Installing Lotus Notes R5 on Xandros Desktop 2.5 Business Edition

As warned yesterday, before doing any of the following,
understand that there is no warranty whatsoever (insert
Disclaimer here). You follow these instructions at your own
risk. While they worked for me, it might be because I was
facing in the right direction and said the magic words just
right. In addition, these instructions assume you are using
IPX to access the Netware servers and not IP. While the
instructions may be similar, they may or may not be the same.
I can’t say for sure because we don’t use IP to access the
Netware servers. And finally, these instructions assume you
have at least a minimal understanding of Linux and Netware.
If this isn’t true, stop now because if you make a mistake,
it is possible to screw up not only your PC, but also your
Netware network.

That said, a version of CrossOver Office (based on WINE)
is included and installed in Xandros Desktop 2.5 Business
Edition. I don’t know if that is true in the other versions
of Xandros so if you aren’t using the Business Edition you
are on your own.

Inserting the install CD and clicking on the Lotus Notes
R5 install file automatically executed CrossOver Office which
created a fake Windows environment for Notes to install to.
Note here, as I’ve emphasized several times yesterday, as far
as I know, you MUST be running as root for the install to
work. If you aren’t, the install will run until it’s time to
copy files to the Netware server. At that point, you will get
an error saying the directory is read only.

Otherwise, the Notes install runs and appears just like it
does in Windows. However, since I’m using NCPFS to access the
Netware servers, and Linux does not use the idea of letters
of the alphabet to represent drives (or volumes in the case
of Netware) getting to the Data directory of the Netware
server is a little different than in Windows. Fortunately,
CrossOver Office creates a pseudo “Z:\” drive that you can
use to navigate to your mount point (mine is /mnt/netware).
From there, you just drill down to wherever your
Lotus/Notes/Data directory is found and install to there
(assuming you are doing that type of install).

Once the Data directory is identified, the install program
begins copying files to there and a fake c:\ directory. The
copying across the network to the Netware server seems
substantially slower than in Windows. In fact, it took more
than five minutes but eventually finished. It’s a good thing
you only need to do this once!

Once the installation is completed, you access Notes by
clicking on Launch –> Windows Applications –>
Programs –> Lotus Applications –> Lotus Notes. The
Notes client should then start-up and you will need to do an
initial configuration, as you would in Windows (again
remembering the fake Z: drive is where you start to navigate
from).

Once configured, the Notes client operates as it would
under Windows. Although, screen updates are slower, but not
so slow that it’s unbearable. I did see one strange thing,
when I first sent a test message, I used the network address
book to lookup a name. I found the name, but when it pasted
in to the “To:” section of the email, all I got was %#$@W%$!.
I’m not sure why that happened and when I tried it again I
didn’t have that problem.

Otherwise, I am very pleased that Lotus Notes is running
under a version of Linux. The final barrier to switching from
Windows, for me anyway, is getting a replacement for Office
that can translate Word and WordPerfect files better than
StarOffice 7 or OpenOffice currently does. I understand that
OpenOffice 2 will be out in Q2 so perhaps the wait is not
long.

One last note, before you shut down, you MUST use the
ncpumount -A command to unmount
your netware connection. If you don’t, and you then reboot
and try to login via Windows, your Netware server may still
see you as logged in and therefore refuse to let you login
again. I know this runs counter to what one How-To says but
it’s wrong (at least in our environment). Linux does NOT
cleanly unmount your connection when you shutdown. You must
do that yourself before you shutdown. So use the above
command to logout of all Netware connections before you
shutdown.

Aloha!

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One response to “Installing Lotus Notes R5 on Xandros Desktop 2.5 Business Edition

  1. IIRC, you can enter scripts for the the Novell unmount (or any other special shutdown tasks) into the /etc/rcN (N is the system init mode) directories; shutdown activities generally are named starting with K (kill) while startups are S. It’s been a few years since I last used UNIX on a regular basis though. You probably want to refer to your man pages on this for the Xandros specifics.