Groupwise 7 on Ubuntu 8.04

While web applications in browsers are continuing to improve, they still can't quite compete with desktop applications. One of the examples of this is the Novell Groupwise client. Running 64bit Ubuntu poses a bit of a challenge, since Novell only offer prepackaged rpm bundles for 32bit Red Hat and Suse systems. Note, some of this stuff is inspired by Scott's blog entry earlier this year, however I could never get his howto to work for me.

Start by downloading the Groupwise client RPM onto a 32bit version of Ubuntu (I use a 32bit image in VirtualBox). I'm not sure from where I found mine, but it's out there if you search a little. You should end up having a file called something like novell-groupwise-gwclient-7.0.3-20080310.i386.rpm

To convert this into a debian package, you are going to need alien. Get this by typing:

sudo apt-get install alien

With alien, you can convert the RPM into DEB by typing:

sudo alien -c novell-groupwise-gwclient-7.0.3-20080310.i386.rpm

Now you're done with the 32bit stuff. Move your novell-groupwise-gwclient_7.0.3-20080310.deb to your target 64 bit box. Before installing the DEB, make sure you have the nessesary dependencies. On my system I needed lib std. C++ 5 (you might need others as well) so I had to do:

sudo apt-get install libstdc++5

Install the Groupwise client itself by issuing:

sudo aptitude install novell-groupwise-gwclient_7.0.3-20080310_i386.deb

You should now have Groupwise installed in the /opt/novell/groupwise folder and shortcuts created on your desktop and in the Ubuntu Internet application menu. Groupwise is actually written (mostly) in Java, which it bundles (in my case the Sun JRE 1.5.0_06-B05). This works fine except if you are using Compiz, but I am so I needed to replace the 32bit slightly old bundles JRE with a newer one. Download a .bin from SUN's site, be sure to only download a JRE (not a JDK) and a 32bit (i586, not a amd64) one. Once downloaded, you can extract it to a folder by running:

sh jre-6u10-rc2-bin-b32-linux-i586-12_sep_2008.bin

Finally, we need to replace the JRE Groupwise is bundled with, with this new one you just extracted into the folder /jre1.6.0_10. So delete the folder /opt/novell/groupwise/client/jre/:

sudo rm -R -f /opt/novell/groupwise/client/jre

Then copy the new JRE in folder jre1.6.0_10/ to /opt/novell/groupwise/client/jre/:

sudo cp jre1.6.0_10 /opt/novell/groupwise/client/jre -R

There you go. That should give you Groupwise 7.03 running on the latest Ubuntu 8.04.


Chris Williams said…
Thank you for this post, I followed it on Ubuntu 8.10 and it worked. The only differences were, I already had libstdc++5. I also needed:


otherwise GW froze when viewing email, or doing just about anything else.

I was also unable to install the .deb file from the terminal, but could do so through the graphical .deb installer.

Thanks again, a very helpful post.
Casper Bang said…
Thanks for the feedback etosamoe, I will soon move to 8.10 and take advantage of your experiences.

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