Installing / upgrading IBM Notes 9.0.x and Sametime 9.0.x on Ubuntu x64

I often like to live on the bleeding edge, which gets me in trouble on occasion. Unfortunately, this is common when attempting to upgrade the IBM Notes / Sametime clients on my Ubuntu 12.04 x64 workstation. These applications are not officially supported on 64-bit Ubuntu due to some crazy package dependency issues.

On the flip side, the community has developed workarounds to getting things working properly. The Notes install is fairly straightforward, but getting Sametime 9.x installed can be a bit strange, even causing Notes not to start.

Installing Notes 9.x

The Notes 9 install package usually consists of the following .deb files:

  • ibm-activities-9.0.1.i586.deb
  • ibm-feedreader-9.0.1.i586.deb
  • ibm-notes-9.0.1.i586.deb
  • ibm-opensocial-9.0.1.i586.deb
  • ibm-sametime-9.0.1.i586.deb

The version numbers may differ based on your package.

The “ibm-notes” package requires modifications to the DEBIAN/control file before it will install on a 64-bit system. Perform the following steps to make the modifications:

  1. Extract the ibm-notes-9.x.deb into a folder. (You can use archive manager to do this, or simply right-click and select “Extract here” from the context menu.)
  2. Navigate to the DEBIAN directory within the folder just extracted and open the “control” file in your favorite text editor.
  3. Find the line beginning with Pre-Depends: and remove the following items: gdb, coreutils, unzip, bash, procps, grep, sed, then save the file. The result will look something like this:
    Pre-Depends: libart-2.0-2, libasound2, libatk1.0-0, libbonobo2-0, libbonoboui2-0, libc6, libcupsys2, libfontconfig1, libfreetype6, libgcc1, libgconf2-4, libgtk2.0-0, libglib2.0-0, libgnome2-0, libgnomecanvas2-0, libgnome-desktop-2 | libgnome-desktop-2-7 | libgnome-desktop-2-11 | libgnome-desktop-2-17 | libgnome-desktop-3-2, libgnomeui-0, libgnomevfs2-0, libglib2.0-0, libice6, libjpeg62, liborbit2, libpam0g, libpango1.0-0, libpng12-0, libpopt0, libsm6, libstdc++6, libx11-6, libxcursor1, libxext6, libxft2, libxi6, libxkbfile1, libxml2, libxp6, libxrender1, libxss1, libxt6, libxtst6, libz1
  4. Repackage the files as a .deb by running: `dpkg -b <ibm-notes-directory> ibm-notes-9.x.deb`

You should now be able to install Notes by running: `dpkg -i ibm-notes-9*.deb` (substituting your appropriate version / filename). You may also now proceed to install ibm-activities, ibm-feedreader, and ibm-opensocial if desired (though not required).

If you are going to also be installing Sametime 9 embedded and not a version of Sametime 8.5, then do not install ibm-sametime. Otherwise, you’ll likely want to install that as well.

At this point, you may want to start Notes and ensure it runs as expected (it should).

Installing Sametime Embedded 9.x

While Notes itself is fairly straightforward, getting Sametime 9 running alongside it can be an exercise in frustration. Assuming that Notes is a clean install, this will probably go smoothly; however, if you’re upgrading things, then it might be a little less straightforward. It seems like there’s always some problem caused by a missing file or wrong permissions.

Either way, start off by following these steps:

  1. Close IBM Notes if it’s running.
  2. Extract the sametime-connect-embedded .deb package just like you did above for Notes.
  3. Open the <extracted folder>/DEBIAN/control file.
  4. Locate the line beginning with Pre-Depends: and remove the following: bash.
    Now, the only thing in Pre-Depends is “ibm-notes”. Save the file.
  5. Repackage the deb by running: `dpkg -b <extracted folder> sametime-connect-embedded-9.x.deb`
  6. Install Sametime by running: `sudo dpkg -i sametime-connect-embedded-9.x.deb`

If you’re lucky, the install process will run and a few minutes later, you’ll have a working copy of Sametime embedded. But in my experience, that is often not the case.

Troubleshooting Sametime install

Sometimes installing leads to messages like the following:

/var/lib/dpkg/ line 202: func_runCollector: command not found
dpkg: error processing sametime-connect-embedded-9.0-20130911.1645.i386.mod.deb (--install):
subprocess new pre-installation script returned error exit status 90
dpkg: error while cleaning up: subprocess new post-removal script returned error exit status 95
Errors were encountered while processing: sametime-connect-embedded-9.x.deb

Often, this indicates a provisioning issue during the install process.

First, force a full removal of Sametime by running: `sudo dpkg –remove –force-remove-reinstreq sametime-connect-embedded:i386`

Then, check the framework logs for additional errors. These are found in the <install_location>/notes directory. (Mine was in: /opt/ibm/notes/framework.) Open the the file: rcp_sametime-connect-embedded_install.log.

Near the end it likely says something to the effect of “Provisioning failed.”

In this case, you’ll probably just need to manually reprovision the configuration. You can do it like this:

sudo ./rcplauncher -debug -data ${rcp.home}/rcp/systemdata -provManifest -rcpLauncherWait -noSplash -product NULL -provisioningOperation update -vmargs -DprovisioningOperation=update -DjxeCacheDir=

(Replace ${rcp.home} with the path to your “framework” directory (e.g. /opt/ibm/notes/framework).

Assuming the command completes successfully, you should (finally) be able to install Sametime successfully.

Re-run step #6 from above: `sudo dpkg -i sametime-connect-embedded-9.x.deb`

The install will (hopefully) complete normally at this point.

Good luck!

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  • Simone Caronni

    Hello, is there any chance for a download link of the Notes 9.0 client? I’m using Notes 9.0.1 and would like to get both the standalone client and the new embedded client but can’t find them on the web.


  • randompsychology

    Assuming your company has an active contract with IBM, you should be able to get the install binaries from PassportAdvantage, or your company may have them posted internally somewhere.