In any organization, email service is one of the essential and critical services for communication. Proprietary software such as Microsoft Exchange (Outlook 360), IBM dominos and cloud email services like G Suite are ahead of race compared to opensource suits.
But, one such product that is giving a good fight to them is ZCS (Zimbra Collaboration Suite). Zimbra is one of the leading mail server used by many organizations, and it comes in two versions, Open Source, and Enterprise version.
- CentOS 7 / RHEL 7 / Ubuntu 16.04
- 8 GB RAM
- 5 GB Free Space on /opt/Zimbra
- 10 GB free disk space on /opt and /tmp
- Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN), in my case it is “mail.itzgeek.local”
- A & MX record for your Server
- The firewall should be disabled
Become the root user.
sudo su -
Install below packages.
### CentOS 7 / RHEL 7 ### yum install -y bind-utils net-tools wget curl perl ### Ubuntu 16.04 ### apt-get install -y curl perl wget
Set the hostname of your mail server.
hostnamectl set-hostname mail.itzgeek.local
Add the following lines in the
192.168.1.25 mail.itzgeek.local mail
Zimbra recommends the firewall to be disabled.
### CentOS 7 / RHEL 7 ### systemctl stop firewalld systemctl disable firewalld ### Ubuntu 16.04 ### ufw disable
CentOS 7 / RHEL 7
In CentOS 7, postfix is installed and running by default. So, we need to disable it for Zimbra installation.
systemctl stop postfix systemctl disable postfix
In Ubuntu 16.04, dnsmasq uses port 53 and acts as local resolver which conflicts with Zimbra DNS. So, we need to disable the use of dnsmasq.
Edit NetworkManager.conf file.
Comment out the
dns=dnsmasq line by putting a hash
# in front of it.
Then, restart the service.
service network-manager restart
Mail Server Setup
For this demo, I will configure Zimbra to receive emails for domain
itzgeek.local is not a live internet domain, and it can’t receive or send emails to internet domains such as gmail.com or yahoo.com. So, I have created one more email server (
blog.local) in my environment to test the functionality.
Create A and Mx Record
You would need to create A and MX record for your domain to receive emails.
Local Test Domain
The local test domain set up is done by creating A and MX record on the local DNS server.
Verify A and MX Records
Verify that the A is configured for your domain using
dig -t A mail.itzgeek.local
; <<>> DiG 9.9.4-RedHat-9.9.4-72.el7 <<>> mail.itzgeek.local ;; global options: +cmd ;; Got answer: ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 49222 ;; flags: qr aa rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1 ;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION: ; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4000 ;; QUESTION SECTION: ;mail.itzgeek.local. IN A ;; ANSWER SECTION: mail.itzgeek.local. 3600 IN A 192.168.1.25 ;; Query time: 0 msec ;; SERVER: 192.168.1.230#53(192.168.1.230) ;; WHEN: Thu Dec 06 09:53:22 IST 2018 ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 63
Verify MX records.
dig -t MX itzgeek.local
; <<>> DiG 9.9.4-RedHat-9.9.4-72.el7 <<>> -t MX itzgeek.local ;; global options: +cmd ;; Got answer: ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 621 ;; flags: qr aa rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 2 ;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION: ; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4000 ;; QUESTION SECTION: ;itzgeek.local. IN MX ;; ANSWER SECTION: itzgeek.local. 3600 IN MX 10 mail.itzgeek.local. ;; ADDITIONAL SECTION: mail.itzgeek.local. 3600 IN A 192.168.1.25 ;; Query time: 0 msec ;; SERVER: 192.168.1.230#53(192.168.1.230) ;; WHEN: Thu Dec 06 09:54:02 IST 2018 ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 79
A record is to point your system’s FQDN (hostname) to your mail server IPv4 address.
NAME TTL TYPE DATA mail.itzgeek.com. 3600 A 184.108.40.206
MX record is to specify which mail server is responsible for accepting email messages on behalf of your domain.
NAME TYPE PRIORITY DATA itzgeek.com. MX 10 mail.itzgeek.com.
SPF record is used to verify which mail servers are permitted to send email on behalf of your domain. In the example below, emails sent from all servers defined in MX record of itzgeek.com are permitted.
itzgeek.com. 3600 IN TXT "v=spf1 mx mx:itzgeek.com ~all"
PTR (Pointer) is an IP address to domain name mapping, and it’s the exact opposite of A record which maps domain names to IP addresses.
Most of the organizations have spam filters which will perform a reverse DNS lookup on the IP address of your email server that is sending emails to them and would block emails from your server if the PTR record is not set.
You would most likely need to reach to your hosting provider / ISP and make a request to create a reverse PTR record for your mail server IP address
If you are struggling to create DNS records, you can always reach your domain registrar for assistance.
Download Zimbra Collaboration 8.8 – Open Source Edition
Create a directory called
zimbra to place the installer.
mkdir /zimbra cd /zimbra
### CentOS 7 / RHEL 7 ### wget https://files.zimbra.com/downloads/8.8.10_GA/zcs-8.8.10_GA_3039.RHEL7_64.20180928094617.tgz ### Ubuntu 16.04 ### wget https://files.zimbra.com/downloads/8.8.10_GA/zcs-8.8.10_GA_3039.UBUNTU16_64.20180928094617.tgz
Install Zimbra Collaboration 8.8 – Open Source Edition
Extract the downloaded Zimbra archive file using the
### CentOS 7 / RHEL 7 ### tar -zxvf zcs-8.8.10_GA_3039.RHEL7_64.20180928094617.tgz ### Ubuntu 16.04 ### tar -zxvf zcs-8.8.10_GA_3039.UBUNTU16_64.20180928094617.tgz
Go to the extracted folder.
### CentOS 7 / RHEL 7 ### cd zcs-8.8.10_GA_3039.RHEL7_64.20180928094617 ### Ubuntu 16.04 ### cd zcs-8.8.10_GA_3039.UBUNTU16_64.20180928094617/
Execute the install script.
Once you execute the install script, you will get text-based installation wizard. Press
Y to accept the Zimbra license agreement.
Now Configure the Zimbra package repository.
Y to all Zimbra Components to install.
Y to continue to download the Zimbra related packages. This task can take time depending upon on your internet speed.
Once all the Zimbra packages are download and installed, we will get the below window.
Enter the domain name for Zimbra installation.
In my case, it is
Now we need to set the Zimbra admin password. To do that, press
4 to set the Zimbra admin password.
r to go to the previous menu and then press
a to apply the changes.
Save the installation log and continue.
Upon successful completion of configuration and starting the services, you will get the output something like below.
Verify Zimbra Services
To check the Zimbra services status from the command line, you would need to switch to zimbra user.
[root@mail ~]# su - zimbra
Then, run the following command.
[zimbra@mail ~]$ zmcontrol status
If required, you can restart the Zimbra Services using the following command.
[zimbra@mail ~]$ zmcontrol restart
Access Zimbra Admin Portal
To access the Zimbra Admin Portal, type below URL in the Web Browser.
You will get the Zimbra admin login page. Login with
admin and the password you entered during the installation.
Upon login, you will get the dashboard where you can view the summary.
Create Email Account (Optional)
To test the functionality of Zimbra, I would be creating an email account for receiving an email from second test domain
blog.local. To create an email account, go to Manage >> Accounts >> New.
Enter the account details.
Scroll the window down to set the password for the new email account. Then, click finish.
Access Zimbra Web Mail Client
To access Zimbra Mail Web Client, type the following URL in the browser
Log in as the newly created user or as admin to see admin emails.
Here, I will log in as
The Zimbra webmail will look like below.
The below screenshot I took after I sent an email from my second domain and you can see it is from firstname.lastname@example.org. This email confirms that the Zimbra is working as expected.
UnInstall Zimbra Collaboration 8.8 – Open Source Edition
In any time, you want to uninstall Zimbra mail server from the system. Go to the installer directory.
Then, run the
install.sh script followed by