How to get Groupwise Messenger for Linux to install on Fedora Core 11

Novell ships Groupwise Messenger for Linux clients only for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. If you apply this diff to the binary nvlmsgr.bin, it will permit it to be installed on Fedora Core 11 too:

— nvlsmgr.bin.head 2009-11-12 15:29:05.000000000 -0500
+++ nvlsmgr.bin.fc11.head 2009-11-12 15:29:13.000000000 -0500
@@ -18,7 +18,7 @@
# Extract the tarball
echo -n “Extracting files, please wait…”
mkdir -p $TMP_DIR
-tail +$SKIP $0 | tar xz -C $TMP_DIR
+tail –lines=+$SKIP $0 | tar xz -C $TMP_DIR

# Run the install
if [ -d ${TMP_DIR}/nmclient ] ; then

My Novell Groupwise complaint list

I apologize for the lack of updates on the journal recently; things have been quite busy at $WORK and I’m also trying to kick off some extracurricular creative projects.

Our corporate e-mail system is Novell Groupwise and I am continually amazed at all its unnecessary features, while lamenting the fact that really useful features are nonexistent. This feature imbalance makes me think that the entire system was designed by senior marketing executives at Novell and targeted solely at C-level executives who have secretaries and don’t actually know how to use computers. Continue reading

fighting spam in GroupWise using IMAP

I have a serious problem with spam at work; I get perhaps 100 spams a day, 200 if it’s a bad day. Our IT department has repeatedly tried to implement anti-spam solutions in the GroupWise e-mail system, but to no avail — the promised reductions in spam haven’t materialized.

I decided to install ISBG, a/k/a IMAP Spam Begone. ISBG will log into an IMAP server, examine your Inbox, and run each of the messages against a local installation of SpamAssassin. You can then instruct ISBG to delete any spam message it finds.

I’ve installed ISBG and now invoke it from cron(8) every five minutes. So far, it’s living up to expectations! I highly recommend it for anyone with a sub-par email system that cannot properly handle spam filtering.

One quirk I’ve found with GroupWise is that I have no idea how to access subfolder names over IMAP. For example, if I want ISBG to move all my spams to a folder called “Spam” under my Cabinet, the folder doesn’t seem to have the name Cabinet.Spam. I haven’t yet figured out how to refer to that folder in the IMAP namespace. If you are a GroupWise under-the-hood hacker and know the answer, please let me know!

configuring amavisd-new and ClamAV always pisses me off

For about the tenth or fifteenth time in my career, I’m (re-)configuring a virus and spam scanning gateway machine using amavisd-new and ClamAV as the virus filter. This process has admittedly gotten easier over the years, but by no means is it totally foolproof. You still have to know what you are doing, and fortunately my 5+ years of experience managing similar setups comes in handy. The permissions issues still aggravate me, though.

Continue reading

MTA hacking

Today has been a day for hacking mail infrastructure. First, I arrived at the office at 8 a.m. to cut over our old RedHat 7.3-based SMTP gateway to a new Fedora Core 4 virtual machine. The purpose of this box (or VMWare GSX Server guest, in our case) is to act as a final sanity check before inbound e-mail hits Microsoft Virus Exchange Server. Previous admins were smart enough to realize that once a virus hits Exchange it will spread like wildfire, so there needs to be a special box placed in front of Exchange to scan for viruses.

The new setup is similar to the old setup, but with updated packages. The machine runs Postfix with amavisd-new as the content_filter, and any clean messages are passed over the internal LAN to the Exchange server. We’re using ClamAV as the antivirus scanner.

I encountered one problem while cutting this over which is that clamd likes to drop privileges right after starting, and I’d forgotten to set AllowSupplementaryGroups in the clamd configuration file. This meant ClamAV couldn’t read any of the temporary spool files written by amavis.
Continue reading

hacking Outlook’s info line

I started subscribing to the freebsd-mobile mailing list now that I’m running FreeBSD on my ThinkPad T42. Unfortunately, we use Microsoft [Virus] Exchange at work, so I read my e-mail using Evolution using the Exchange Connector.

I was amused to see that it’s possible to hijack the status line in both Outlook for Windows (the thick client) and OWA (Outlook Web Access). Some enterprising soul has figured out that Microsoft inserts an X-message-flag pseudo-header into any e-mail that it wants to specially flag, even if that message never originally contained the header.

This has amusing results:

You can see how the culprit executes this little trick by viewing the raw message source.

publishing free/busy information in Evolution

Ximian Evolution can publish Free/Busy information by using WebDAV, but this doesn’t seem to be documented anywhere I could find. Here’s what I did to set it up:

  • Set up a WebDAV-compliant webserver. I installed mod_dav for Apache 1.3.x.
  • Configure DAV properly, and make sure that the directory you are enabling DAV for is writable by the webserver user.
  • Configure Evolution. Select Tools > Settings, then Free/Busy Publishing. Click Add URL and in Publishing Location type in http://your-server-name/your-location/. Don’t forget to supply the username and password you set up for DAV.
  • You’ll get no diagnostics from Evolution when the publishing occurs, so you’ll have to check the webserver logs to see if it succeeded or failed.