Friday, November 25, 2011

My openSUSE 12 Journal - 3: Lotus Notes 8.5.3

Lotus Notes is what I use at work and the latest v8.5.3 works well on openSUSE 11.4.  Although it installed without a hitch on 12.1, things goes awry when I start using it.  Here are my observations and how I managed to get it working again.  :)

For starters, Lotus Notes 8.5.3 only managed to render about half of its interface.  For example, I could see my inbox but email preview pane is blank.  Integrated SameTime worked but workspaces and replication tabs were blank too.  I suspect it could be some incompatibility or confusion with the GTK libs and I was right...  Google is my friend and I discovered a brilliant soul who had the same challenge, created a bug report against openSUSE and even created a workaround/fix.

[Update on 27 Nov 2011]: Oops, it occurred to me that Lotus Notes 8.5.3 is actually 32-bit running on 64-bit openSUSE 12.1.  That means the RPM created by Stefan Lijewski should have worked.  I cannot recall why I came to the previous conclusion.  I have just tried the 32-bit RPM and it worked for me.  Therefore, I am correcting my entry below. 

Unfortunately for me, I could not use his nicely packaged RPM and online repository because I am using 64-bit openSUSE 12.1. 

The easy way is to use a 1-click install via Stefan Lijewski's online repository.

The easy but manual way is to download the RPM before you manually execute a zypper in lotus-notes-gnome3-1-1.1.i586.rpm

In both cases, you will need to verify that your Lotus Notes launch icon has been updated to use the new notes-wrapper script instead of the original notes script in /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/ directory.

Finally, the hard way (if you're so inclined to experience compiling your own code) is the original method I used below.

Below is how I got Lotus Notes 8.5.3 working on openSUSE 12.1 (64-bit).

1.  Download the workaround fix from

2.  Un-tar the fix, tar zxvf sgh-lotus-notes_gtk2.23.3-2028e8e.tar.gz

3.  You will need to install additional packages before you can compile the fix.  As root, zypper in make gcc gtk2-devel glibc-devel-32bit gcc-32bit

4.  In the sgh-lotus-notes_gtk2.23.3-2028e8e subdirectory, compile the fix with make

5.  If make completed with success, you should have a new file in the directory.  Copy it and notes-wrapper to installed Lotus Notes directory /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/.

6.  Last and final step, edit your Lotus Notes icons (kmenuedit if using KDE4) and change the default launch script to execute notes-wrapper instead.

That's it.  Lotus Notes 8.5.3 should function normally... and its all good for the last 3 days for me.

I hear this would not be a challenge with the newer Lotus Notes 8.5.4 (yet to be officially released).  We shall see when we get there.  :)


  1. Can't you use OBS? Branch package and allow 12.1 x64 build. No need to install devel packages.

  2. Yes, I could have... but I'm lazy. :)

  3. Updated this entry as I discovered a mistake... the process should have been easier but I chose to download the code and compile it.

  4. OpenSuse 12.1 - Lotus Notes 8.5.1 (i586) install and allow package to install all prereqs...

    Create /opt/ibm/lotus/notes


    cp /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/

    cp /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/

    cp /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/

    Notes Ownership/Rights:

    chmod 755 /opt/ibm/ibm-lotus-notes-compat/lib
    chown -R root:root /opt/ibm/ibm-lotus-notes-compat

    Make sure eclipse packages are loaded.(fixes image/view issue).
    1. ecj
    2. ecj-bootstrap
    3. eclipse-swt

  5. Hi D.Ganus,

    Care to elaborate more why we need to do what you described? I'm happy to link my blog entry to any relevant online resources on this topic.


  6. The "hard way" manual compile workaround worked for Notes 8.5.3FP2 under openSuSE 12.2 too. I haven't tried the other methods but I am astonished it hasn't been properly fixed after all this time. I blame IBM.

    1. This problem is going away in the next major release of Notes (IBM Notes 9.0). I will be publishing a blog entry on that in a few days. :)

  7. Installed on OpenSuSE 12.2 64bit with Notes 8.5.3FP2 works great – Thank you!!!

    1. Thanks for letting us know that the hack works for the Fixpacks too. :)

  8. Works fine here even with the German Version!

    Thanks alot!

    1. You're welcome! :) Maybe you should try the newer IBM Notes 9? You can refer to my other entries on running that on openSUSE 12.3. :)