Lotus Notes 7 in Ubuntu

I have been struggling with Notes 6.5.4 for a long long time. Although there is an official, supported, “native” Notes 7 for Linux now it is tricky to install and – more importantly – much slower than a Wine-d Notes client. Also, since it’s Eclipse-based it suffers from the usual Eclipse filesystem bloat; expect mystery folders dotted throughout your home directory.

Finally, it seems somebody has made the necessary additions to enable Notes 7 support in Wine. A small patch was necessary for 0.9.30 but this has made it into 0.9.31.

It’s surprisingly easy to get it up and running. Here are the steps, just beware that I’m going to assume you have Notes 7 already installed on some Windows system.

  1. Edit /etc/apt/sources.list and add the WineHQ repository for Wine by adding these lines:
    # Repository for winedeb http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt edgy main
    deb-src http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt edgy main
  2. Install Wine by running apt-get install wine.
  3. Create a basic Wine configuration by running winecfg. This takes a moment or two after which a window will appear; the defaults are fine except that you should set the version of Windows to be emulated to be Windows 98.
  4. Time to copy over your Notes 7 install from your Windows machine. Assuming that Notes is installed in C:\Program Files\Lotus\notes, copy this directory into $HOME/.wine/drive_c/ (winecfg will have created this folder).
  5. Edit $HOME/.wine/drive_c/notes/notes.ini and change the line Directory=C:\Program Files\Lotus\notes\data to read Directory=C:\notes\data.
  6. Notes 7 can now be run with the command wine c:\\notes\\nlnotes.exe.
  7. However, there remains a problem with the preferences dialog. You must set the environment variable WINEDLLOVERRIDES to oleacc=n. To simplify this, I wrote this script called notes7 and placed it in /usr/local/bin:
    export WINEDLLOVERRIDES=oleacc=n
    wine c:\\notes\\nlnotes.exe

Now, you can just run notes7 to launch Notes.

I haven’t encountered any problems with any functionality; the only remaining minor issue is that bold and italic stylings for the default Notes font won’t appear.


4 thoughts on “Lotus Notes 7 in Ubuntu”

  1. I recently bought a umpc (acer aspire one), which runs Linpus (a modified version of Fedora). The only thing I was missing from Windows/Mac was Notes. I was considering virtualization, when I remembered wine, which I hadn’t looked at for about 6 years or more. Anyway, install was a breeze, used the oleacc trick for user prefs, and it is working brilliantly for Notes 8! And it actually seems to be just as quick as my dual core laptop which has 1gb of ram, whilst the umpc only has 512mb ram and a 1.6ghz atom processor.

    When I saw it working, I was as pleased as the first time I ever installed Linux (suse 5.3). I’ve waited for the day when I would have a tiny linux laptop running all my favorite applications.

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