Archive for the ‘Zimbra Server’ Category

6 Tips for a Smooth Zimbra Server Install

May 27, 2009

It may sound odd offering more Zimbra installation advice since there is a lot on the subject in other blogs, our documents, wiki and Forums. In fact, some quick research surfaced over 1.4 million hits for Zimbra server install on the web and 36,000 on the Zimbra site alone.

But we are also fortunate to have more new Zimbra users than ever, and after helping some trial customers recently, it was a good reminder a few simple tips can help cut through some noise and avoid time-consuming snags once you start the install process. So without further ado here are the top 6 common pre-requisites to consider when preparing for your Zimbra installation:

1. Firewall
Servers have firewalls configured once the operating systems are installed for security purposes. Our recommendation is to temporarily disable the firewall on the system during a single and multi-server Zimbra installation. An alternative would be to refer to our installation guide to get a list of ports (see Table 1) used by the application and make sure the ports are open prior to installation. Zimbra-ports

2. DNS setup
All Zimbra configurations store hostnames. We do not have save any IP address information in our configuration. The advantage is this allows an administrator to change IP address (more likely) on the Zimbra system without having to perform any application changes.

This scenario means that all the hostnames to be used in a Zimbra installation have to be defined in DNS. Both A and Mx records for the hostnames and email domains need to be defined and verified prior to beginning your installation.

One other thing to consider is split DNS configuration if you are dealing with servers separated by a firewall.

3. Use of Fully Qualified Hostnames (FQDN)
It is crucial to use a Fully Qualified hostname during the Zimbra configuration. For example, you should enter instead of server1. This avoids incorrect DNS address lookups and ensures that the client would be connecting to the right application.

4. Port Conflicts
Standard server configuration comes with support for numerous services like POP, IMAP and HTTP (see Table 1). These services are also installed with the Zimbra Network Edition. Therefore, you want to make sure you disable all these services prior to installation. The Zimbra installation scripts will check for any of these port conflicts and notify you to turn these services off before continuing.

5. Libraries and additional packages
Zimbra’s rich feature sets are dependent on additional packages being installed on the system. These packages vary between Linux and Mac Operating system. The Zimbra installation script does perform checks to verify all the dependencies have been met, but going through the System Requirements documentation (available on the Zimbra website) before will save you some time.

(Based on ‘Mailbox Usage of 200 MB’ and 500 users)

+ User Data: 500 users with 200 MB = 100 GB user data
+ MySQL data: 5% of 100 GB (User Data): 5 GB
+ Zimbra binaries: 10 GB
+ Zimbra logs: 20 GB
+ Zimbra indexes: 25% of 100GB (User Data) = 25 GB

100 + 5 + 10 + 20 + 25 = 160 GB
Backups: 160 % of Subtotal: 160 * 160% = 256 GB for backups
TOTAL: 160 + 256 = 416 GB

6. Sizing
Storage sizing is important for an excellent performing Zimbra application (see example). If you are doing a Network Edition trial you should contact the Zimbra technical team for sizing information for storage including number of disks, which Raid level to use, and the size of the drives to use. Configuration of the Zimbra store volume is important in satisfying the application IO requirements.

Remember, it’s also a good idea to review the Zimbra Quick Installation Guide where you can find this information and many more good tips.

Do you have a good tip to share? Feel free to add a comment!

Anup Patwardhan is the lead Zimbra sales engineer


Zimbra Integration with BlackBerry Enterprise Server Now Generally Available

April 22, 2009

The Zimbra Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server (ZCB) beta period is now closed; starting today ZCB is generally available (GA)!

Zimbra Network Edition (and trial) customers who have Zimbra Mobile may use ZCB free of charge, and it is fully supported by the Zimbra team.

This version of ZCB focuses on features and functionality requested by our largest BlackBerry constituency – small to medium businesses looking to migrate from their existing collaboration platforms, hence the official name: Zimbra Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server Small Business Edition. You may use it with up to 50 devices running on BlackBerry Professional or BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) for Exchange.

The addition of ZCB to Zimbra Collaboration Suite is significant because it is the only next-generation, open source email and collaboration platform to offer native integration with BES (and joins existing providers Microsoft, IBM and Novell). Until now, alternative platforms required 3rd party outsourced providers to channel BES, which meant less control and potentially higher costs for organizations.

With ZCB GA plus ZCS 6.0 (coming soon) providing mobile enhancements like Task sync, remote device wipe and many new features for mass-market devices ActiveSync devices, including the iPhone; the Zimbra Mobile family has more well-rounded mobility for a broader range of users and devices than ever before. Providing features key to collaboration: Such as full access to your global directory list, robust searching, support for multi-node ZCS configurations in addition to the native over-the-air synchronization of mail, calendars, and contacts. Moving forward, we will also look to further expand our ZCB offering to support Nginx proxy and larger organizations – one of the fastest growing markets for Zimbra.

We are very proud to have achieved this milestone and want to thank everyone for their testing and support throughout the process!

Network Edition users may register and download the ZCB GA here.

Zimbra Collaboration Suite 6.0 Beta (Codename: Guns N’ Roses)

April 17, 2009

Few things get our community excited like a major release version of the Zimbra Collaboration Suite. Today marks availability of the first GnR preview: ZCS 6.0 Beta 1 Open Source Edition. Admins and developers can find it over on the downloads page, for the less technically inclined we’ll also have a new hosted demo up shortly.

Some feature highlights:

» A new horizontal ‘three panel’ view with the message on the right.

» There are now tabs for individual messages as well as the compose page.

» Document & Briefcase access from the standard HTML client.

» Share management & discovery UI that lets you see all shares (email, contacts, calendar, tasks, docs, etc) at a glance. Join a distribution list late? Find all existing shares with the group.

» The ability to run existing email filters over the contents of a folder.

» Did you get it? Know instantly, as read receipts have been implemented in the web-client.

» Improved calendar resource auto-accept/decline conflict handling.

» Calendar fisheye view – previously in Zimbra Desktop, now in ZCS.

  » Auto-updating RSS feeds & ICS event URLs on a configurable schedule.

  » Per-user blacklists & whitelists are exposed in the revamped mail preferences area.

» ‘Published’ Zimlets management for end users in options. (Zimlets themselves can now define a new application or preferences tab.)

» Mobile web-client overhauls: Including a special mini logon page, better appointment creation, and six new variants based on device type and connection speed.

» Auto-complete from shared address books; and recently used contacts are presented first.

» Configurable spell check on every send.

» On-behalf-of aka sendAs option on compose in shared folders/relationship accounts.

» Appointment list view & refined print layouts.

» Full featured detached message view for the advanced AJAX client.

» Attach files during mail compose directly from the briefcase; in the briefcase UI you can now send as attachments or links.

» Pressure-based scrolling of folder and message list (within the same page).

» OpenLDAP now allows for some on-the-fly configuration changes with zmlocalconfig via a cn=config backend instead of slapd.conf text files for preservation across upgrades.

» GALsync accounts via datasource contact folders with sorting, browsing, and enhanced client usability.

» MySQL as the logger DB has been removed, in favor of more zmstat service implementation mixed with SQLite & RRD for the new logger service.

» Role based delegated permissions on every individual feature. Now you can create distribution list managers, while HSP’s can give someone permission to manage multiple domains from one login. (The network edition will include easy admin console configuration; open source edition may contain some code.)

There are just too many enhancements to list here so we could only cover a few; check out the beta on a test server, then let us know what you think below or over in the Community Forums. Release notes are here. (Note: We advise against upgrading if using the Posix/Samba or Disclaimer add-ons, the process will be documented shortly.) This is the first release of several in our testing cycle; general availability of ZCS 6.0 is targeted for the summer.

Introducing ZCS for Windows Server

April 1, 2009

[Update: Please note the original post date of April 1st –we’re just kidding– enjoy! ] 

Zimbra leads the world in open source, next-generation messaging and collaboration software for Linux and Mac OS X servers. In fact, we recently passed the 40 million paid mailbox milestone. As we have grown, the question often asked is: “When will Zimbra extend its platform support to a given operating system?” Given the success of Zimbra Desktop on Linux, Mac, and Windows – we felt that a server version for Windows as was the next logical choice.

Obviously there are several hurdles going from a Linux environment to Windows, all of the third party applications we rely on need to have freely available cross-platform versions. We’ve partnered with OpenLDAP team, who have stepped up to provide an compatibility patch for a Microsoft Active Directory emulation mode. Combined with a new mail transfer agent written from the ground up, we’re pleased to bring you: Zimbra Collaboration Suite for Microsoft Windows Server 2008.

This isn’t the first time we’ve switched a package in favor of our own custom code – in Zimbra Desktop Beta 3 we threw out JavaMail and wrote a brand-new robust IMAP/POP client-engine from scratch. Replacing Postfix has been the major hurdle for a while now; the engineering team knew that it would be a daunting task.

I already do a lot of my dev work in Eclipse & IntelliJ on Windows. Previously we put PowerShell wrappers around our command line tools to assist more advanced admins. Now we’ve utilized MSI technology to provide the easiest install of a mail server ever.

— Anand Palaniswamy,
Server Team Lead

This extends Zimbra’s reach of services to the most widely deployed operating systems in the world – theoretically any Windows product; though XP, Vista and 7 will not be officially supported on the Network Edition since they don’t have the same long-term backing by Microsoft development teams. Editions tested by our quality assurance group cover the major versions of Windows Server 2008 including Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter, HPC (high-performance computing cluster), Web Server, Small Business, Essential Business, and Foundation Server adaptations; in both x86 & x86_64-bit variants. We hope that the community will step up to cover Itanium based processors.

For the future, the server team is working to integrate Zimbra’s Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) with Windows Storage Server, for moving messages and attachments from a primary to a secondary volume based on the age of the message; which lets you to store less frequently accessed data on cheaper disks. Of note, the updates to junctions, reparse points, and symbolic links in recent NTFS versions allows us to do single-instance-storage as well.

We’re playing with .NET access for our SOAP interfaces in the labs. It’s potential is very impressive.

— Kevin Henrikson,
UI Team Lead

The compatibility with Windows will enable a large, new market for our HSP & VAR partners. To quote Jim Morrisroe, VP of the Zimbra Business Unit here at Yahoo: “It is key to delivering on our strategy and commitment to provide the best experience for users and administrators of any messaging platform in the market today. This launch enables us to sell to 2 million new small businesses and enterprises that view Microsoft server technology as integral to their success.”

ZCS version 5.0.15 for Windows platforms is now available on both the Open Source and Network Edition download pages. The Network Edition will be classified as beta until ZCS 6.0 is released – and will then contain the same product support as well as subscriptions to new releases, updates and patches. If you have any questions please contact our Windows sales team.

See the ZimbraWindows directory alternative to ZimbraServer in each branch of our public perforce cache for relevant files and build definitions. Try it out – you can leave us feedback thoughts below or over in the Community Forums.

Zimbra Turns 40… (Million, That Is)

March 6, 2009

At Zimbra we have been very focused on measuring everything about our products’ adoption, usage and website in order to make improvements for our community and customers. We freely admit to having a burgeoning stats addiction, and though not everyone whoops it up when we barrel through the cubes shouting about the latest Yahoo! Zimbra Desktop download numbers, we think most folks will appreciate this one:

Zimbra paid mailboxes – 41 million and counting.

Crossing the 40 million mark is a big milestone and the credit lies with the growing Zimbra Community (more than 20,000 members strong) and our customers who have helped spread the word.  And our 40M paid mailboxes doesn’t even include Zimbra’s millions of open source users.
We are seeing growth in all of our products: Zimbra Collaboration Suite, Zimbra Hosted and Yahoo! Zimbra Desktop and demand for next-gen, open source solutions is strong even in this tough climate.

The primary driver in our rapid mailbox growth is our worldwide partner network. This partner network includes consumer service providers, business hosting providers, VARs and system integrators. Zimbra now has more than 675 Zimbra partners who bring their expertise and focus to the 14 industries, as well as government and education institutions, we serve. Zimbra’s partner network now includes Comcast, Eircom, HP, Frontier, Homestead, Brinkster, Red Hat and more, and these partners and others have expanded the Zimbra customer base to more than 70 countries worldwide.

The graph below shows Zimbra’s paid mailbox growth from when we began sales in 2006 to present.


In addition to strong overall mailbox momentum, we are encouraged by the growth of our customer base outside of North America. Today the majority of our new prospects (68%) are coming from Latin America, Asia and EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa). It is clear evidence of the power of a global open source community and the impact of new mandates for open source software. Below is a chart of Zimbra paying customers by region; all-in-all more than 60,000 organizations are using Zimbra.


Before heading back to the math grindstone, we want to share one other fun data nuggets: Zimbra Desktop is just shy of two million downloads (we’re estimating we’ll get there in a week). 

Thanks again to all Zimbra Desktop users for your support and feedback – we wouldn’t be where we are today without you; stay tuned for Desktop GA right around the corner!

ZCS 5.0.12 Released

January 28, 2009

Version 5.0.12 of our collaboration suite is now available for download!

Some enhancements of note for admins:

  • 33358 – Postfix policy on validating RCPT TO content for minimizing backscatter spam for alias domains. (postfix_enable_smtpd_policyd)
  • 33720 – By mapping alias to real domains we can allow auth with alias domain addresses and send out-of-office notifications for alias domains. (zimbraDomainAliasTargetId)

For users:

  • 34751 – Avoid unnecessary appointment blob access for calendar summary viewing to produce faster cal tab loading.
  • 6082 – Notification for delegate stores/shared folders.

Pushing change notifications to the UI eliminates the need for manual refreshes. An excellent thing as we approach simultaneous editing of the same document.

Zimbra Desktop meanwhile will be leaving beta 5 for the release candidate stage later this month. With a new early-adopters upgrade program as well; I know many of you testers are excited for a faster release pace.


January 6, 2009

Every year, the Macworld Expo brings together a loyal and diverse base of Mac users which also happens to make up a core set of Zimbra’s customers. Once again this year you’ll find us at the show. We’re setting up house with (one of our many partners) at booth 4328 – we hope you can stop by and find out how Zimbra works seamlessly with Apple products at home or on the go. And if you can’t make it, take a look at our 2008 recap of Mac-related news, or visit for more information.

Inquisitor, a search technology that auto-completes queries and delivers results right in the Web browser, was acquired by Yahoo! and launched for Safari 3 in May, and then for Firefox 2 and 3, and Internet Explorer 7 and 8 in October. Last month, in the Desktop Beta 5 release, we launched built-in Inquisitor support for the search bar – bringing Zimbra users access to Inquisitor’s fast, smart and flexible search experience.

In October, Zimbra and Yahoo! hosted the CalConnect Roundtable, a symposium on the interoperable exchange of calendaring and scheduling information between dissimilar programs, platforms, and technologies, including iCalendar (iCal) and CalDAV(3) standards. The meeting allowed us to collaborate with some big corporations including Apple, Google, Kerio, Microsoft and Sun, as well as some major universities to bring the latest CalDAV & iCalendar specs your way.

By mid-summer, Zimbra Mobile for iPhone arrived – bringing over-the-air synchronization to the native email, address book and calendar apps on any iPhone with 2.0 software and ZCS Network Edition with Zimbra Mobile enabled – just in time for loading up on the new iPhone 3G.

We’re always trying to find new ways to make the user experience faster, and this summer we put all the latest Web browsers to the test. We found Safari 3.3.1 to be the winner of the browser wars – an ideal companion to the Zimbra Web Client for the fastest collaboration experience yet.

In February, we launched a great improvement to Zimbra Collaboration Suite with our 5.0 release. In Zimbra’s traditionally inclusive style, we launched with support for Mac OS and for any mobile web browser, including the Apple iPhone. ZCS 5.0 also included the beta release of Zimbra Desktop, which gave all PC, Mac, and Linux machines the same rich Zimbra experience online and offline.

At MacWorld last year, we gave our Apple customers more to cheer about as we embraced support for Apple products and technologies, including Safari 3 and CalDAV for Mac OS X Leopard.

We look forward to 2009 and all the really cool stuff we are going to (very soon) launch.

Powering The New Yahoo Calendar

October 8, 2008

A year an a half ago the (tiny) Yahoo! Calendar team embarked on a mission to build a new Calendar. We were interested in cracking the consumer market where huge potential for growth and innovation lay. The problem was that the 10 year old platform was falling apart and being held together by bungee cord and tape. Innovation on this platform would have been very challenging and forever handicap our efforts going forward.

Zimbra came into the Yahoo! fold and along with it a huge opportunity (large short-term technical challenges as well!) Zimbra’s underlying technology is ripe for customization, and the Yahoo! Calendar Team dove in and came up with some fantastic results.

The all new Yahoo! Calendar Beta is running an a Zimbra back-end which has been embedded into the Yahoo! architecture, with a brand-spanking new front-end composed of JSP enhancements, a new taglib, YUI, and of course AJAX.


This is an early beta product where we focused on getting the fundamentals right first. In coming releases expect to see some exciting enhancements. Our Flickr integration is a hint at where we are taking calendaring; its functionality exposes the power of calendars to be a window to discovering interesting events and content, as well as a window to the past.


The teams working together from one code repository was an awesome experience, and this cooperation will continue to bring much more innovation across the Yahoo! network. Lots of great calendar code and ideas have come out of this collaboration, look for some in upcoming ZCS releases or check some out in the main branch in perforce.

How can you get on board early? Just visit:

Checkout some screencasts of the new calendar in action is here, and a video of Scott Dietzen discussing it on All things Digital.

What else are we up to? John Holder is playing host for CalConnect Roundtable XIII this week at one of Yahoo!’s campuses in Santa Carla, CA – we’re collaborating with some big corporations including Sun, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and, Kerio, as well as some major university’s to bring the latest CalDAV & iCalendar specs your way.


Herbert Wang is a Product Manager on the Zimbra-Yahoo! Calendaring Team.

Interop: Connect as one unit.

October 1, 2008

One of the more nifty features to grace the Zimbra scene recently is the interoperability framework for sharing two-way free/busy information with other server platforms.

Since we released the framework APIs and the reference implementation against Microsoft’s Exchange 2003 (previously covered) there has been a lot of interest from customers and community (interop works with both Open Source and Network Edition).

Argonne National Labs has given excellent feedback culminating in a few enhancements for ZCS 5.0.10. We also recently got a wonderful thank you note from the University of Pennsylvania, who teamed up with the folks over at Sumatra Development to handle some calendar migrations. They were impressed at how well their multi-domain environment behaved, and shared a link to a configuration tip for Exchange 2007. It’s great to see the community enhance, extend, and tweak the open source interop framework.

That type of integration cohesiveness frequently makes Zimbra relevant to organizations in the same way that other open source business application are: often initially at the division level, and then spreading within the enterprise. (Penn breaks their IT into “local support providers” to better serve each school’s specialized needs.) For immense corporations wanting to switch from software such as Exchange, Lotus, Meeting Maker, or other third-parties that interact with our API, picking a new platform can be a massive undertaking – having interop can mean a safe departmental decision.

Admins out there can certainly attest the the headaches involved with maintaining different server infrastructures, but it also works in reverse – that ‘stubborn group’ which doesn’t want to switch or the ‘peer organization running different software’ can now seamlessly communicate as one.

ZCS-to-ZCS Migrations

September 30, 2008

Someone in the forums recently asked about ways to migrate individual accounts from one ZCS instance to another, so thought I’d share the enlightenment with all. Whether you are going from an on-premise install to a hosting provider, want to create handy archives of old employee accounts, or just need to duplicate mailbox contents of a user; the syntax in this article proves remarkably useful, and applies to all editions.
There are a multitude of comparable RFE’s on addressing this need via different approaches. (Bugzilla entries 19630, 29573, 28443 & 30163 to name a few.) Some want graphical tools to browse data and selectively migrate certain things, while others would be happy with a cross LDAP zmmailboxmove.

Depending on your situation, several backup tools can take care of a large portion of your daily needs; and there are ways to do Zimbra-to-Zimbra migrations using the Network Edition’s backup and restore capabilities – however they require admin abilities on both systems. Meanwhile, most of the frequently used open source backup solutions are simply an “all accounts at-once” approach. So what to do when you need to move from your personal setup to a hosting provider? Or if you’re a hosting provider, move a tiny handful of accounts to a separate infrastructure? Before diving into the wiki on user migration for info on Imapsync, REST exports, CURL imports, etc; there’s a handy way to avoid the “one item type at-a-time” transfer methods.

In ZCS 5.0.9+ you can export an entire mailbox with:
/opt/zimbra/bin/zmmailbox -z -m getRestURL “//?fmt=tgz” > /tmp/account.tgz

Next transfer via rsync, scp, sftp, etc. You’ll also need to create the account on the 2nd server if the desired account doesn’t exist at your destination server yet.

Then import with:
/opt/zimbra/bin/zmmailbox -z -m postRestURL “//?fmt=tgz&resolve=reset” /tmp/account.tgz

The resolve= paramater has several options:

  • “skip” ignores duplicates of old items, it’s also the default conflict-resolution.
  • “modify” changes old items.
  • “reset” will delete the old subfolder (or entire mailbox if /).
  • “replace” will delete and re-enter them.

‘Reset’ will be a bit faster on an empty destination mailbox because it skips most dupe checks.

Note: There were some duplication fixes and additional issues (mainly sync related) corrected with the tar formatter in 5.0.10.

Not a Zimbra Admin? Users can get the same zip/tar formatter on REST URL’s by visiting:

The zip format has been around for a long time, but doesn’t contain account & item metadata like the tar formatter automatically does:

ZD Export Backup AlphaInfact, this same technique is currently used in Zimbra Desktop’s alpha backup solution.

If this approach doesn’t scale performance wise for your situation, or you simply don’t want to have everyone hit a REST URL for 30GB mailboxes all at the same time, here’s a collection of helpful scripts and other ways to systematically migrate:

Mysqldump & rsync with an interesting blob management technique: Zimbra2Zimbra

Imapsync for mail + postRestURL for contacts, calendar & filters: ZimbraMigrate (Expand the concept for tasks, documents, and briefcase items.)

Another method that could be extrapolated upon for migrations: Per User Mailbox Backup (OE Version – Zimbra :: Wiki)

Most of these solutions aren’t going to respect share permissions, but when pulling an account out of an environment that’s to be expected.

Zimlet spin-offs:
Mail backup options for end users (.eml)
Zimlet to save email in a txt file (.txt or html)

The above Zimlets are aimed at making quick self-copies & not for restores, but there are many methods for putting messages back into Zimbra, including tools like zmmailbox addMessge, zmlmtpinject, CURL, etc; for more info checkout these threads: Recover data from store folders & Moving Folders between users

If moving your entire server, I’m a huge fan of the -s trick when using NE backups to do so isn’t an option.

Have another method you’d like to share? Document it in the wiki & note it below, or you can discuss over in the Community Forums.