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Converting Groupwise Client RPMs to Run on dpkg-based Distributions

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Mike Culbert

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Posted: 11 Sep 2007


I need to convert GroupWise client RPMs to run on dpkg-based distributions, such as Debian and Ubuntu.


CAVEAT: This has not been thoroughly tested, but "It works for me."

The solution involves converting the Groupwise client RPM to tar.gz as other how-tos suggest, but it goes a step further by adding the prerequisite 32-bit libraries and a 32-bit Java, and modifying the client install to use a different JDK.

I'm currently using this on Debian/AMD64, and it should work on IA32 as well, without having to add the extra libraries.

If you have trouble with Java 6, you may try using any other JVM you like.

1. Install prerequisites - run the following commands ...

On amd64:

# apt-get install ia32-libs
# apt-get install ia32-sun-java6-bin

On ia32:

# apt-get install sun-java6-bin

On both:

# apt-get install alien

2. Download the GroupWise client (

3. Convert the groupwise client RPM to tar.gz:

# alien -t --veryverbose novell-groupwise-gwclient-7.0.1-20060627.i386.rpm

4. As root, untar the newly created tarball. Make sure you untar this from "/".

# cd /
# sudo tar xzvf /path/to/novell-groupwise-gwclient-7.0.1.tgz

5. Identify your JVM. Debian puts JVMs under /usr/lib/jvm.

# ls -l /usr/lib/jvm

We'll be using the "ia32-java-6-sun" that we installed previously.

6. Change the JRE that the groupwise client uses. I rename the original JRE directory rather than delete it.

# cd /opt/novell/groupwise/client
# sudo mv jre jre.orig
# sudo ln -s /usr/liv/jvm/ia32-java-6-sun/jre ./jre

7. Try it out:

# /opt/novell/groupwise/client/bin/groupwise

Enjoy the Novelly goodness.


This solution is tested and in use on an AMD64 Debian lenny/sid system (unstable).

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