Home > GroupWise, Linux > Getting GroupWise to work on 64-bit Ubuntu

Getting GroupWise to work on 64-bit Ubuntu

I recently switched one of my machines to Ubuntu 7.10 64-bit edition. I use 64-bit Linux on my desktop so I can run VMware Server and use 64-bit guest machines.

We use GroupWise for email and calendaring, and I’ve never had anything but brutal performance out of Evolution in my GroupWise account so I decided I wanted to use the real GroupWise client. Unfortunately, it’s a 32-bit rpm package built for SLED and there’s no deb package of it, and no 64-bit build.

To get it working on 64-bit Ubuntu took a few steps. First, I needed a deb package, and GroupWise comes as an rpm, so I installed “alien” which is a utility that can convert between package formats.

sudo apt-get install alien

I tried using alien on my 64-bit machine to convert the rpm to a deb like this:

sudo alien -c novell-groupwise-client-7.0.2-20060607.rpm

This resulted in a “wrong architecture” error like this:

dpkg-gencontrol: error: current build architecture amd64
does not appear in package's list (i386)

Since I couldn’t figure out how to make alien try to build an i386 deb package on my x64 machine in 30 seconds, I gave up, used scp to copy the rpm file to the i386 machine next to me in my office, and used alien on it to convert the rpm to a 32-bit deb package. Then I copied the resulting deb package back to the 64-bit machine.

Next, I knew I needed a 32-bit Java environment for the GroupWise client. Ubuntu has a lot of 32-bit packages built for the 64-bit platform under the deb package moniker of ia32-xxx.deb. The 32-bit java package I needed was ia32-sun-java6-bin, which provides a 32-bit java6 jre.

sudo apt-get install ia32-sun-java6-bin

Next, I tried installing the GroupWise deb I created before using dpkg:

sudo dpkg -i novell-groupwise-client-7.0.2-20060607.deb

The install failed complaining of missing libraries libstdc++5, libasound2 and libgcc1. I removed GroupWise, installed the dependencies, and reinstalled GroupWise. This time it installed.

sudo apt-get remove novell-groupwise-client
sudo apt-get install libstdc++5 libasound2 libgcc1
sudo apt-get install novell-groupwise-client-7.0.2-20060607.deb

After that, I had to change the jre that GroupWise comes with for the official Sun jre I installed earlier. To do that, I just went like this:

sudo rm -r /opt/novell/groupwise/client/jre
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/ia32-java-6-sun/jre \

The next step was to try running the client using /opt/novell/groupwise/client/bin/groupwise.sh which of course failed. This time the error message indicated a missing library ksuperwin.so and some libgtk and libglib components. Some googling indicated that I needed libglib1.2 and libgtk1.2. Remembering this is a 32-bit application meant I needed the 32-bit versions of these libraries. Unfortunately, there are no ia32 packages of libgtk1.2 or libglib1.2 in the Ubuntu 64-bit repositories.

I had to go to Ubuntu’s web repository for Ubuntu 7.10 and download libgtk1.2 and libglib1.2 from here and here respectively. I needed the 32-bit versions, not the 64-bit versions.

I saved the two deb files locally, and then unpacked them into a temporary directory and copied the libraries to the 32-bit library directory.

mkdir temp
dpkg -X libglib1.2_1.2.10-17build1_i386.deb temp
dpkg -X libgtk1.2_1.2.10-18_i386.deb
sudo cp temp/usr/lib/* /usr/lib32/

At that point, all the library dependencies were settled, and I was able to run GroupWise without problems. To get a GroupWise icon on my desktop, I just copied the .desktop file to the ~/Desktop folder:

cp /opt/novell/groupwise/client/gwclient.desktop ~/Desktop/

Good luck if you are trying this yourself.

Categories: GroupWise, Linux
  1. BMan
    2008-08-21 at 12:24

    This is still bombing out for me. I did a fresh install of Hardy Heron and it works perfectly on the i386 architecture but fails on 64-bit.

    Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!

  2. ROIT
    2009-01-14 at 03:39


    My installations of GW on Ubuntu 8.10 Amd64 works fine except that groupwise-bin becomes a zombie process if I end Groupwise. Haven’t been able to find a solution yet. Any suggestions ?

  3. xtad
    2009-10-01 at 00:35

    Wery good manual:

    September 18, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Brian’s avatar

    This works for me on Ubuntu Jaunty x86_64 with the 8.0.1 client:

    Install ia32 java version:
    sudo aptitude install ia32-sun-java-bin

    Using the novell-groupwise-client-8.0.1-88138.i586.rpm file:
    unpack the rpm with:
    rpm2cpio novell-groupwise-client-8.0.1-88138.i586.rpm | cpio -ivd

    then move the files to where they need to go:
    cd opt
    sudo mv novell/ /opt/
    cd ../usr/bin
    sudo mv groupwise /usr/bin/
    cd ../share/applications
    sudo mv gwclient.desktop /usr/share/applications/

    tell groupwise to use the system java:
    cd /opt/novell/groupwise/client/
    mv java java-orig
    ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/ia32-java-6-sun/jre java

    Then run the groupwise client as normal.

    Information from this site:

  4. Dan
    2010-04-12 at 07:49

    Awesome tutorial, I’ve taken liberty of changing a few things, which might work out for some (like myself). Nevertheless, thank you so much for writing the article, it helped me tons, thank you thank you!!

    1. install alien and other needed stuff –> sudo apt-get install libstdc++5 libasound2 libgcc1 alien
    2. Get the client novell client from ????
    3. Unpack it with alien -t –veryverbose novell-groupwise-gwclient-7.0.4-20100313.i586.rpm
    this will create the tar file below
    4. tar xzvf novell-groupwise-gwclient-7.0.4.tgz
    5. sudo mv opt/novell /opt/
    6. sudo cp usr/bin/groupwise /usr/bin/
    7. sudo cp usr/share/applications/gwclient.desktop /usr/share/applications/
    8. cd /opt/novell/client
    9. mv jre jre_old
    10. install 32bit jre –> sudo apt-get install ia32-sun-java6-bin
    11. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/ia32-java-6-sun/jre /opt/novell/groupwise/client/jre
    12. download some more 32 bit libs to get rid of some errors:
    13. unpack each one of them separatelly (create a temp folder for each so the libs don’t override each other) and copy
    them: (i.e. for libglib do this, follow the same with the other 2, just change the names)
    mkdir temp_glib
    cd temp_glib
    dpkg -X libglib1.2_1.2.10-10.1build1_i386.deb .
    sudo cp usr/lib/* /usr/lib32/
    14. That’s it, just run the app with /opt/novell/groupwise/client/bin/groupwise

  5. 2010-04-12 at 14:13

    Thanks for the updated instructions Dan. I’m sure they will be useful for people using more recent versions of Ubuntu.


    • Dan
      2010-04-13 at 20:15

      Hi Scott, I’m glad I could add my 2 cents :-) and also thank you for adding a link to my article below :-)

  6. christoph
    2010-08-02 at 02:15


    I’m using groupwise 8 on amd64. I didn’t see a problem until today when I realised that the time is an hour behind. Weird, but this is only the case on amd64 with ia32-sun-java6-bin. On i386, the time is fine.
    When I run programs to read time information from the jvm, the time is correct for 32b and 64b jvm. I don’t get it. Has anyone else experienced a problem like that?

    • christoph
      2010-08-02 at 02:38

      Just a hack: In ~/.novell/groupwise/YOUR_ACCOUNT/date_time.properties I entered the correct offset to gmt:

      There are several options defined in this file for amd64, on i386 the file is empty.

      BTW: Tools-> Time difference is also broken on amd64 (nothing happens when I click it). On i386, the expected window pops up. Strange…

    • 2010-09-21 at 09:04

      A co-worker and I had the same problem, I was very confused though because I was moving to a new machine and found this problem. On my old machine I did not have this problem at all. Turns out the problem was with Ubuntu’s 32-bit java…I downloaded the 32-bit jre from java.com and linked /opt/novell/groupwise/client/java to that jre and it works beautifully

      • 2010-10-20 at 04:44

        Your suggestion to use Sun’s Java worked great. The timezone issues are fixed. The “compare times” window will actually open.
        The UI seems snappier also. Hopefully it also fixes the intermittent crashing that I have experienced in the past as well.

  1. 2009-11-01 at 06:50
  2. 2010-04-13 at 18:35

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