Installing Lotus Domino on Linux

Installing Lotus Domino on Linux

Last month, we tried to make a business case for deploying Domino for Linux within a small to mid-sized enterprise. We hope that this issue will provide you a detailed installation tutorial on getting Domino up and running under Linux. In order to make the article manageable, we had to make some assumptions about your environment and your expertise with operating systems, in particular, Red Hat 6.2 and Domino. If you need any instructions on setting up a Linux environment, there are many great resources online. You can find our recommendations in the product availability section at the end of this article.

System requirements
In order to install Domino R5 under Linux, the following minimum requirements must be met:

  • 486 processor or later;
  • 64MB RAM or larger (128MB is recommended);
  • Swap file of two times the physical RAM or greater;
  • 750MB free space hard drive space or larger;
  • Linux kernel version 2.2.5. This installation has been certified on Red Hat 6.0 and above.

Installing Red Hat 6.2
Before installing Domino, the Linux environment needs to be installed and configured. The good news is that Red Hat is very straightforward to install. Just follow these steps:

  • Obtain Red Hat 6.2. Every version of Red Hat provides different features and levels of support. For our installations, we used the standard version;
  • Boot from CD. If your system doesn’t provide this support, boot from the floppy disk provided by Red Hat;
  • Use the “Server” installation. Red Hat provides different customized installations of Linux. Simply follow the steps throughout the installer.

System preparation
Before getting started with Domino installation, a few tasks must be completed. These tasks include shutting down both the SendMail SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) Server and the Apache Web Server.

Disable SendMail
Since Domino provides its own set of SMTP services, we need to disable the standard SendMail service within Linux. First, log in to your system as “root.” In order to stop SendMail, type the command:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/sendmail stop

This will disable the SendMail server. Note that this doesn’t uninstall the program; it will only shut it down. The next step is to keep it from running automatically after the system reboots. Open the file /etc/rc.d/init.d/sendmail in your favorite editor. Then find the lines:

echo -n "Starting sendmail:"
daemon /usr/sbin/sendmail -bd -qlh
touch /var/lock/subsys/sendmail
; ;

Comment them out by typing a “# ” at the beginning of each line and save the file.

Disable Apache Web Server
In addition to the SendMail service, we need to disable the Apache Web Server, if it’s installed. First, log in to your system as “root.” To stop the Apache Web Server, type the command:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/httpd stop

As with the SendMail server, we now need to prevent the Apache Web Server from starting when the server is rebooted. To do this, type the following command:

rm /etc/rc.d/init.d/httpd

Using Linuxconf to disable Daemons
Linuxconf is a powerful tool that can be used to monitor system activities, add and remove users, adjust system variables, and control the way your system starts. Linuxconf can be run from the command line, a Web interface, or within X-Windows.

If you’re unfamiliar with the command line and prefer a more graphical tool, you can use Linuxconf to disable servers.

To disable SendMail and Apache using Linuxconf, start Linuxconf from either the command line, GUI (Graphical User Interface) icon (in X-Windows), or by pointing your browser to http://machinename:98. (You must have enabled Web access for Linuxconf to use this method).

From the main menu, choose Control. Next, choose Control Service Activity. You should see a long list of services with two columns labeled “Enabled” or “Disabled.” To disable Apache, find the httpd entry and switch the column from Enabled to Disabled. To disable SendMail, find the SendMail entry and choose Disabled. Save and set your changes to “Active.”

Acquiring the software
Lotus provides a couple of ways that you can obtain your very own copy of Domino for Linux. As we talked about last month, IBM is providing an exceptional deal called the Small Business Pack for Linux. One of the components of the suite is Domino R5 Application Server for Linux. If you’re interested in a 90-day trial of R5, you can download a packaged file from Notes.Net at

Creating a user for Domino
Under Linux, each user “owns” specific processes, so we need to create a user for Domino. Again, log in as “root.” Create a new user. For example, you could call the user “notes,” in which case you’d type in”adduser notes”. Then you have to set the password for the new user. Type in, for example: “passwd notes”.

Installing partitioned servers
As with other distributions of Domino, during the installation process you’ll be asked if you want to install more than one Domino server on a single computer. For each server you want to run, a different user name needs to be used to distinguish between processes.

Installing Domino
There are different instructions on installing Domino depending on how you obtained the software.

Software on CD
If you have the software on CD, log in as “root”. Before you can use the CD under Linux, you need to mount the drive. Insert the CD in the drive and type: “mount /mnt/cdrom”. Change directories to CD with, “cd /mnt/cdrom”. Change directories to the Linux installer with “cd Linux”. Finally, run the installer with “./install”.

Software on the .TAR file
If the software is on the .TAR file, again log in as “root”. In order to put the .TAR file on the server, you can FTP it to the server or download it directly on the server. (See on how to install an FTP server and see for how to use the FTP command.) Where ever you downloaded the file to, for example “/tmp/domino”, change to that location with “cd /tmp/domino”. In order to run the installer, we need to uncompress the files. If your file was called, “domino.tar”, execute the following command: “tar xvf domino.tar”. Change directories to the Linux installer with “cd Linux” and run the installer with “./install”.

Software agreement
The installer will prompt you with several screens about the Lotus Notes and Domino Software Agreement. Simply press Tab to continue forward and Escape to go back to the previous screen in the installation process. These two keystrokes will be used throughout the installation process to navigate the screens.

Server type
Domino provides three different types of server setups. Choose from the Domino Mail Server, Domino Application Server, or Domino Enterprise Server.

Program directory
Next, Domino asks you about where you want to install the program files for this installation. The default is “/opt/lotus/”. If you want to change this option, press Enter to edit the path.

Installing partitioned servers
As with other distributions of Domino, during the installation process you’ll be asked if you want to install more than one Domino server on a single computer. The default is “No.” However, if you want to run partitioned servers, you’ll need a different user name for each instance of the Domino server. Linux gives each a distinctive user name to distinguish between processes.

Data directory
The installation program will next ask for the location you want to install the data files for this instance of the server. The default is “/local/notesdata/”.

Domino user name and group
Previously, you should have created a user that will own the Domino data files and the server processes. Simply specify the user name and group that you will use. The user name must be a member of the group that you specify. The default is “notes.”

Let it rip
Finally, everything has been configured for the installation, and you’re ready to install the files. Press either the Escape key to re-configure your settings or the Tab key to begin the installation process. After the installation is complete, logoff as the “root” user.

Running the Domino Server Setup
Log into the system as the user name you created before, i.e., “notes.” Change directories to the notes data directory:

cd /local/notesdata

To launch the HTTP setup, use this:

/opt/lotus/http httpsetup

Upon execution of the HTTP setup, you should see a log of your activities with date and time stamps.

Completing the configuration
To continue on with the configuration, you need to finish the setup on a computer with a Web browser. Simply connect to the server by specifying the server’s address and port via a browser. For example:

Is it looking familiar yet? You should see the standard Domino configuration screen, as pictured in Figure A.

figura A

Here’s the standard Domino configuration screen. Roll over picture for a larger image.

As you’ve done before, follow the instructions and complete the installation, as seen in Figure B.

figura B
Follow the instructions and complete the installation. Roll over picture for a larger image.

Starting the server
Log into the system as the user name you created previously, i.e., “notes.” Change directories to the notes data directory:

cd /local/notesdata

Launch the server with:


Getting the administrator’s ID file
Once the HTTP service has started, you need to point a Web browser to the server’s address book to get your ID file with something like Log into the server using the administrator’s name and password and go to the “People” view to find your document. Attached to the document will be the ID file, i.e., “” Note: The “” and “” are located in the Notes data directory.

Since you now have your ID file, you can open your Notes client and continue to configure and administrate the server.

Tools of the trade
During the administration of Linux servers, we have found a few gems that really assist us in configuration and daily administration.

  • WebMin (at If you’ve been enjoying the convenience of the Domino Web administration tool, you’ll love this tool. One of our personal favorites is this powerful Web-based administration interface for Unix systems like Linux. This daemon allows you to configure DNS, Samba, NFS, and local/remote file systems, and it even lets you reboot your server.
  • OpenSSH (at This is a free version of the SSH (Secure Shell) Server. OpenSSH replaces telnet and ftp with a secure client that encrypts transmissions between the client and server. Most importantly, the SSH Server avoids sending passwords directly and instead sends an encrypted key to the server which allows you to login.
  • Tera Term Pro and TTSSH Plug-in (at This is a powerful freeware telnet client. The TTSSH plug in is a freely available add-on that will allow you to connect to your remote server using the SSH protocol
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