[ale] On Zimbra (was: Secure e-mail server)

Crawford Rainwater crawford.rainwater at linux-etc.com
Wed Feb 22 08:56:31 EST 2012

Stephen and company:

I would concur with Matt's assessment and quite accurate description of Zimbra.  Linux ETC maintains both the Zimbra Network Edition and Open Source edition...by client requests only at this point.  

Unfortunately since VMware acquired Zimbra from Yahoo, I see VMware making this more and more into the "mysterious black box" that only they can support via subscription services.  The other down side (as of v6.x series, might be in v7.x series) is that Zimbra can only take a single TLS/SSL certificate directly.  So if you desire to use the virtual domain hosting capabilities of Zimbra, only one can have that TLS/SSL certificate for the entire system, not multiple TLS/SSL certificates.  There is a way to assist with such, but that would also be adding more stuff to the "black box" mix.  Toss in that it is heavy on the Java side as well, it can be a resource hog to a system (the suggestion of 2GB of RAM is at a minimum indeed).

If you want "secure email" only, using Exim, Postfix, and/or Sendmail with Procmail or Dovecot tossed in with ClamAV and SpamAssassin (perhaps even Amavis as a combo) along with a few other tweeks then topped with either a CLI MUA (e.g., mutt) or a web UI (e.g., Squirrelmail, RoundCube) there you have it.  There are some other angles to look at as well depending on how "fancy" (e.g., complex) or not you wish to go.  

If you want a "collaborative suite" which is what Zimbra is suppose to be (e.g., email, calendar, address book, shared documents) there is Horde as well as putting the above paragraph (re: Exim, Postfix... one) idea together with something like ownCloud.  Linux ETC is working on something similar that will include ownCloud as well for reference. ;-)


--- Crawford

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----- "Matt Urbanski" <ur.matt at gmail.com> -----
> I run zimbra and can tell you all about it. I've run the open source
> versions and the commercial one.
> Zimbra takes over your whole box, with a hodgepodge of different
> versions of things running on weird ports and with configuration files
> scattered all over the place. Think 2 instances of mysql, spamassasin,
> an openldap server, all kinds of stuff, very difficult to unravel when
> something goes wrong. Its a nightmare when you need to upgrade or
> update. If you have 2 servers running it, and not enough space for all
> your mailboxes on either one of them, when one goes down half your
> mailboxes are off the face of the earth, and you need an external mail
> spooler to get any kind of reliability.
> So... In short, it beats running exchange.
> ------Original Message------
> From: JD
> Sender: ale-bounces at ale.org
> To: Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts
> ReplyTo: Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts
> Subject: Re: [ale] Secure e-mail server
> Sent: Feb 21, 2012 6:44 PM
> On 02/21/2012 04:08 PM, Stephen Haywood wrote:
> > I want to move my domain from google apps to a personal server. Are
> > there any
> > good guides for setting up a secure smtp server?
> I don't know any guides - didn't google either.
> My four rules:
> * Don't run sendmail unless email is your life AND you've outgrown the
> other
> alternatives.
> * Don't be an open relay.
> * Don't be a spammer.
> * Always have a backup MX on a different ISP with an SMTP server ready
> to
> receive email.
> O'Reilly has a few books on SMTP/email/MTA.
> IMAP rocks when you run your own server.
> Does anyone else run Zimbra?

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