Installing Lotus Notes 8.5 on Kubuntu / Debian Linux KDE

I have recently switched from employer in search of new opportunities, a new challenge and more tech-savy colleagues. After just 2 days I can say that I have found at least the latter two. Although I never expected to find a challenge in the mail system used, namely IBM Lotus Notes.

After leaving my previous employer I had hoped to leave my windows days behind for I was bound to the demonic Windows due to proprietary applications. I have adopted Kubuntu as my new Ambrosium.

Yet the funniest thing happened, I have to use Lotus Notus. Another windows only application by IBM.

As you can imagine I was mortally terrified when I learned no Linux client was there and no IMAP connection could be made (I have been told it is next to impossible with Notes). But then I found the IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 Open Beta 2 for Linux client
(IBM Id needed but can be created for free during the process). This 460mb download is almost all that is needed to get it working.

Here are the steps that I have done to install Notes,

  1. Download the application from the link given in the previous paragraph, choose the Debian package
  2. Untar the downloaded file tar -xvvf <filename><
  3. Install the notes debian package as rootsudo dpkg -i ibm_lotus_notes-8.5.i586.deb
  4. In order to run the application it needs several Gnome packages. If you try to run the application but it won’t start, then you are missing some. To find out which, start the application from Konsole and it will display what it misses. The binary can be found in /opt/ibm/notes.
    I missed the libgnomeprint2.2-0 and libgnomeprintui2.2-0 packages
  5. The installation has now created a folder lotus in your home folder as the user root. Since we will be starting the Lotus application with our own user we need to give it back from root to ourselves. Thus you execute chown -R <youruser>:<youruser> /home/<youruser>/lotus
  6. Run it and configure it just like you would do with the windows version

After figuring out the steps above I was seriously relieved that I could stop reading my mail over a Remote Desktop connection and enjoy all that Kubuntu has to give to me.


6 thoughts on “Installing Lotus Notes 8.5 on Kubuntu / Debian Linux KDE

  1. Hello, I really appreciated the information you provided on how to were able to get the Linux version of the notes beta to work on your machine. I have recently switched to Linux, and would like to install the beta as you have done. Apparently, IBM has closed the beta, so I am unable to download it. Do you still have the tar file by any chance? Is there any way i could get a copy of it from you? I really don’t want to run a virtual windows machine just to have the email client.

    Jonathan Kyrlach
    [email protected]

  2. But in kde 4.3 lotus didn’t work 🙁
    I think that is because from wanna gnome libs…
    But i can’t find what it need )

  3. Although I’m not quite the IBM whipping-boy I used to be, I have to leap to Notes’ defence here (albeit a bit late). Notes runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. And there is an IMAP interface. And a very decent HTTP interface.

    1. By now Lotus Notes has a client suitable for Windows, Mac and Linux (as it is based on Eclipse, which is a Java Application Framework). When I wrote this post Notes 8.5 was not released yet. Still I am not fond of the client.

      As far as I have seen Lotus Notes lacks the features and ease of use which comes with other groupware (or even simple mail solutions).
      Also, the choice for Eclipse as basis does not exactly please me or my computer as it can be quite a strain on resources.

  4. One thing I ran into when installing lotus notes on a ubuntu environment was that the information was not displayed. For instance, when I clicked on inbox it only showed me a grey box instead of my inbox. The solution for this was to replace a few libraries in the /opt/ibm/lotus/notes folder.
    ones of the other libraries in /opt/ibm/lotus/notes

    See for more info the following link:

  5. Como crear una replica local lotus notes en debian

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