Zimbra is a groupware system that provides email, calendaring, integrated antivirus and spam filtering, and more for multiple domains. Available in several editions, this guide will help you get the Open Source Edition installed on your CentOS 5 Linux VPS.
Please note that Zimbra is a fairly "heavy" (resource-intensive) product compared to some other groupware offerings. We recommend a Linode 2048 or higher for best results; you may encounter issues using Zimbra with lower-resource plans. Additionally, note that Zimbra works best as a standalone product on your VPS; installation alongside other common software such as web or email servers is not advised.
We assume you've already followed the steps outlined in our getting started guide, and that your system is up to date. All configuration will be performed through the terminal; please make sure you're logged into your Linode as root via SSH.
These instructions work with the Linode platform. If you don't have a Linode yet, sign up for a Linux VPS and get started today.
Make sure your system is up to date by issuing the following command:
Issue the following command to install several packages required by Zimbra:
yum install gmp compat-libstdc++-33 sysstat sudo libidn wget
Depending on the requirements for the current version of Zimbra, you may need to install additional packages later. The install program will notify you if there additional packages are required.
Before proceeding, make sure your /etc/hosts file has valid entries. For reference, your file should resemble the following:
127.0.0.1 localhost.localdomain localhost
184.108.40.206 hostname.yourdomain.com hostname
Be sure to replace "220.127.116.11" with your Linode's IP address. Replace "hostname.yourdomain.com" with your Linode's fully qualified domain name. Next, make sure your hostname is set in /etc/hostname by issuing the following commands (insert your one-word hostname in place of "hostname").
echo "hostname" > /etc/hostname
hostname -F /etc/hostname
Issue the following commands to check your setup:
The first command should return only the one-word hostname for your system, while the second command should return the system's FQDN.
Visit the download page for Zimbra Open Source Edition and copy the link to the current version of the software for RHEL 5 to your clipboard. Issue the following commands on your Linode via the shell to download and unpack the install package. Replace the filenames shown below after wget and tar with the current version.
tar -xzf zcs-6.0.7_GA_2473.RHEL5.20100616214455.tgz
Switch to the install directory and launch the installer with the following commands. The "–platform-override" directive is necessary to instruct the installer to proceed on CentOS 5, as it is not an officially supported platform.
You may receive a warning similar to the one shown below. Enter "Y" to proceed.
You appear to be installing packages on a platform different
than the platform for which they were built.
This platform is CentOS5
Packages found: RHEL5
This may or may not work.
Using packages for a platform in which they were not designed for
may result in an installation that is NOT usable. Your support
options may be limited if you choose to continue.
Install anyway? [N] Y
Before the install begins, you may receive a warning similar to the one shown below:
DNS ERROR resolving MX for archimedes.palegray.net
It is suggested that the domain name have an MX record configured in DNS
Change domain name? [Yes] No
It is recommended (but not required) that the fully qualified domain name for your system (hostname.domain.tld) have an MX record pointing to it. You may wish to visit your DNS control panel and add such a record now, or proceed if you won't be receiving mail for your FQDN on this system (for example, if you'll be receiving email for your base domain or others).
The install will continue, probably requiring a few minutes to perform various tasks. You'll be asked which components of the Zimbra package you'd like to install. For the purposes of this tutorial, choose the default values for each ("Y" or "N" depending on which letter is in the brackets).
Once the installation has completed, you'll be presented with an admin menu next.
1) Common Configuration:
2) zimbra-ldap: Enabled
3) zimbra-store: Enabled
+Create Admin User: yes
+Admin user to create: firstname.lastname@example.org
******* +Admin Password UNSET
+Enable automated spam training: yes
+Spam training user: email@example.com
+Non-spam(Ham) training user: firstname.lastname@example.org
+Global Documents Account: email@example.com
+SMTP host: archimedes.palegray.net
+Web server HTTP port: 80
+Web server HTTPS port: 443
+Web server mode: http
+IMAP server port: 143
+IMAP server SSL port: 993
+POP server port: 110
+POP server SSL port: 995
+Use spell check server: yes
+Spell server URL: http://archimedes.palegray.net:7780/aspell.php
+Configure for use with mail proxy: FALSE
+Configure for use with web proxy: FALSE
4) zimbra-mta: Enabled
5) zimbra-snmp: Enabled
6) zimbra-logger: Enabled
7) zimbra-spell: Enabled
8) Default Class of Service Configuration:
r) Start servers after configuration yes
s) Save config to file
x) Expand menu
Address unconfigured (**) items (? - help) 3
Enter "3" to enter the zimbra-store menu, which will look similar to the following:
1) Status: Enabled
2) Create Admin User: yes
3) Admin user to create: firstname.lastname@example.org
** 4) Admin Password UNSET
5) Enable automated spam training: yes
6) Spam training user: email@example.com
7) Non-spam(Ham) training user: firstname.lastname@example.org
8) Global Documents Account: email@example.com
9) SMTP host: archimedes.palegray.net
10) Web server HTTP port: 80
11) Web server HTTPS port: 443
12) Web server mode: http
13) IMAP server port: 143
14) IMAP server SSL port: 993
15) POP server port: 110
16) POP server SSL port: 995
17) Use spell check server: yes
18) Spell server URL: http://archimedes.palegray.net:7780/aspell.php
19) Configure for use with mail proxy: FALSE
20) Configure for use with web proxy: FALSE
Select, or 'r' for previous menu [r] 4
You can configure various options here; but, the most important option is the one for setting the administrator password. Enter "4" to set it, choosing a strong password comprised of letters, numbers, and non-alphanumeric characters. After setting the admin password, enter "r" to return to the main menu. You will be asked to apply the new configuration. Type "a" and press enter. You may then allow the program to proceed with the remaining installation steps.
After installation has completed, you'll need to start zimbra with the following command:
service zimbra start
To have Zimbra start on every boot, enter the following command:
chkconfig zimbra on
you may wish to reboot your Linode to make sure everything comes back up properly. After doing so, visit the Zimbra admin URL in your browser. It will be in the form https://hostname.yourdomain.com:7071/. You'll need to accept the SSL certificate presented to access the admin panel, which you may then use to continue configuring your new Zimbra server. Enjoy!
When running software compiled or installed directly from sources provided by upstream developers, you are responsible for monitoring updates, bug fixes, and security issues. After becoming aware of releases and potential issues, update your software to resolve flaws and prevent possible system compromise. Monitoring releases and maintaining up to date versions of all software is crucial for the security and integrity of a system.
Please monitor the Zimbra Updates page to ensure that you are aware of all updates to the software and can upgrade appropriately or apply patches and recompile as needed.
When upstream sources offer new releases, repeat the instructions for installing Zimbra and recompile your software when needed. These practices are crucial for the ongoing security and functioning of your system.
You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.
This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please feel free to redistribute unmodified copies of it as long as attribution is provided, preferably via a link to this page.