Install Zimbra on Centos 5 Step by step

Zimbra is a suite of tools for Unix/Linux/MacOS systems, which includes a secure mail server, web mail, anti-spam/anti-virus controls, a Web management interface, integrated calendaring, mobile device sync, and more. In many ways, Zimbra is the Unix equivalent to Microsoft Exchange.
In this post, I will be installing Zimbra onto a CentOS virtual machine. The machine will need at least 1024mb of memory to run the default Zimbra services. I was unable to make it run without errors with any less memory.

Things to do after a clean installation of Centos 5.5:

  • Disable SELinux and
  • Disable Linux Firewall

The last step is to shutoff some services that will interfere with ZCS.

chkconfig sendmail off
chkconfig ip6tables off
chkconfig iptables off

We need one package before we can continue:

yum install libtool-ltdl

This completes the base installation of CentOS. On the next page we will setup Split DNS which is essential for ZCS. Go ahead and reboot, and fill up that coffee cup.

Install DNS Server:

yum install bind bind-chroot bind-libs bind-utils

Bind Configuration:

Create /etc/named.conf file and use the sample configuration:

options {
       directory "/var/named";
       dump-file "/var/named/data/cache_dump.db";
       statistics-file "/var/named/data/named_stats.txt";
forwarders { ; };
include "/etc/rndc.key";
// We are the master server for

zone "" {
 type master;
 file "/var/named/";

Create /var/named/ file and use the sample configuration:

$ttl 38400 IN SOA (
   38400 ) IN NS IN A 123.456.78.9 IN MX 5

Restart Bind by issuing /etc/init.d/named restart command.

Enable autostart for named.

chkconfig named on

To verify that it is working do the following:


It should return something similar to this:

Address: 123.456.78.9

Notice that the ip address returned is the same as the local machine. That means success. Now we can move on to next stage.

Download Zimbra:

You can download Zimbra by using wget command:


Untar using:

tar zxvf zcs-5.0.26_GA_3365.RHEL5.20101215150457.tgz

Run the install script with a platform-override argument (since we’re installing on CentOS and not Red Hat) and then follow the instructions by installing whatever external packages the setup tells you are required and selecting options that correspond to your configuration (I used the default option at practically every step):

./ –platform-override

The output should look something like:

Checking for existing installation…
zimbra-ldap…NOT FOUND
zimbra-logger…NOT FOUND
zimbra-mta…NOT FOUND
zimbra-snmp…NOT FOUND
zimbra-store…NOT FOUND
zimbra-apache…NOT FOUND
zimbra-spell…NOT FOUND
zimbra-proxy…NOT FOUND
zimbra-archiving…NOT FOUND
zimbra-cluster…NOT FOUND
zimbra-core…NOT FOUND

Read through the license agreement and hit enter.

The output should be similar to:

Checking for prerequisites…
sudo…FOUND sudo-1.6.7p12-10
libidn…FOUND libidn-0.6.5-1.1
fetchmail…FOUND fetchmail-6.3.6-1.1
gmp…FOUND gmp-4.1.4-10
compat-libstdc++-296…FOUND compat-libstdc++-296-2.96-138
compat-libstdc++-33…FOUND compat-libstdc++-33-3.2.3-61
libtool-ltdl…FOUND libtool-ltdl-1.5.22-6.1
Prerequisite check complete.
Checking for standard system perl…
perl-5.8.8…FOUND start system perl-5.8.8

Checking for installable packages

Found zimbra-core
Found zimbra-ldap
Found zimbra-logger
Found zimbra-mta
Found zimbra-snmp
Found zimbra-store
Found zimbra-apache
Found zimbra-spell
Found zimbra-proxy

Next you need to select the packages to install. The defaults are listed in teh brackets so you can just press enter for every question.

Install zimbra-ldap [Y]

Install zimbra-logger [Y]

Install zimbra-mta [Y]

Install zimbra-snmp [Y]

Install zimbra-store [Y]

Install zimbra-apache [Y]

Install zimbra-spell [Y]

Install zimbra-proxy [N]

You will see a warning like this:

You appear to be installing packages on a platform different
than the platform for which they were built

This platform is CentOS5
Packages found: zimbra-core-5.0.2_GA_1975.RHEL5-20080130221917.i386.rpm
This may or may not work

Install anyway? [N] Y

The system will be modified. Continue? [N] Y

The installation takes a little bit so if you are running low on coffee or need a potty break now is the time to take it. 🙂

Now you choose 4. You will be prompted to change the password. After you change the password hit r which will take you back to the previous menu. Enter a at the prompt to save the configuration.

The installation will complete and you will be all set to access the administrative web interface.

The admin web is accessible at-

Login as 'admin' and use the password on the above step…

Walla! it's done…

P.S: Someone may face some weird problem while installing ZCS 6 edn… you might encounter such problem-

ERROR: Installation can not proceed.  Please fix your /etc/hosts file

to contain: localhost.localdomain localhost

Zimbra install grants mysql permissions only to localhost and localhost.localdomain users.  But Fedora/RH installs leave lines such as these in /etc/hosts: myhost localhost.localdomain localhost

This causes MySQL to reject users coming from as users from  You can read more details at:

This error is self-explanatory. Using an editor like vi or nano, edit /etc/hosts to match the error’s suggested fix. Here’s an example of my /etc/hosts file.               localhost.localdomain localhost
::1             localhost6.localdomain6 localhost6 rsheyd