GroupWise Mobility v18.3.x Discussion and Guide

This document outlines some of the things that need to be understood with GroupWise Mobility. It's relevant to GroupWise Mobility 18.3.1 and beyond.  Some of the items "may" apply to earlier versions but due to some architectural changes that came in at version 18.3.1, I'm only moving forward with this discussion.

There are a few major changes with the release of GroupWise Mobility 18.3.1 that you should be aware of:

  • Python version 3
    Earlier versions of GroupWise Mobility were built on Python version 2.  This became a bigger and bigger problem when Python 3 became the defacto standard on SLES15.  With the release of GroupWise Mobility 18.3.1, Python 2 was abandoned completely and fully built with Python 3.
  • Starting/Stopping GroupWise Mobility
    You no longer use rcgms stop/start/status.  Instead, you use gms stop/start/status. Additionally, you no longer have the ability to start/stop the agents from the dashboard.
  • Provisioning and Authentication  via LDAP Groups & GroupWise Groups
    You can no longer provision users via LDAP groups or LDAP users. Only GroupWise groups and users are supported.  This applies to authentication as well.
  • SSL Certificates
    SSL Certificates have moved locations and been renamed.
  • Upgrades from Older Versions
    You cannot upgrade an older GroupWise Mobility to version 18.3.1. It's not supported and the code will not let you do it.  You must install a new server.

Continue below for more detailed information about these items.

Server OS Selection

I only use SLES 15 SP3 when installing GroupWise Mobility.  The only supported OS's for GroupWise Mobility at the moment are:

  • SLES 15 SP2
  • SLES 15 SP3

SLES 15 SP3 has been out long enough. Because of the fact that you cannot upgrade an older version of GroupWise Mobility to version 18.3.1, and it requires a new server, my suggestion is to always just build a SLES 15 SP3 server.  There is literally no reason to run SLES 15 SP2 at this point in time.

File System Selection and Partitioning

SLES 15 Defaults to a BTRFS.  Do not use this.  Instead, change the partitioning to EXT4. This is required per the documentation.

  • Specify only EXT4 as the GMS server’s File System: SLES 15 SP2 and later default to BTRFS and you must manually change this to EXT4.

Additionally, note the following:

  • The SLES 15 installation tries to partition the /home partition using half of the available disk space.  It's important to NOT use the defaults for anything. Otherwise, you will waste a massive amount of space since nothing on Mobility uses the /home folder.  Start the partitioning from scratch and define your own partitions.

SSL Certificates Location

SSL Certificates for GroupWise Mobility have been moved to a new location with GroupWise Mobility 18.3.1 and beyond:

The files used are in /var/lib/datasync  now and are:
gms_mobility.pem  (The only one you should need to worry about, see below)
gms_server.pem
gms_mobility.cer
This information is from the developers about each file and what it's purpose is:
  • The gms_server.pem is used internally by GMS and should NOT be replaced with your public certificate that is used for Devices & Webadmin.
  • The gms_mobility.pem is used by the Devices and Webadmin and should be replaced with a public certificate.
  • The gms_mobility.cer is rarely used but is generated from the gms_mobility.pem.  It is mostly for backward compatibility with older devices that require the manual addition of the certificate.  It is accessed via the user login of the webadmin.

My understanding from the developers is that with Python3 they were able to simplify the certificate implementation. This is a result of that simplification even though it does seem more complex.

Starting and Stopping GroupWise Mobility

The only way to start and stop GroupWise Mobility services is from the command line.  It is no longer possible to do this from the Mobility Dashboard. When asking why the dashboard change, I was provided the following explanation from the developers:

"When GMS was converted to run on python 3, there was a significant change in how the connectors (or sync agents) were loaded during startup. We found that in the python 2 days of GMS that often simply starting/stopping the agents from the web admin did not always work in the way that it should (i.e. an agent that was in status "Stopped" would shortly return to the "Stopped" state again after it was started via the web admin control). For this reason, we decided that it was best to just remove this half-broken functionality from the web admin."

Starting GroupWise Mobility

gms start

Stopping GroupWise Mobility

gms stop

Showing GroupWise Mobility Status

gms status