Preparing Your GroupWise Upgrade

For a new GroupWise administrator, the prospect of upgrading the GroupWise system can be a bit daunting. And of course, even those of us who have done hundreds of upgrades run into issues occasionally. That said, the GroupWise upgrade is relatively painless, and with a bit of planning can be quite smooth. And indeed, it is the planning that is of utmost importance. In this chapter we will deal with the planning. And it’s important to know that even those of us who have indeed done hundreds of GroupWise upgrades make a point to plan out even the simplest of upgrades, making sure to check off all of the necessary steps as we go. (Danita has even been known to carry around a copy of this book to customer sites to make sure nothing is forgotten). So, do not feel like you need to keep a lot of information on the upgrade in your head. Keep a copy of the upgrade guide close at hand, and refer to it often during your upgrade, and you’ll be less likely to run into trouble.

Be certain to check the Errata Page for this book ( prior to your upgrade to see if there are any important updates to the process that might not have been available when you downloaded the guide.

Server Requirements

We’ll start with the technicalities! What do you need to be able to perform this upgrade? For the most part, your GroupWise 6.5 or higher server is likely to be adequate for your upgrade, but let’s look at what Novell says you need (and what our recommendations are).


All Servers

32-bit/x86 processor or 64-bit/x86 processor

Any of the following, updated to the latest Support Pack*



SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10 or 11, Novell Open Enterprise Server (OES) 2 or OES 11


Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 plus the latest Service Pack


8.7 or later, plus the latest Support Pack, with LDAP enabled


Memory and disk space requirements are not substantially different than your current GroupWise 6.5 server requirements. There are a few agent components and options that can either be installed by default (for example the document conversion agent at the POA) or additionally (such as the Calendar Publishing Host). Generally speaking, however, you will not need to upgrade your current Linux or Windows servers in order to upgrade GroupWise 6.5 or newer systems (although many sites take the opportunity to do so during the GroupWise upgrade). If you are on a GroupWise system older than GroupWise 6.5, you may need to look at your server requirements based on the age and OS of your servers.

You might have noticed a few interesting items in the table above. Let’s talk about a few things to do with the servers:

  • 64 bit support is one of those things that is interesting. GroupWise is a 32 bit application. In the past, we have generally recommended using 32 bit OSs if the server is dedicated to GroupWise. However, if you are thinking of upgrading your GroupWise server any time soon, it’s best to plan for 64 bit OSs. Future versions of GroupWise are likely to require a 64 bit OS. Thus, planning for the future is a good thing! And additionally, it is likely that OES 11 will also only be available in 64 bit, so the time is coming to move!
  • For Linux, GroupWise 2012 is supported on SLES 10 and SLES 11, which also means OES 2 and OES 11.
  • NetWare is no longer an available for GroupWise 2012 server OS.

Administration Requirements

GroupWise 2012 requires ConsoleOne 1.3.6h or later, with LDAP snapins enabled. This is included in the GroupWise 2012 media kit. You will also need to have Java Virtual Machine (JVM) 1.5.11 or later installed.

If you are running ConsoleOne on Windows, you also need to have version 4.91 SP3 or later of the Novell Client. On Linux, ConsoleOne also requires the X Window System, version X11R6 or later.

Most of the commands that we indicate to run on Linux will need to be run as the root user.

WebAccess/Monitor/Calendar Publishing Host Requirements

For the Web Server running the WebAccess Application, Monitor Application, or the Calendar Publishing Host you will need one of the following:



Apache 2.2 plus:

  • Tomcat 5.0 or later
  • JRE 5 or later
  • ModProxy Module



Apache 2.2 plus:

  • Tomcat 6.0 or later (installed via YaST for SLES, or during GroupWise installation for OES11)
  • JRE 5 or later
  • ModProxy Module

Windows Server 2003/2003 R2

Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) 6 or later plus:

  • Tomcat 6 or later
  • JRE 5 or later
  • Jakarta Connector 1.2 or later

Windows Server 2008/2008 R2

Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) 7 or later plus:

  • Tomcat 6 or later
  • JRE 5 or later
  • Jakarta Connector 1.2 or later

GroupWise Client Requirements

For the GroupWise client, a few things have changed that are important.


GroupWise 8 was no longer supported on Windows 2000 machines. In fact, for many sites who have tested it, even installing on Windows 2000 has failed. If you still have PCs in your environment running Windows 2000, you should use the GroupWise 7 client. Here are the specifics for the 2012 client:

  • Windows XP on a 300 MHz or higher workstation with at least 128 MB of RAM
  • Windows 2003 on a 350 MHz or higher workstation with at least 256 MB of RAM
  • Windows 2003 R2 on a 350 MHz or higher workstation with at least 256 MB of RAM
  • Windows Vista* on a 1 GHz or higher workstation with at least 1 GB of RAM
  • Windows 7 on a 1 GHz or higher workstation with at least 1 GB of RAM

200 MB of free disk space on each user’s workstation is recommended to install the Windows client.

It is VERY important that you notice that Windows 2000 is no longer supported. The installation will no longer even run on a Windows 2000 machine.


Novell has not updated the Linux client for GroupWise. You can use the GroupWise 8 Linux client. The only supported platform is SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10. We have tested the client on various OpenSuSE versions, and it seems to perform properly. That said, however, remember that the only supported platform is SLED 10. The client will run with either KDE or GNOME.


Again, Novell has not updated the GroupWise Mac client with GroupWIse 2012. You can continue to use the GroupWise 8 Mac client. Interestingly, the Mac client seems to run on the most diverse versions of the operating system than either Windows or Linux! You can run the GroupWise 8 Mac client on:

  • Mac OS 10.4 through OS 10.7 Lion

Software Distribution Directory

Most sites will want at least one location where all of the installation files for the GroupWise 2012 system reside. When we reference the “Software Distribution Directory” (SDD) in this guide, we are referring to such a generic location for all files rather than talking about a true SDD as defined by Novell. In our experience, very few sites truly use the SDD in the way it is intended by Novell (i.e., a location available to both the POA and all GroupWise users for software rollout). If you do create SDDs for your post offices, do not copy over your existing SDD. Create a new one as we discuss later in Upgrading Your GroupWise Clients. Regardless of how you use the SDD, you will need approximately 500 MB for all GroupWise components in one language. If you add additional language files, your SDD could be as large as 900 MB (for all languages).

A Quick Health Check

We hesitate to insist that major GroupWise maintenance be performed on your GroupWise system prior to the upgrade, not because you should not ensure that your GroupWise system is in good working order, but because we feel that this should be done routinely anyway, and should not be left until the week of your upgrade! That said, there are a few things that you can do to make your GroupWise upgrade less stressful.

  • Make sure that your eDirectory tree is in good health. Some minimal steps you can take to ensure that your tree is healthy are to do a “check synchronization status” in dsrepair from the root partition server and/or check the agent health in iMonitor.
  • Clean up your GroupWise system. Quite honestly, there is no real technical reason to get rid of old users, empty trash and implement cleanup options, but it’s a perfect time to do so if you need to. Users are typically much more open to making cleanup changes when an upgrade is pending, simply because they accept that “changes” are coming and that might mean they need to help make the upgrade a smooth operation.
  • Run some basic GWCHECK procedures. We know that you are running routine structure and contents checks on your post offices, but it’s a good time to make sure that your routines are running properly, that there are no oddities in the logs, and that you are ready to upgrade!

WebAccess Changes

Before you begin your upgrade, you need to understand some very fundamental changes to WebAccess. Prior to GroupWise 2012, WebAccess has always consisted of two components: The WebAccess Agent, and the WebAccess Application. The WebAccess Agent (GWINTER) was a WebAccess component that acted as a GroupWise client which gathered information from the POA and supplied the information to the WebAccess Application (the web server component). GroupWise 2012 has eliminated the WebAccess Agent altogether. The GroupWise 2012 WebAccess Application speaks directly to the POA via the SOAP protocol.

Because of these changes, a GroupWise 2012 WebAccess installation cannot talk directly to older GroupWise Post Office Agents. Only a GroupWise 2012 POA “speaks” the proper SOAP language that the WebAccess Application will understand. This poses some challenges to sites with many post offices that will be upgraded over an extended period of time. If you will not be upgrading all of your post offices within a short time frame (perhaps a long weekend when you can indicate that WebAccess will be largely unavailable to users), you will need to either leave your WebAccess installation at your current GroupWise version, or you will need to provide for two separate web servers to serve as WebAccess applications for your current GroupWise version and for GroupWise 2012. There are settings for the GroupWise 2012 WebAccess Application that will allow it to serve as the default WebAccess entry point into your system, and then redirect older users to the appropriate web server hosting the GroupWise WebAccess Application for your current GroupWise version.

The GroupWise 2012 WebAccess does not include the WebPublisher functionality. If you need WebPublisher, you must retain a WebAccess installation for your existing GroupWise version to continue to provide the services of WebPublisher.

We will go over the details in Upgrading Your GroupWise WebAccess later in this guide.

The Upgrade Overview

Before we jump right in and begin our upgrade, we’ll take a few moments to go over the process of what we will be doing. How you perform your upgrade will be dictated in part by the size, location and complexity of your system. Here are a few possible scenarios:


Small, Single Server System

First of all, we always recommend that you have at least two GroupWise domains for redundancy. So, if your single server system only has one domain, during your upgrade, you might consider creating a new domain for your GWIA and/or WebAccess on a separate server to satisfy this recommendation. If you truly can only dedicate one server to your GroupWise system, you can run two MTAs on the same server to allow for a second domain. This, of course, does not give you the same type of redundancy, but can provide a backup of your domain in case of database corruption that cannot be otherwise restored. Another option is to put a second domain on a Windows workstation. Yes, you read that correctly! While this is not a typical method of providing for a secondary domain, the GroupWise MTA can run on almost any version of Windows, and can be used as a stopgap method of locating a second GroupWise domain in your system.

In any event, if your GroupWise system is contained all on a single server, you will need to plan to perform your entire upgrade (except for the clients) in a single sitting. It is vital that all components of the GroupWise system that reside on the same server be upgraded at the same time. Thus, if you have a small system, you would go through the steps of:

  • Upgrading Your GroupWise Domain
  • Upgrading Your Post Offices
  • Upgrading Your Secondary Domains
  • Upgrading Your GroupWise WebAccess
  • Upgrading Your GroupWise Monitor
  • Upgrading Your GroupWise Clients


Of course, you may not have all of those components in your system, but this is the order of installation that we recommend.


Small, Multiple Server System

If your GroupWise system is fairly small (perhaps even a single post office with primary domain and gateways on another server), you have some options. The key is that all components on the same server must be upgraded at the same time. Your first step of course will be to deal with Upgrading Your GroupWise Domain. If the Post Office is on the same server as your primary domain, then you will need to upgrade it as well. So long as you upgrade all items on each server together, you should not run into any big problems.


Complex GroupWise System on Multiple Servers

If you have a very complex GroupWise system, you need to consider a few things that will crop up with the inevitability of not being able to upgrade all of your post offices at the same time. Here are the most important “gotchas” of a gradual upgrade:


  • GroupWise 2012 clients cannot access older post offices. Thus, you cannot begin your client rollout before you actually perform the post office upgrade. This also means that GroupWise 2012 clients cannot proxy to an older GroupWise post office. If you have users on your GroupWise 2012 post offices that need to proxy to a older GroupWise post office, that particular GroupWise 2012 user will need to continue to use the older GroupWise client.
  • If you use your GWIA for POP3/IMAP4 access, you will not be able to upgrade your GWIA to GroupWise 2012 until all of your post offices that service such users have been upgraded. In other words, a GroupWise 2012 GWIA running as a POP3 or IMAP4 server is a GroupWise “client” and cannot access older GroupWise post offices. We will discuss this in more detail in Upgrading Your GroupWise Internet Agent. You may need to provide for an older GroupWise GWIA for your users on older post offices if you wish to upgrade your GWIA before you upgrade all of your post offices. If you are accessing through IMAP4, you might consider allowing your GroupWise Post Office Agents to serve as IMAP4 servers for your GroupWise 6 and newer users, thus allowing you to upgrade the GWIA to GroupWise 2012 right away. There are actually very few good reasons to keep POP3 around (one of them being external processes that cannot use IMAP4). If you can convert all of your external access to IMAP4, moving the IMAP access to your POAs would definitely solve your migration issues.
  • Web Access is also a “client”, and as such a GroupWise 2012 WebAccess Agent cannot access an older GroupWise post office. If you can provide for only one WebAccess Application server, you will need to wait until all post offices are upgraded to GroupWise 2012 before you upgrade your WebAccess. If you can provide two WebAccess Application servers, you can create a new WebAccess for GroupWise 2012, and even use it as your “default” WebAccess location. If a user for an older GroupWise version connects to the GroupWise 2012 WebAccess, the user is redirected to the older WebAccess version. We will discuss this in more detail when we get to Upgrading Your GroupWise WebAccess later in the book.

The following chapters should get you there with minimal pain and downtime!

Our Example System

As we move though this Upgrade Guide, we will be using a fairly simple GroupWise system with just a few domains and post offices. Figure 2-1 shows a snapshot of the system in question.


    1. system1.tiffOur GroupWise System

We are upgrading from GroupWise 8, but this guide is relevant to all versions of GroupWise 5.0 through 8.0. Any time there is a version specific process to be dealt with, that will be noted. We will upgrade our primary domain, our CNC secondary domain, and our Caledonia post office in this guide. Additionally, we will upgrade our GroupWise Internet Agent, WebAccess, GroupWise Monitor and a couple of clients to usher you on your way.

A Few Important Conventions

In writing this book, we’ve endeavored to be as consistent as possible with formatting and naming. Here are a few of the key things to keep in mind:

  • URLs are shown in all lowercase.
  • Filenames and locations are shown all in lowercase and in this format: filename.ext. Since this book now must take into account Linux case sensitivity, we have opted to show all commands and file names in lowercase to help avoid confusion for administrators working with multiple OSs. If, however, a Linux process is in mixed case (like running /usr/ConsoleOne/bin/ConsoleOne), we will of course show the case requirements for the command.
  • Information you must type, or commands you must execute will be formatted like this: setup.exe.
  • PDF hyperlinks that take you to another part of the book will be in blue and underscored, like this: please see the section entitled “A Few Important Conventions”.
  • GroupWise 2012 will be referred to as GroupWise 2012 in this book, with the version number typically listed as merely 12.
  • Since GroupWise Linux files always have the build number included in the file name (for example novell-groupwise-admin-12.0.0-97810.i586.rpm), the names we show in this book might not have the same build number as your software. Substitute your build number in any commands we list in the guide.


So, it’s time to get started. We would recommend that you read this entire book before you begin your upgrade. We will discuss issues throughout the book that can influence your upgrade plan, and it’s best to look at all of the options before beginning.