Upgrading the GroupWise Client

Most sites find that upgrading the GroupWise client is the last thing they do, simply because it seems to be time consuming and requires a lot of pre-planning. There are many ways to upgrade the GroupWise client, depending on the size and needs of your organization. Smaller sites will have desktop administrators move from desktop to desktop, installing the new GroupWise client (and many sites use this as an opportunity to do other desktop cleanup that has been pending for awhile). Other sites will want more automated solutions. We will look at a number of ways to get your GroupWise system upgraded quickly and smoothly.

Choosing Your Windows Client Installation Method

There are several methods that can be used to upgrade your users to the new GroupWise 2014 Windows client. We’ll look at the various methods that Novell provides with GroupWise to upgrade your clients.

  • Manual installation: Download the combined client executable, and launch it manually at the desktop. You would then walk through the dialogs for the installation.
  • Auto-Update Direct POA Access: This method relies on the client being notified through the Bump/Build number combination that there is new GroupWise software, and launches the installation when the client logs into the post office.
  • Auto-Update with POA Access Through a Web Server: Rather than having the POA deliver the files, the auto-update redirects the user to a web server for download.
  • Update through SETUPIP: This method allow you to distribute the client to remote (or local) users without going through the auto-update process. It is also very handy for rolling out a client upgrade to groups of users, rather than one at a time or at the post office level.
  • Pushing the Client Upgrade through ZCM: If you use ZCM to manage applications for your users, you can push down the client through ZCM with no intervention by the user.

We’ll see how each of these can work for your environment.

The Auto-Update Algorithm

Before we actually get to configuring the post office for the upgrade, we will discuss how the Auto-Update Algorithm affects the upgrade process. GroupWise has a built-in mechanism for notifying the clients that it is time to upgrade. It is called the Auto-Update Algorithm, and it is an integral part of the functionality of the upgrade. While the Auto-Update is very similar to prior versions, there are some differences to take into account, primarily due to the removal of the Software Distribution Directory for GroupWise 2014.

The Auto-Update Algorithm is used in conjunction with the client options, and can be controlled at the Domain, Post Office or even User level for distributing your clients.

In simple terms, here’s how the Auto-Update Algorithm works.

  • When you install the GroupWise server, the GroupWise Client installation files are copied to the server directories. This is automatic on Linux, and you are given the option to disable this on Windows (but it is the default to include the Client Auto-Update Repository. On Linux this is in /opt/novell/groupwise/agents/data/ and on Windows at c:\Program Files\Novell\GroupWise Server\data.
  • When a post office is created, it gets a “bump” or software version number associated with it (0 at creation). The Bump Number is controlled by the Administration Console, and written to the wpdomain.db and wphost.db for the post office in question. This number is also written to the workstation’s registry. This has come to be known as the “Bump” number because it is called that in the Windows Registry. Internally to the GroupWise databases though, this is known as the “Software Version” number.
  • GroupWise 2014 has a version.ini file that has a “Build” Number in the file. This was formerly the software.inf file.

sample version.ini



  • The Client Options settings in the Administration Console define which users/posts offices/domains should be auto-updated.

All of these components work together to ensure that clients are notified of the update. We will use auto-update in some of our methods below, and show you other ways to deliver your software without using the auto-update mechanism.

Enabling Auto-Update in GroupWise

In prior versions of GroupWise, the setup.cfg file contained settings for enabling auto-update and controlling its use. This has been removed from the setup.cfg, and is now control in the Client Options in the GroupWise Administrative Console. Like all client options, these can be set by user, post office or domain. Let’s do an example of this for a specific post office.

  1. Log into the GroupWise Administration Console.
  2. Click on Post Offices.
  3. Choose your Post Office from the list of available Post Offices.
  4. Click on the Client Options tab.
  5. At the bottom left of the Client Options is Client Auto-Update. Click on that setting.
  6. In the Client Auto-Update settings you have some options here, which we will discuss:
  1. linuxinstall089.tifAuto-Update Options
  • Enable: check this box to enable the auto-update.
  • Auto-Update URL: Put in the path to your web server, including the gwclient directory we created.
  • Force Update: This setting was formerly in the setup.cfg file. If you wish to require your users to update check this. This works in conjunction with:
    • Grace Logins: How many times should a user be able to cancel out of the update before being forced to allow the auto-update to occur.
  • Prompt Until Updated: If the user chooses to cancel the update, will s/he be nagged about it until the update is completed.

Finally, before anything will really happen, the administrator must increment Bump Number. The administrator cannot choose the Bump Number, only increment it. To better understand this, let’s look at the Bump Number (also known as the “Software Number”).

  1. In the GroupWise Administration Console, click on Post Offices, and then select the Post Office you wish to modify.
  2. In the Post Office settings, click on the “Diagnostics” dropdown along the top of the settings and select Display Object.
  3. Scroll through the listing until you find “Software Version” In our figure, this is version “1”
    1. linuxinstall081.tifThe Internal Software Version Number

To increment the bump number for a post office, follow these instructions:

  1. In the GroupWise Administration Console, click on Post Offices, and then select the Post Office you wish to modify.
  2. In the Post Office settings, click on the “More” dropdown along the top of the settings.
  3. Choose Client Auto-Update
  1. Choosing Client Auto-Updatelinuxinstall079.tif
  2. When you click the Trigger Update, the Bump Number will change.
  3. linuxinstall082.tifThis increments the Bump Number for the post office by one. If you follow the above instructions again for Display Object, you will see that the Software Version is one higher than before,
  4. Incremented Software Versionlinuxinstall083.tif
  5. As we will explain in a few minutes, if you want your users to upgrade, clicking this button multiple times will not cause problems. However, clicking it just once when you do NOT want to upgrade will cause you some headaches!

The stage is now set to initiate your auto-update. The next time a user logs into the post office, the following exchange will occur.

  1. The client on the user’s PC will query the POA and ask what the Bump Number is.
  2. The client on the user’s PC then compares this Bump Number to the registry value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Novell\GroupWise\Client\5.0\NewSoftwareBump. On 64 bit OS this is HKLM\software\Wow6432node\novell\groupwise\client\5.0\NewSoftwareBump If this number is different (higher or lower), then the client continues on to ask for the Build Number.
  3. The Build Number is found in both the version.ini file in the Client Software Update Repository, and in the workstation registry. The client looks at this value, and if the new value in the version.ini file is higher, the client then continues the update query process.
  4. The client then compares the settings in Client Options that affect this user (so user/post office/domain), and if Update has been enabled, the upgrade begins.

It is important to note that the workstation must have access to write to the registry in order for the auto-update process to work. If the workstation cannot write the new Bump and Build numbers to the registry, it will not upgrade, and it will not give the user any indication that there is new software.

Once you know these key steps, it’s easy to see where odd messages users receive about software updates come from. Here are a couple that we see frequently:

  • “There is new GroupWise software available; however you can not access it at this time”: This error can occur if the bump number on the post office in question is different than the one in the workstation’s registry, and the Build Number is higher, but the user cannot receive the files. For a standard auto-upgrade through the POA, this should not happen, but if you are using a web server for the auto-update, and the web server is unavailable, you might see this message.
  • “There may be new GroupWise software available. However, the auto-update process was unable to access the GroupWise Software directory. Please contact your administrator”: This one is interesting, because it means that the bump number is different on the post office than on the workstation, but the version.ini cannot be accessed to verify that the software is actually newer.

If you have an easy method to change the registry at your workstations, you can also simply change the value in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Novell\GroupWise\Client\5.0\NewSoftwareBump or HKLM\software\Wow6432node\novell\groupwise\client\5.0\NewSoftwareBump to “0”. This will ensure that the Bump Number in the registry is different than what is in the wphost.db file, and will restart the upgrade query for all (or a subset if you choose to only change the registry for a group of users) of your workstations.


The setup.ini file in the <installationfiles>\client\win32 directory is full of interesting settings for the Microsoft Installer. It also has one very important setting that you will want to set if you wish to totally automate your installation. You can disable the language dialog in the installation by verifying that the EnableLangDlg setting is set to No (N).


The version.ini file simply designates the “development version” of the GroupWise software. For the version of GroupWise 2014 we used most recently in this book, the contents of this file are:



Whenever the GroupWise client is installed, the Build Number of the GroupWise client is put into the Windows registry. The BuildNumber string value is kept in the following registry location:





As we mentioned above, the setup.cfg no longer contains the settings for the auto-update, as those have been moved to the Client Settings in the databases. This is still a very important file in the installation process. There is a setup.cfg file that ships with GroupWise 2014 in the <installationfiles>\client directory. This is a template file that is used for customizing the GroupWise client installation. This file does not have an effect on the installation of the GroupWise software unless it is copied in to the <serverfiles>\agents\data\client\setup\win32\win32 directory. If the setup.cfg resides in this directory, it will be used to set parameters for the client installation. There are a number of options you can set for the installation through the setup.cfg file. Here are some of the more common:

  • If you wish to make the installation automatic for the users so that they are asked no questions and only see the progress and ending of the installation:




(Remember to also check the setup.ini file for EnableLangDlg=N)

  • GroupWise Notify will not be put in the Windows startup folder


  • Enable GWCheck at the workstation for Caching clients




  • The Language will be English (or your language of choice).




Upgrading the Linux Cross-Platform Client

There is no upgraded GroupWise Linux client for GroupWise 2012. The GroupWise 8 client is currently available athttp://download.novell.com/Download?buildid=X95cxyoSSiE~ . If you need to install the GroupWise Linux client, follow these instructions.

  • Download the GroupWise Linux client from the above location.
  • Install the RPM manually from the \client\linux\ directory of the GroupWise Linux installation CD. You can install the RPM as follows:

rpm -Uvh novell-groupwise-gwclient-8.0.0-84910.i586.rpm


Of course, the actual version of the RPM will change over time. The name of the RPM above is simply the shipping version.

Upgrading the MAC Cross-Platform Client

There is no upgraded GroupWise Mac client for GroupWise 2012. The GroupWise 8 client is currently available at http://download.novell.com/Download?buildid=X95cxyoSSiE~ . If you need to install the GroupWise Mac client, deploy the groupwise.dmg file to your Mac users.

Auditing the GroupWise Client Upgrade

The GroupWise 2014 POA has a feature that can give you a quick look at who has upgraded to GroupWise 2014. In order to see this feature your GroupWise 2014 POA should support HTTP monitoring and your post office must have enabled the setting for tracking a minimum client version. You can either enable HTTP monitoring in the Administration Console or in the startup file of the POA. The advantage of using the Administration Console to apply these settings is that the POA will pick up the settings dynamically, and you will not need to restart the post office agent.

The minimum client version settings will highlight in red the version number or release date of the GroupWise client for any user who is using a client older than the version or date you indicate.

Below is how you can enable these settings through the Administration Console:

  1. Click on Post Offices
  2. Click on the Post Office you wish to monitor.
  3. Click on the Client Settings tab.
  4. Enter the version you would like for your Minimum Client Release Version (14.0 would represent the GroupWise 2014 client).
  5. Make sure you do not check the box next to the Minimum Client Release or only your GroupWise 2014 users will be able to log in.
  6. Click Apply, then OK to exit.

NOTE: If you check the check box to Lock Out Older GroupWise Clients then users will get a message before even entering their GroupWise password that states “The version of GroupWise you are using is older than the minimum version allowed by the system administrator.” You need to be careful about enabling the lock out function, as the user will not even be given the opportunity to update their client if you select this option. You may be better off using the grace login option in the Client Options to give the user X number of grace logins before they are able to login without updating.

After enabling these settings you can monitor the client versions from your browser. Go to the POA’s http port in this manner from your browser:

NOTE: If you are not sure what HTTP port your POA is using, you can hit the C/S port (1677) and it will redirect you to the HTTP Port.

You may be prompted for the User Name and Password for the POA HTTP Monitor. Once you have loaded the Web monitor for the POA, click on the C/S Users link. From here you can view the version of GroupWise client that your various users are using. Any user that is using an older GroupWise client than you specified will show up in red. Any user that is using at least the GroupWise client version you have specified will show up in blue.

Hopefully this chapter will get you on your way to finishing up your GroupWise upgrade. Good luck!