Sunday, 3 April 2011

FirstClass on Linux

At work we use an email/productivity platform called FirstClass, from OpenText ( They have a Linux client available, but it is out of date and doesn't really work very well.

I tried to get the Linux client to work properly under 64-bit Ubuntu 10.10, which was pretty hit and miss really. The client is only available for a 32-bit Linux, and doesn't work out of the box in 64-bit mode- it fails with an error regarding missing QT libraries.

I did eventually manage to get it to work running on 64-bit, by downloading and manually linking to the 32-bit QT libraries; and resolved a crash to do with sound by passing it through a Pulse audio emulator (padsp. But even then it had some strange issues, like not displaying the top message in a conference, and getting the message list all corrupted.

My recommendation- use the Windows version of the FirstClass client under Wine. Wine allows you to run (apparently not emulate) Windows applications on your Linux machine. For me it has worked so much better than the Linux version.

Here's how to do this in Ubuntu:
  • Go to Ubuntu Software Center and search for 'Wine'.
  • Install the 'Wine Microsoft Windows Compatibility Layer (Beta Release)'
  • Next, go to and download the latest Windows client (Win XP, Vista, or 7).
  • If you try to run the installer straight from your web browser, you'll get an error about "Blocked: The file '~/Downloads/FC11005US.exe' is not marked as executable." 
  • Open up your Downloads folder under Places and find the file you downloaded (something like FC11005US.exe).
  • Right-click the file and go to Properties.
  • Under the Permissions tab, tick Execute - 'Allow executing file as program', then Close.
  • Then double-click the file, follow the prompts, and install using the defaults.
  • Now you can go to Applications - Wine - Programs - FirstClass - FirstClass to run the client.
  • If you need to add a different server- click Advanced, and Setup- and enter the name of the server beside 'Server'.
Works much better! Only problem I'm having with it is opening downloads like PDF files- it can't find a Windows PDF reader so it won't open them. For now, I just download the file to my Ubuntu Desktop and then open it manually- I'll update this if I find a better way.


  1. Good post, I too have been down this path and came to the same conclusion although it was with an earlier Ubuntu or perhaps Lenny. I am interested to know which OS your organizations hosts its FirstClass install on. They claim that it runs well on Win,Lin, and MacOS. I am wanting to move ours from Win2k3 Server over to a *nix OS. Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

  2. Hi Himuraken, thanks for your thoughts. We run on Win 2008 R2 64 bit, recently upgraded from 2003 to get to 64 bit. We've never really thought about running on Linux- just mainly from a support point of view. I'm more confident with the server running Windows to be able to get good support from OpenText. That said, I'm pretty sure a number of sites do run on Linux- including some of the really big sites!

    If you do go ahead and switch, I'd be interested to hear how you get on!

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