Installing the Lotus Notes 7.01 Linux Client

NOTE: If you're going to print this out, it would be wise to print Landscape instead of Portrait.

These are some screenshots outlining my install of the Lotus Notes 7.0.1 Linux Client. For the most part you just need to read the readme.pdf file that comes with the installation files and follow the instructions, but I know that screenshots are nice sometimes too (click on any of the screenshots below to get 800x600 images).

One general caveat: the current client install (at the time of this writing, August 2006) is only supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux v4 update 3 (RHEL4), so there may be other things you have to do if you are on another distro (or if you have a non-standard RHEL setup). I used CentOS-4, which is built from the RHEL sources and aims to be 100% binary compatible with Red Hat, and I had no problems.

If you want to install on another distro, you might want to take a look at this wiki page that talks about installing the client on Debian for some pointers.

Also, the Linux client install files are currently only available to Passport customers, so you won't be able to find a trial version for download on the public Lotus site. If you want to use an older version of the Notes client on Linux, you can always try running it with Wine.

If you have problems, a good place to start looking for answers is the IBM Knowledge Collection Technote: IBM Lotus Notes client for Linux. There's also a Technote with known limitations of the Linux client. And read the readme.pdf file that gets extracted when you unzip the install files -- there are a lot of known issues (and a few workarounds) in there.

Step 0
This is probably obvious, but the first thing you have to do is download the Notes client install package and set up your Linux workstation.

For my testing, I installed CentOS-4 on a VMWare virtual machine with 384 MB of RAM. It worked, but a larger RAM allotment would have been much more comfortable. You'll also need about 2 GB of free space to handle the install files, the temp files, and all the new program files.

My CentOS install was the default workstation install, with no customizations. I ran up2date before starting the Notes client install process.

Also note that I was logged in as a non-root user during the install.

Step 1
You'll start with a ZIP file that contains all the installation files for the client. I think it was originally or something. I renamed it to so I'd know what it was later.

Anyway, just right-click the ZIP file and choose "Extract Here".

Step 2
This will extract 3 files:, readme.pdf, and setuplinux.bin.
Step 3
Create a temporary folder to extract the install files, which are all in the file. I just created a "NotesInstall" folder on my Desktop.

Move the file inside this folder, right-click it, and choose "Extract Here".

Step 4
The setup_wct_platform.bin file is the actual install file we'll be running. However, it's not executable by default. We'll need to make it executable by right-clicking it and choosing "Properties"...
Step 5
...and then putting a check mark next to the "Execute" permission for Owner, on the Permissions tab. Click the "Close" button after you've done this.
Step 6
We'll need to do the same thing with the setuplinux.bin file, which was one of the original 3 files that got unzipped in Step 2. So again, right-click it and choose "Properties"...
Step 7
...and put a check mark next to the "Execute" permission for Owner, on the Permissions tab.
Step 8
The setuplinux.bin file actually belongs in a subfolder of one of the folders that came out of the file. So go to the place where you extracted in Step 3 (that was NotesInstall for me) and navigate down to:

/ linux.feature_7.0.1.0000-0900

Wow! Okay, now copy the setuplinux.bin file from the previous step (right-click it and choose "Copy File") and Paste it into the "linux" folder you should now have open.

Step 9
Open a Terminal window (Applications - System Tools - Terminal) and change directories to the place where setup_wct_platform.bin is.

One nice thing about Linux Terminal windows is that they normally have auto-complete, so you can start typing the name of the file or directory you want and it will fill in the rest for you.

For example, I wanted to navigate from my home directory to /Desktop/NotesInstall. So I typed "cd De" and pressed the TAB key, which changed the line to "cd Desktop/". Then I pressed ENTER and typed "cd No" and pressed TAB, and the line became "cd NotesInstall".

However you do it, once you're in the proper directory, type: "./setup_wct_platform.bin" (or "./set[TAB]" to auto-complete) to run the setup_wct_platform.bin file.

Don't forget the "./" at the beginning of the command -- it's important.

Step 10
Some messages about starting Java and running InstallShield will go by, and then hey, look at that! There's an IBM Workplace Managed Client install screen!

Click the "Next" button.

Step 11
Agree to the license terms and click "Next" (or don't agree and you're all done with the install, I suppose).
Step 12
You will be prompted for a location to install the IBM Workplace Managed Client. By default, this directory is:

/opt/IBM/Workplace Managed Client

However, I wasn't sure if I had rights to the /opt directory and I wasn't planning on sharing this installation with anyone else, so...

Step 13
...I changed the install directory to:

/home/centos/IBM/Workplace Managed Client

Which was in my /home directory (my user name was "centos") and I knew I had rights to that. It also makes it easier to back everything up if it's in my /home directory.

Step 14
Now you'll be told where the client will be installed (should be the location from the previous step), and it'll also tell you that the Lotus Notes Plugin will be installed with it. As expected.

Just click "Next".

Step 15
Files will install. Watch the progress bar and wait (it only took a minute or so for me).
Step 16
Now you'll be told that the Lotus Notes Plugin is about to be installed. You want this, so click "Next".
Step 17
IBM Workplace Managed Client splash screen. Oooh. Ahhh.
Step 18
More files will unpack and install. More progress bars. More waiting (about 3 minutes or so for me).
Step 19
Now you'll get some additional licensing and lawyer talk. Just accept it and click "Next" -- you've gone this far, no sense in turning back.
Step 20
Another progress bar. Don't panic, it'll only be another minute or so.
Step 21
Now it'll tell you to log out and log back in, presumably because it added things to your bash profile.

But don't worry, it's not a full reboot like you're used to on Windows machines, just a simple log out and log in.

Click the "Finish" button to close the dialog. DO NOT log out yet.

Step 22
HA! Thought you were finished, didn't you? Sucker... There are still a few more files to install.

Aren't you glad I told you not to log out yet?

Step 23
Finally done with the install.

For some reason it says "Click Finish to restart the program" here, but I don't know what program it's going to restart. When you click "Finish" (go ahead, click it) the Setup Wizard dialog closes, but nothing restarts. It's probably just messing with your head.

Step 24
Go ahead and close all the open windows, and delete all the install files and folders you had laying around junking up the place.

You will also see a nifty new "IBM Lotus Notes" icon on your Desktop.

NOW you can log out.

Step 25
After you've logged back in, double-click the "IBM Lotus Notes" icon on the desktop. You'll get the Lotus Notes Client Configuration screen.

Configure away...!

Overall, the whole install process took about 20 minutes, so not too bad. And a lot of what you're doing is waiting on files to unzip or copy or configure themselves. Not a lot of options at all, but there are a few tricks.

It's not as easy as an RPM or DEB packaged app, but it's a lot better than building from source. Just remember to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.

You are on the website.