Quick tour on Zimbra Collaboration Suite Appliance

Those are quick notes and thoughts about testing the Zimbra Collaboration Suite Appliance 6 (on VMware Fusion).

I went to the Zimbra website and asked for the VMware Appliance. I registered and waited for the confirmation email. It gave me an URL to fetch the appliance and explains that a 60 days licence will be automatically fetched.

I downloaded it, let it expand, entered Zimbra_607_341_VMX and started Zimbra_607.vmx. VMware Fusion starts, open the VM and start it. After a 2 minutes booting process, you get the licence text (which you have to ack) then a wizard asks you for the admin password. Done!
Note that the VM is configured with 2GB of RAM by default…

Browse the URL given on the console ; here, that was https://192.168.0.14:5480/ ; the VM is configured with a NAT network. The login is vmware and the password is the one you gave to the console wizard.

Another wizard asks for the Zimbra Appliance hostname (FQDN), an administrator email and a new password. Then it does a few automatic configurations things (for about 10 minutes):

Thu Nov  4 08:13:50 2010: Configuration started
Thu Nov  4 08:13:50 2010: Configuring service antivirus enabled
Thu Nov  4 08:13:50 2010: Configuring service antispam enabled
Thu Nov  4 08:13:50 2010: Configuring service mailbox enabled
Thu Nov  4 08:13:50 2010: Configuring service mta enabled
Thu Nov  4 08:13:50 2010: Configuring service convertd enabled
Thu Nov  4 08:13:50 2010: Configuring service stats enabled
Thu Nov  4 08:13:50 2010: Configuring service ldap enabled
Thu Nov  4 08:13:50 2010: Configuring service spell enabled
Thu Nov  4 08:13:50 2010: Adding zimbra.tumfatig.local to /etc/hosts
Thu Nov  4 08:13:50 2010: Set zimbra hostname to zimbra.tumfatig.local
Thu Nov  4 08:13:57 2010: Resetting root ldap password
Thu Nov  4 08:14:05 2010: Resetting system ldap password
Thu Nov  4 08:14:11 2010: Resetting system amavis password
Thu Nov  4 08:14:13 2010: Resetting system replication password
Thu Nov  4 08:14:16 2010: Resetting system nginx password
Thu Nov  4 08:14:19 2010: Resetting system postfix password
Thu Nov  4 08:14:22 2010: Rename domain to carnat.net
Thu Nov  4 08:14:29 2010: Rename admin account to joel@carnat.net
Thu Nov  4 08:14:40 2010: Update server entries
Thu Nov  4 08:14:40 2010: Rename server to zimbra.tumfatig.local
Thu Nov  4 08:14:40 2010: Enable Zimbra services on system startup
Thu Nov  4 08:14:41 2010: Verifying Permissions
Thu Nov  4 08:14:57 2010: Creating new server certificate
Thu Nov  4 08:15:30 2010: Expanding LV
Thu Nov  4 08:15:34 2010: Starting LDAP services
Thu Nov  4 08:15:39 2010: Generating preauth key for carnat.net
Thu Nov  4 08:15:44 2010: Setting Zimbra services
Thu Nov  4 08:15:44 2010: Setting Zimbra services -zimbraServiceEnabled memcached -zimbraServiceEnabled imapproxy -zimbraServiceEnabled logger -zimbraServiceEnabled snmp
Thu Nov  4 08:15:45 2010: Starting mailstore services
Thu Nov  4 08:19:50 2010: Updating postfix network settings
Thu Nov  4 08:19:59 2010: Starting Zimbra services
Thu Nov  4 08:19:59 2010: Setting password for joel@carnat.net
Thu Nov  4 08:20:12 2010: Updating wiki account
Thu Nov  4 08:20:51 2010: Fetching license from zimbra.com
Thu Nov  4 08:20:53 2010: License fetched
Thu Nov  4 08:20:53 2010: Installing License
Thu Nov  4 08:21:16 2010: Configuration completed successfully
Thu Nov  4 08:21:16 2010: Configuration Complete.
Thu Nov  4 08:21:16 2010: Zimbra services are available at:

http://zimbra.tumfatig.local
Configuration complete

It took another 2 minutes before all the “Zimbra Status” page was filled with green bullets (Zimbra version 6.0.7.341 installed).

You can see that No monitoring system configured. If you have an Hyperic host, you can click on Configure Hyperic version 4.3.0-EE-1443.... I don’t 🙂

From the Update tab, I switched Automatic Updates to Automatic check for updates. At this moment, there does not seem to be any update available.

You would have to change the network configuration in a real production environment. I don’t mind using DHCP here.

On the dashboard, you can see that the domain of the administrator email filled-in in the first steps was configured. That means that this email will be local to the Zimbra machine… This may not be what you want…

Let’s create a new domain using the wizard from the Zimbra Administration section, then a user in this domain. It’s quite straight forward. Note that if you create aliases for you users, the domain would automatically be created.

You can now connect to the “webmail” part using the hostname URL. Here, that was http://zimbra.tumfatig.local/. You can also use a HTTPS URL ; an auto-signed certificate is already configured. From the Advanced Tool section, you will be able to change the SSL certificate. You’ll be prompted to use a self signed certificate, generate a CSR for a commercial provider or install a commercially generated certificate.

You connect to the webmail using the user’s full email address.

You can connect using your iPhone by configuring an Exchange like account. There’s an issue with the self-signed certificate. By default, the iPhone does not accept syncing so you have to install the certificate on the iPhone (extract it, and send it as an attachement to a working email). You can also read Using Zimbra Mobile with iPhones for detailed installation steps.
The default profile does not allow mobile syncing. So don’t forget to create a correct profile or active the mobile synchronization in the default profile.

From Snow Leopard, you can read your mail with Apple Mail using an IMAP connection. You can manage the calendar using a CalDAV connection in iCal. To manage the contacts, you’ll have to get iSync. But this may not work with the Open Source version of Zimbra.

With Outlook 2007, you seem to need a connector to use it as an Exchange-like configuration.

I won’t go further… Zimbra doesn’t seem to solve the (few) issues I have with Zarafa… Next!

Sources:

  • Zimbra Collaboration Suite Appliance: Setup Instructions
  • Zimbra Collaboration Suite Appliance: Administrator’s Guide

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