Backing up and restoring Zimbra (Open Source Version)

If you wish to have a more automated backup feature, you should try the [Network Version of Zimbra.]

Preparing to Back Up

Before we begin, make sure that you are logged in as a user that can perform the tasks outlined here.

It is always good practice to backup your copy of Zimbra in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

To prevent changes to any Zimbra databases during the backup processes you may wish to use:

>su zimbra

>zmcontrol stop

to terminate Zimbra.

If you get some kind of error, you may want to make sure that Zimbra has completly stopped by running:

>ps auxww | grep zimbra

and kill any left over processes such as the log.

Copying Your Working Files to a Safe Location

Since all of the components Zimbra needs are stored in the Zimbra folder itself, you can simply copy the folder to a safe location.

It may be possible to create a cron job to do these tasks automatically.

Copy Command: cp -r /opt/zimbra [location path]

Depending on your hardware and the amount of data contained in your Zimbra installation, this process can take a while.

Note: Make sure that the copy location has enough space to support your backup copy (i.e. the /tmp folder probably isn't the best location). Also, it is a very good idea to tag your installation with the version/build of zimbra that will be backed up (ie 3.0.0_GA_156) and the date of backup. You'll need this later.


Before restoring, you should make sure that all of the processes accociated with the damaged/failed Zimbra installation are terminated. Failure to terminate all of the processes could have dire consquences. See "Preparing to Backup" for additional info.

Rename your "broken" Zimbra installation.

You may be able to scavenge data, if needed. If you simply do not want the old data, you can skip this part.

>[insert command for renaming here]

You may want to move it completly out of the /opt folder just to be safe.

Copy your backup Zimbra installation to the /opt folder and name it "zimbra".

>cp -r [location of backup] /opt

>[insert command for renaming here]

Now, we need to know what build/version of zimbra you were running. If you followed the backup instructions above, then the backup folder should be tagged with the version/build you have backed up.

You need to download the full install of the Zimbra version you were running. You may find all Zimbra releases at:


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