Ridding myself of Windows – Google Desktop for Lotus Notes and Linux

Again, research, research – I came across this technote today:

IBM – Selecting Actions – Google Desktop for Lotus Notes yields error for Google Desktop plugin on Windows 7.

That reminded me of my current struggle of eliminating Windows from my laptop. Quick reminder – I don’t hate Windows, not do I knock is in personal or professional conversations at all – I just prefer Linux (currently Ubuntu 10.04, will upgrade to 10.10 S O O N) and I prefer not to pay allot of money for a first rate OS and all the software I want to use. I have another Windows Desktop at home, several servers and run Windows as a VM on my Linux machine when I need it.

Google Desktop:

First off let me say that I do applaud IBM for adding technotes about a product like Google Desktop that they don’t produce themselves – that is a great thing that I I hope they keep up.

I started using Google Desktop a few years ago and fell in love with it instantly. The native Windows search-your-desktop product regularly crashed my machine, and after I switched – I never looked back. I also Love the fact that IN WINDOWS it has a plug-in so that you can include your Lotus Notes based email in any search you are conducting. Brilliant! However, the Linux Google Desktop does not support this … sadly.

As to the why? Well, many reasons probably but the major one being the low number of Linux desktops that are used by real end-users out there and not just IT professionals.  For Google to put in the effort they are probably hoping for IBM to put more effort into that field.

David Gewirtz wrote a very interesting article in the Dominopower online magazine recently regarding this very topic. He made a very good point that the latest version of Lotus notes 8.5.2 is only certified to run on three distros: Red Hat, SUSE and Ubuntu. When it comes to Ubuntu – the most vibrant distro for desktops – the supported version is literally 2 years old. I have it running on the latest version (10.04) but I would never implement this in a customer environment as the desktop configuration would be unsupported by IBM.

Clearly, there is some room for more effort on IBM’s behalf to put some more resources into the Linux portion. I will even stop my griping about the lack of native Admin and Designer clients on Linux (note: my work-around tip is here)  and happily skip-and-jump down the yellow brick road for them. I will have to admit though there is a bit of a chicken and egg situation here: because there is not allot of pull by the market and free-bee extras (like Google Desktop Notes Mail integration) out there IBM is not pushing Linux nearly as hard as they could (or as I would wish them to – different matter I guess)  which in turn does not inspire other companies to put allot of effort into developing Linux variants of their products. Catch 22, viscous cycle, etc.

But clearly IBM is the one who would be able to make more waves in this field if they at least added more Linux distros to the supported list and – especially for Ubuntu – made sure they were not 2 versions behind. Or – novel idea – put out a time-line, schedule (or whatever) that shows where they intend to go with supported Linux versions, distros etc. AND they would have to put it someplace where it can actually be found … I searched but found nada. Just a few posts by TEB alone don’t make a compelling Linux argument. If you don’t have your information someplace where a Google search (or any other search provider) does not show it on page one or two of the results – it does not count. (note: I was searching for a good 30 minutes, that is longer than the average customer would be willing to spend time on a search)

** End of Linux-Griping for the day **

2 thoughts on “Ridding myself of Windows – Google Desktop for Lotus Notes and Linux

  1. Sometimes it’s not IBM, but the vendor. 😉 For distros, the Ubuntu LTS versions are designed to allow ISVs to save costs by supporting and compiling against a stable version rather than a moving target. The latest version 10.04 came-out very close to but before N8.5.2. So, Canonical is working with IBM to get N8.5.2 certified with the latest LTS version. Yes, N8.5.2 runs on Ubuntu 10.04 i386 but not officially (don’t even try it on x64). The certification will come soon. This, time, I believe it was just timing. It’ll happen and before year-end, IMHO.

    Oh, and the IBM Client for Smart Work is pushing Linux desktops, but through the distro partner channel…IBM doesn’t want to own a desktop OS.

    Glad you are enjoying your new Linux desktop experience (and a good tip on Wine).


    • Thanks for the great additional info and insight! Alwasy appreciate input by people who have good information to offer.
      I can get the whole part with moving target but every OS is essentially a moving target and even if 10.04 was too close to call, V9.x was around long enough. That IBM does not want to own any OS level responsibility I also totally get – but then again from a customer’s perspective they don’t care who is owning what and why – they want something recent they can implement, that is all.

      It all would be easier to deal with if there were some information out there by either IBM or Canonical that keeps clients updated on what, when, why etc. IBM needs to put out a road map for their Linux OS support/efforts so that both clients and partners can have a set of realistic expectations. If there is such a road map I don’t know where it is and how to find it. Do you know of one?


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