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Notes client fails to launch on Mac OS X

Technote (troubleshooting)


After installing or upgrading Notes, you find that nothing happens when you click the icon to launch Notes on Mac OSX. When you launch the standard client, the splash screen comes up, then goes away, and the user may also get this generic Mac application problem report screen:

Crashing thread:

    Thread 0 Crashed:: Dispatch queue:
    0 libnotes.dylib 0x0199f467 Panic + 375
    1 libnotesws.dylib 0x000bc4ae NEMInit + 8350
    2 libnotesws.dylib 0x01156732 MACMain + 594
    3 0x00002f72 main + 1490
    4 0x00002175 start + 53

    Thread 1:: Dispatch queue:
    0 libsystem_kernel.dylib 0x9a360992 kevent64 + 10
    1 libdispatch.dylib 0x98606899 _dispatch_mgr_invoke + 238
    2 libdispatch.dylib 0x98606532 _dispatch_mgr_thread + 52

    Thread 2:
    0 libsystem_kernel.dylib 0x9a360046 __workq_kernreturn + 10
    1 libsystem_pthread.dylib 0x93520dcf _pthread_wqthread + 372
    2 libsystem_pthread.dylib 0x93524cce start_wqthread + 30

Showing that the client is crashing on libnotes.dylib, indicating that the client is crashing during the very beginning of the startup process.

If the user puts UseBasicNotes=1 into the Notes preferences file, the splash screen doesn't even come up. Simply nothing happens when the Notes icon is clicked.


In one case the cause was seen to be the owner of the "Lotus Notes Data" or "IBM Notes Data" (In 9.0) folder. The user running the client was the owner of every other folder related to Notes except for this one. The Notes Data folder was owned by another OS profile either on the machine or on the network.

Resolving the problem

To check folder ownership, open the terminal on the Mac and path to the Application Support folder by using the following command:

cd ~/Library/Application\ Support

Once there, issue the following command to list the folders within Application Support and their owner:

ls -la

The owners column should be the column directly to the left of "staff"

If the owner of the "Lotus Notes Data" or "IBM Notes Data" folder is not the user that is launching the client, the client will fail to launch. To change the owner of this folder, use this command:

sudo chown -R USERNAME ~/Library/Application\ Support/Lotus\ Notes\ Data

or for Notes 9.0:

sudo chown -R USERNAME ~/Library/Application\ Support/IBM\ Notes\ Data

If the user's name has a space in it, you can use the format FirstInitialLastName for the USERNAME, for example,

User Name = Test User

sudo chown -R TUser ~/Library/Application\ Support/Lotus\ Notes\ Data

Alternatively, if you know the file/folder which has the wrong owner, you can find this in Finder and open it using Get Info. There, you can change the permissions/ownership of the file or folder in a GUI rather than in the terminal.

Document information

More support for: IBM Notes

Software version: 8.5.3, 9.0

Operating system(s): OS X

Software edition: All Editions

Reference #: 1635517

Modified date: 2015-05-05