Bluish Coder

Programming Languages, Martials Arts and Computers. The Weblog of Chris Double.


2007-02-08

Installing Zimbra on Ubuntu 6.10

Zimbra is an open source email server. It does email, calendar, contacts, and various other useful things that software like Microsoft Exchange does.

Zimbra has some very nice web based tools that make it operate very much like a desktop application. Some screenshots from Wild Bill's blogdom are here.

Zimbra is open source. They have a commercial version with extra features and support. And an open source version with limited support through the forums. You can apparently build from source but the process is a little painful and not well documented. The problem is that Zimbra has a number of dependencies on other open source projects and they don't provide direct downloads for those dependencies.

This means you spend a lot of time tracking down what software is needed (OpenLDAP, MySQL, etc) and need to get the specific versions required by Zimbra. These versions are listed in a 'howto build from cvs' document but that is out of date. So you need to trawl through the Makefiles for each of the Zimbra third party requirements to find the version numbers and track down where these can be found. Even after all that I was unable to get things to build so for now I'm sticking to their binary release until I can find out what the problem is.

The binary release for Ubuntu was also a bit tricky to install. After installation it wouldn't start OpenLDAP, giving this error:

Initializing ldap...TLS: error:02001002:
system library:fopen:No such file or directory bss_file.c:352

It turns out that this is the result of Ubuntu 6.10 not using 'bash' as its primary shell. '/bin/sh' is symbolically linked to '/bin/dash', a lightweight bash-alike. It doesn't have 'source' which is required by most of the Zimbra scripts ('source' is the same as '.' which Zimbra could also have used). Changing Ubuntu to use '/bin/bash' for 'bin/sh' fixes the problem and Zimbra installed fine.

Here are the basic steps I did to get Zimbra installed on Ubuntu 6.10 under VMWare Server:

  1. Install Ubuntu 6.10
  2. relink '/bin/sh' to point to '/bin/bash'
  3. sudo apt-get install curl openssl libxml2 libexpat1 libgmp3c2 libpcre3 fetchmail libidn11 openssh-server
  4. Setup DNS A and MX records for the server
  5. Download and unpack the Zimbra Ubuntu open source binary
  6. Run the installer
The key part is changing the 'bin/sh' link.

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