Domino on Linux: Lotus Notes and Fine Wine

Fine Wine .. I am always reminded of Billy Joel’s song “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”

A bottle of white, a bottle of red
Perhaps a bottle of rose instead . . .

Linux and WINE

I have taken a giant leap in my ever on-going quest to rid myself of the necessity to use Windows for my daily work. Being mainly an administrator and architect when it comes to Domino I have been feeling the pain of being treated like a red-headed step child by IBM – all just because I am a Linux user. Discrimination, I say! Off with their heads! No taxation without representation! I guess you get the general sentiment.

Returning to the world of serious debate, today was a good day. I have to use a VMware image or a VirtualBox image to run Windows on my Ubuntu client to run the Notes Admin client. I use the Admin client allot and sometime I just need it for 1 minute … and I don’t want to have to run a VMWare session all the time just for that reason.

In steps the hero – Wine but I did have to fiddle a bit to get it done correctly, here the process for Ubuntu 10.04:

  1. Install either using Ubuntu Software Center or via the terminal using [sudo apt-get install wine1.2]
  2. Run the configuration interface via Application – Wine – Configure Wine I really set nothing here, but running it once sets the base configuration
  3. Run the WINDOWS install executable for Notes/Admin/Design client 8.5.2

This is where the issue happened. The installer went ALMOST all the way and then broke off. It did actually register the program so I have the links in the Wine program to start them but the installer could not populate the notes.ini – it was empty but for the first line. A Notes client cannot run that way so what I did was simple – I cheated:

  1. Copy content of existing notes.ini from my VMWare image
  2. Adjust the directory settings for the Notes executable and data folder
  3. Copy my Notes ID file
  4. Copy my names.nsf (was not created yet)

I then ran the client and it went through the Notes client setup procedure.

…. Drum roll ….

Now I have a fully working Admin client that i can use to connect to the Server. Oh, I forgot .. I also have a Developer client and another Notes client as well. I can now run TWO Notes clients at the same time without having to jump through hoops. And all of that on a Linux workstation … I can now almost forgive IBM for discriminating against us Linux Admins, because we are one step ahead of Mac users who also do not have a native Admin client either. though – I guess there has to be some Mac equivalent of Wine that can run the Windows client directly.  Does anybody have information on that? I don’t have a Mac.