How to install Open Source Zimbra Collaboration Suite

In this article, you will learn how to install an open-source Zimbra mail server configuration on CentOS/RHEL 7/8.

Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) is an open-source, collaborative platform for email servers, and it is available in two editions.

  • Firstly, Zimbra Collaboration Network Edition
  • Secondly, Zimbra Collaboration Open Source Edition.

It provides services such as LDAP, SMTP, POP and IMAP, webmail client, calendar, tasks, antivirus, antispam, and others.

Preconditions of Zimbra Collaboration suite 8.8.15

  • A minimum of 8 GB RAM require for Zimbra 8.8.15
  • CPU – 1.5 GHz
  • CentOS/RHEL 7/8 based server
  • Minimum 5 GB for ZCS installation
  • A static IP address for the server
  • Fully Qualified Domain Name
  • An external DNS server with both A and MX valid records to point to your Zimbra mail server IP Address.

But for our Lab Environment, I have configured with the below configurations.

  • Minimum 3 GB RAM
  • CPU – 2.10 GHz (2 cores)
  • Storage – 20 GB
  • Operating System – CentOS 7.8
  • Hostname – mail.linuxgurus.local
  • IP Address –

So let’s start the configuration of the Zimbra Mail Server.

Step 1: Installation of server updates

It is good practice to install updates before making any changes on the server.

yum update -y

or you can use dnf it on CentOS/RHEL 8.

dnf update -y

Now, you can reboot the server.

Step 2: Changing the hostname

So, change the hostname to a fully qualified domain name. For example, I am changing it as mail.linuxgurus.local.

hostnamectl set-hostname mail.linuxgurus.local

And run the below command, So it allows you to execute the hostnamectl command that completely replaces the current process.

exec bash

Step3: Adding the IP address and FQDN in the /etc/hosts file

Add the below lines to /etc/hosts file. But change here the IP address as per your server and hostname as per your server hostname.

echo " mail.linuxgurus.local mail" >> /etc/hosts

Step 4: Verifying the A and MX record

Before configuring a private mail server, it is mandatory to have an Authoritative DNS Server. This DNS server is required to answer MX queries, so the emails should be redirected to our Zimbra mail server.

If you have a DNS Server then you can add MX and A record of mail.linuxgurus.local.

It is time to verify the A and MX records. So use the below command.

dig mail.linuxgurus.local A
dig linuxgurus.local MX

Step 5: Disabling SELinux

it is not a good practice to disable the SELinux but here we are going to disable it. So use any editor to open the SElinux configuration file. I’m using vim editors.

vim /etc/selinux/config

And look for the line SELINUX=enforcing, change the value enforcing to disabled.


TO save the file, press Esc key, and type :wq and then hit Enter key. So after making the changes, you need to reboot the server.


To check the SELinux status use the below command.


Step 6: Disabling unwanted service

CentOS/RHEL default installation comes with postfix daemon already installed and running. So, to disable and remove the postfix service run the following commands,

systemctl stop postfix
systemctl disable postfix
yum remove postfix

Note: Also, you can check for other services like LDAP, httpd, and dovecot.

Step 7: Installing Zimbra dependencies

There are many services that are necessary to install before installing Zimbra Mail Server. So use the below command to install them.

yum install unzip net-tools sysstat openssh-clients perl-core libaio nmap-ncat wget -y

Step 8: Downloading the latest version of the Zimbra Mail Server

So as of now, we are going to download Zimbra Collaboration Open-source Edition 8.8.15 using the wget command.

Firstly, we are going to create a directory with the name of zimbra.

mkdir zimbra && cd zimbra

You can get the link for the latest version here.

Secondly, we are downloading the Zimbra file using the below command.


Step 9: Installing Zimbra (Zimbra mail server configuration)

The downloaded package is in tar format so extract it first. For instance, use the tar command to extract it.

tar zxpvf zcs-8.8.15_GA_3869.RHEL7_64.20190918004220.tgz

Now, go to extract directory so we can install it.

cd zcs-8.8.15_GA_3869.RHEL7_64.20190918004220

To start the installation use the below command


The installation will start after accepting the License Agreement.

Do you agree with the terms of the software license agreement? [N] So to accept it type y and hit Enter key.

Use Zimbra's package repository [Y] So to accept it type y and hit Enter key.

After this, it will ask to say yes to the package installation. So, you can find the list below..

Select the packages to install. So to accept it type y and for not accepting type n and then hit Enter key.

zimbra mail server configuration
Selection of the software package to install

Then it will ask to confirm for system modification, So say y. Also, you can see the output in the below picture.

zimbra mail server configuration

After saying yes, it will start downloading the software package. So the installation depends on the Internet speed.

Once the installation will be complete, then you will see the picture below.

zimbra mail server configuration

Step 10: Setting the admin password

So the installation has been completed. But it is the time to set the admin password. To set the password,

Firstly type the number 6 and hit Enter key.

Secondly type number 4 and hit Enter key. It will ask to enter the password for admin, go ahead and enter the password. After typing the password hit Enter key. That’s it for setting the password.

Now press r to go back to the previous menu, and type a to apply the changes. Once all changes will apply the Zimbra services will start.

Step 11: Firewall configuration

In CentOS/RHEL 8, there is a service firewall that allows incoming and outgoing connections based on the configuration. So, here we have to enable the port 25,80,110,143,443,465,587,993,995,5222,5223,9071,7071 to recognize it through the firewall. Use the below command to allow it.

firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port={25,80,110,143,443,465,587,993,995,5222,5223,9071,7071}/tcp

So, now reload the firewall service to reflect the changes.

firewall-cmd --reload

Step 12: Access Zimbra Admin Portal

After the installation is completed, open a web browser and navigate to your domain name or IP address of the machine running Zimbra service, on port 7071 via HTTPS protocol,

If you are getting any certificate error then accept the certificate security error and log in with the credentials configured during the installation process. The default username for the Zimbra Admin web panel is admin.

So for me, it is:


Or you can use the IP address of the Zimbra Mail server as

The output will be as below in the picture.

Zimbra Admin Log-in Portal
Zimbra Admin Logged-in page

Step 13: Access Zimbra Web Mail Client

If you want to access the Webmail client so you can use the URL below.


Or you can only type the IP address. So it will look like as below

WebMail login page
After the user logged in

Step 14: Zimbra service management

So if you want to manage the Zimbra service, then there is a user with the name zimbra. Also, you can switch using the below command.

su - zimbra

Firstly, you can check the Zimbra services status using the below command.

zmcontrol status
Zimbra services status

Secondly, if you want restart the Zimbra service then you can use the below command.

zmcontrol restart

Thirdly, to stop the service.

zmcontrol stop

Lastly, to start the service

zmcontrol start

Also, you can type zmcontrol --help to get the details about zmcontrol command.

Step 15: Checking the log files

All the log files for Zimbra Mail Server are located in the directory /opt/zimbra/log.


In conclusion, you learned Zimbra Mail Server Configuration. So I hope you understand, but if you have any questions, then you can ask in the comment section.

Also, you can read about the Configuration of caching DNS servers on CentOS/RHEL 8.


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