Archive for the 'Linux' Category

What if The Matrix ran on Windows

LOL! A wonderfull start into that grey Tuesday.

Thanks, Volker!

Lotus Notes 8.5 Beta 2 on Ubuntu

Lotus Notes 8.5 Beta 2 on Ubuntu

Just installed Lotus Notes 8.5 Beta 2 on my Ubuntu machine while holding a telephone conference. The Debian installer worked like a charm – I even did not have to uninstall the Beta 1. Rebooted. Done.

First impression: Start up much faster. All bugs I have noticed in Beta 1 are gone now. Lotus Sametime plugin is now running properly while in Beta 1 the chat window did not open at all.

One strange thing: there is no location awareness in this release, even in the preferences for Sametime there is no tab for „Geographic Location“ settings. Can not see any reason why they removed it. Maybe the 8.5 client checks if my backend Sametime server has the right version and is location aware?

Anyway. Notes 8.5 seems to be very robust. I even had no crashes in the first Beta release. Lets start working with it.

Watching TV on Ubuntu

I don’t have a TV at home. Neither at work. I don’t miss it most of the time.

In case I want to watch the Olympics I have now Zattoo on my Ubuntu desktop.

Zattoo offers 189 Channel. 69 German channels. Probably 99% bullshit content. For the remaining 1% Zattoo is a perfect solution.

That went smooth!

Lotus Notes 8.5 / Ubuntu 8.04

That was easy. Installed Ubuntu 8.04 with English language support (German installation will let you not install the Lotus Notes 8.5 beta!). Solved my old 1920*1200 display issue: Ubuntu simple detected the screen and I have widescreen now. Happy User. Did not work with 7.10 and even after the upgrade to 8.04 I was not able to set resolution the right way.

Then installed Sun JRE 6, installed ttf-xfree86-nonfree, ran Lotus Notes 8.5 installation by executing from the installation directory as superuser. Done.

No hassle with „dash“ and „bash“, no separate Compiz installation necessary. All the headaches from my first „Notes on Ubuntu trials“ are gone. It simply worked.

And the best thing for me: calendar integration with Google Calendar on my Google Hosted App account worked immediatly.

Alexander is a happy camper now.

Flat Pack arrived

There it is. I had to wait for a few weeks for the flat pack. The new Lenovo X300 is flat, indeed. But even if many reviews compare it to Apple´s MacBook Air, it feels like it is bigger and heavier a lot. I migrated today from an Thinkpad X60 to the new X300. The X300 is significantly wider. Good for working with the excellent keyboard, but bad for my small bag.

Some other experiences from this afternoon: The X300 has no PCMCIA slot anymore. Not realy a surprise you would say. But after I installed my UMTS card software package I tried to insert the card – and so I found out what I would know if I had read the specs. No slot. OK, have to order a USB card.

The rest of the day I had to fight with Windows Vista. The X300 comes with Vista, of course. Some of my colleagues recommended to downgrade immediatly to XP, some not. I decided to keep Vista and to learn how to live with it. So it was a big hazzle for me, dealing with that new filesystem, finding my files, getting the WLAN with Vista to work with my old Draytek Vigor router (-> very helpful link), removing some Bluetooth permissions for receiving vcards with Lotus Notes (slowed down the X300 so I was nearly about to throw it out of the window), and so on.

Now everything is fine. Some will say „better buy a Mac“. Yes, I will. Some will say, „if you realy want an X300, buy a Raven„. No, I prefer Ubuntu on my Desktop – running now Lotus Notes 8.5 public beta with official Ubuntu 8.04 support 🙂

Opening Attachments in Notes 8 on Ubuntu 8.04

As we upgraded some desktops to Ubuntu 8.04 nobody of these users could open attachments directly within the Lotus Notes context. Now we found a workaround:

„When a customer clicks an attachment within the Lotus Notes® client for Linux®, the Open Attachment dialog box provides the customer with options to Open, Edit, or View the attachment. When any of these three options are opened the dialog box disappears and no action is taken.

Generally, this problem is seen with attachments that are not of a common file type in Linux. However, this problem can also occur for common Linux file types such as odt and pdf.“

For Lotus Notes 8 on Linux, the paths are a little different than above. So do the following as root:

mv /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/openwith /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/openwith.old
ln -s $(which gnome-open) /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/openwith

Replace gnome-open with kde-open if you use KDE.

Thanks, Thorben!

8.0.1 up and running

So after some initial problems Lotus Notes 8.0.1 installed without problems on WinXP and on Ubuntu.

But: Where is the Widget and LiveText feature in my Ubuntu version? Menu is missing, preferences entries as well.

Update: No Widget in Linux Version of Notes 8.0.1. Very disappointing. „We ran out of time. We wanted it in there, but ran out of time for this release.“

Notes does not print

Don’t expect Lotus Notes to print what you see on your screen. This has been true for all releases of Lotus Notes. But on Ubuntu printing has become more miraculous than ever.

Printing Notes documents on Ubuntu 7.04 feisty fawn worked – but the results were extremely poor. Now that I upgraded to Ubuntu 7.10 gutsy gibon the print functionality has become completly useless. All workstations on 7.10 are not able to print.

Instead of a improperly formatted text the printer will now simply print a message like:

„ERROR: stackunderflow“

While printing on Ubuntu is not really a problem with other applications I wonder why Notes does behave like that. Someone mentuioned this is an Eclipse 3.2 issue. Any ideas?

New notes in an old symphony

There was a lot of discussions about IBM introducing Lotus Symphony (again). It does make if you look at it from the Eclipse point of view and the integration strategy with Lotus Notes 8. And it is definitly a good initiative by IBM supporting the ODF file format and presenting an alternative solution for MS Office. But still I wonder who else should choose Lotus Symphony over OpenOffice but the Lotus Notes 8 shops – and there are not much yet that rooled out the Eclipse based new Notes version.

Hopefully this experiment will not end like the one 22 years ago:

(via Tim Anderson)

Vicious Cycle

One problem with Lotus Notes 8 and the Sametime Integration seems to be solved. Yesterday my geolocation settings appeared again. There is a simple user profile setting on the Sametime server side to enable geolocation support. Beta 3 did not check for that setting, the gold release does check it. So it was a matter of server administration, but there is still a question about licensing.

On Win32 this feature now works as designed. On Ubuntu it does not. Like in Notes 8 Beta 3 on Ubuntu entering the geolocation information throws an error messsage. „An has error occured. See error log for more details“.

OK, lets check the log. In my Notes 8 / Eclipse client settings logging was disabled. So I checked the box „enable logging“. And the message I got back is „An error has occured. See error log for more details“.


Notes 8 Beta 3 on Ubuntu

I had some trouble installing Lotus Notes 8 Beta 3 these days – like some other testers. Deinstalled Notes Beta 2 with the uninstaller.bin, installed the new Beta 3, rebooted – nothing happend. The start icons seemed to be dead links.

I did this several times, cleaned the data directory and everything that was left from old installs. But the new Beta 3 did not work at all.

Finally, I setup a new clean Ubuntu workstation and installed Lotus Notes 8 on the clean machine. Same effect. All icons appeared, but a click on each icon leads to… nothing.

Meanwhile I changed my semi-production Linux machine which I started using a few weeks ago for my office work and decided to continue now with the Windows XP install.

Today a smart guy told me to rename the „lotus“ folder in the home directoy of my Ubuntu machine. Interestingly all folders under „lotus“, including the data directory, were empty.

Then I started Lotus Notes 8. The lotus folder and all its content was rebuild, Lotus Notes started up – and runs perfect as far as I can see. Even the font problems on the clean install are gone. So next week I will change back to the Ubuntu machine and test, if the new beta is as robust on Linux as on Windows.

Notes 8 Beta 3 Available Now

Notes 8 Beta 3

Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino 8 Beta 3 are available for download now. Go and get it -> here

Windows: Uninstalled Beta 2, installed Beta 3, runs perfect, looks good, many bugs are fixed on my first look.
Ubuntu: Uninstalled Beta 2, installed Beta 3, Notes does not start. And it seems I am not alone. Yes, I know, Ubuntu is not supported – but Beta 2 was ok.

My little Linux diary – continued

I stopped using my new platform for a few days. Meanwhile my Linux experts fixed the performance problem by simply changing the network adapter hardware. For some reason the built in adapter slowed down Fedora after upgrading to the latest Fedora release.

As I tried to use Sametime with Firefox on my Fedora machine I realized there was no Java Runtime Environment installed. Tried it, failed several times, did not understand all that instructions and the different package types I read about in the forums – and gave up. Upgrade to Firefox 2.0? Failed too.

Suddenly my Linux expert said: Why not install Ubuntu, that might help for stupid „educated by Windows“ users like me. But we failed last time, I asked. No problem, this was Ubuntu 6.10, now we have 7.04, he answered.

And indeed installation went through without problems. No manual
upgrades, OpenOffice 2.2 is preinstalled as well as Firefox 2.0. Next step is Lotus Notes 8 Beta 2.

After installing the software package I tried to start Lotus Notes. „Notes.ini not found“. Seems to be a known problem. Ubuntu uses dash, other distributions use bash. Whatever that means. The solution is simple and self explaining:

Uninstall Notes
Open a terminal window
cd /bin
sudo rm sh
sudo ln -s bash sh

Uninstall Notes? How can I do this. Finally found the deinstall script and executed it (opt/ibm/lotus/notes/_uninst). Followed all the instructions above – and voila. Notes 8 Beta 2 on Linux is there again. Because Ubuntu 7.04 comes preinstalled with the compiz extensions (do not ask my what it is, simply accept you need it) I was now able to see bookmarks and application tabs – even if they look a little bit strange.

So now it was time to change my main office system and connect the Ubuntu machine to my 1920*1200 flatpanel. First problem: Ubuntu detected the right monitor while installing, but it does not detect my new larger display. 1024*768 resolution is not what you want on a big screen. How to change it I asked. No problem, simply edit the xconf file. Ah, ok, no problem. Gave up after a few tries. Luckily my knowledgable colleague gave up too and recommended: Just reinstall Ubuntu whith the big screen connected.

Argh. Again I thought about giving it up. Installed Ubuntu again, maximum resoultion is now 1600*1200. I still have no idea how to make the right resolution work. After reinstalling Notes 8 I have now additional problems with fonts in Notes. Message boxes, Mails, and workspace elements are now displayed with monospaced Courier fonts. Looks pretty bad.

So I spent several hours on several days again with that. Still hope I can use it as a production machine for me. But for now I will have a break and work again.

Update: Solved the font problem. Just install ttf-xfree86-nonfree.

My little Linux diary

Lotus Notes 8 on Fedora

I am a stupid user. I studied economics, not software engineering. The first years in business I worked as a trainer and consultant. I am not an engineer. I am not a software developer – according to our „real“ software developers who take Notes application development not for serious.

That said I planned to install Lotus Notes 8 Beta on Linux with the support of our Linux geeks. I never used Linux before. I don´t know anything about Linux or UNIX and the good old command line stuff. I never wanted to know anything about shells except when I spent my vacation at the beach.

But Open Source software is our daily business here at XCOM. I work with OpenOffice more than two years, and I have no Microsoft Office anymore on my notebook. So the next big step should be using Linux instead of Windows.

Well, ok then. I ordered a Dual Core 2 GB RAM brandnew HP desktop – much faster than my X60. It comes with Microsoft Vista preinstalled – you even can not order it without Vista.

So on Day 1 I installed Microsoft Vista. Installation went fine, no problems. Vista looked good on my desktop – but I don´t want to have Vista. So next step was: Configure the machine for dualboot. Ok, Vista has an own routine for configuring a dualboot. But my Linux geeks have no trust in Microsoft and installed a more reasonable Linux based tool. So we defined two partitions and the tool started to work.

„11:31:00 hours remaining“ I wondered. The answer is „yes“ because this is a reliable Linux based partitioning tool. It works precise, therefore it needs time.

One day later I had a look at my new machine. „12:14:00 hours remaining“ I wondered. Yes, because the first step was the simulation, next step is the real partioning work. Ah, ok. I understand. This software is not MS crap. It is precise. It need 24 hours for 160 GB.

Day 3: Partioning job is done. Great. Now I have a Vista partition and a Linux partition. Dual boot should work. Perfect. Lets see if Vista still boots.

Fatal exception. Hey, I did not spent three days with that cool partitioning job to finally realize we crashed the Vista install! Well, the Linux geeks have the answer: This is because Redmond delivers such a bad operationg systems which can not handle my highly sophisticated new configuration. OK, now we have a useless Windows partition and still no Linux.

Day 4: Lets install Ubuntu because our customer wants to test Notes 8 on Ubuntu. Linux geeks don´t like Ubuntu so they initially refused to touch any Ubuntu install CD. Unfortunatly Ubuntu does not like my brandnew HP desktop PC. Installation failed several times. The Linux geeks know the answer: Ubuntu tries to behave like Windows. Everything is configured automatically. No user interaction. No command lines. Not good at all. So we tried several other install parameter, checked the log files: Installation always stopped while configuring ACPI. Nobody needs that ACPI support I was told. So we disabled ACPI support. Again, Ubuntu failed. And we gave up.

Day 5: Linux geeks like CentOS or Fedora. So my helpfull colleague installed Fedora 6. And installation went smooth. Fedora started – and I felt like home immediatly: „236 updates available.“ Fedora told me after startup. Yes, I know this kind of message. So Fedora spent hours and hours to download updates and to install it. Unfortunatly one of the updates killed the driver for the network card. System boots, but no network connection anymore. No problem, the Linux guys said. Just open a terminal session, enter some cryptic commands, and there it is: Network device rebooted, Internet connection established. But this happens at every startup, I asked. Well, just reboot the network device after startup with the command lines, the Linux geek told me. This is one of the main advantages of Linux, he said. You don´t have to shutdown the whole system. Well, ok then. I start to love it.

Day 6: Finally installing Notes 8 Beta on Linux was easy. Downloaded the installer (700 MB), unpacked the files (1500 MB!!!), and everything went smooth without any problem. There are some bugs in the Beta like empty bookmarks, missing tabs and non functional „open attachment“ dialog boxes – but most of the features work fine. With 2 GB RAM on the machine Notes 8 beta utilizes around 300 MB. It works fast and I had no crashes on the first day.

So the real challenge for me is not installing and running Notes on Linux. It is Linux itself. My screen resolution on my flatpanel is not supported, it reconfigures the resolution sometime down to 800 * 600 without any reason. The network adapter problem is still unsolved. Even if it works it feels like a 64 k ISDN connection.

Do not get me wrong: I don´t want to bash the Linux geeks. And I am not a big fan of the MS stuff at all. But my first experience tells me: This stuff might not be ready for everybodies desktop.

Well, it´s a big experiment. I will play around with that configuration for a while and try to use it for my daily life in business. A life without Microsoft. But still with Lotus Notes.