procedure.

Type Application
Name Lotus Notes
Command /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/notes
Icon /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/notes.ico

Note: a reader pointed out to me that this step isn't necessary. The installer creates Launchers in Applications / Office. I just didn't notice them there.

8. Restore /bin/sh

Fix the /bin/sh kludge you created:

sudo rm /bin/sh
sudo mv /bin/sh.old /bin/sh


I used these pages for help:


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