Installing Zimbra on VServer: Difference between revisions

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''note: Zimbra 5.0x '''DOES''' install and run on vservers, largely following these instructions. --mathx ''

= Installation on VServer =
= Installation on VServer =

Revision as of 18:46, 19 February 2008

ZCS 4.5 Article ZCS 4.5

note: Zimbra 5.0x DOES install and run on vservers, largely following these instructions. --mathx

Installation on VServer

These instructions are specifically for Debian VServers, but should be able to be applied to just about any system

WARNING - Upgrading Zimbra will overwrite all of these files - you must patch them after installing and each upgrade.

Debian and VServers


Remember when running a Vserver that the host machine will be arping for all the IPs in the Vservers. It will also accept any connections in its tcp stack for any IP in a vserver if the TCP stack has a deamon bound to *:port - ie postfix listening on *:25 on the vserver host will interfere with postfix on on the vserver. Make sure you have bound ALL daemon ports (smtp, ssmpt, imap2, imap3, imaps, etc etc) to specific Ips on the host. How to do this is beyond the scope of this page, but generally check config files (/etc/postfix/conf/, /etc/dovecot.conf, /etc/apache/httpd.conf, etc) for Listen or Interface or other equivalent statements. When in doubt, RTFM.

Missing Packages

A base Debian vserver doesn't have a "file" utility installed by default. This is needed by amavis. The installer will fail, if getopt isn't installed, for this you need "libgetopt-mixed-perl". Apache and Tomcat will fail, as the base vserver doesn't have "libexpat1" installed. Install it by typing:

apt-get install file libexpat1 libgetopt-mixed-perl

Matter of fact, all packages required for installing Zimbra are:

apt-get install libgetopt-mixed-perl file libc6-i686 sudo libidn11 curl fetchmail libgmp3c2 libxml2 libstdc++6 openssl libexpat1 libpcre3 libltdl3 ssh


Make sure you have a localhost entry and also an entry with your primary IP. For example:   localhost.localdomain localhost     mail.somehost.zimbra mail

Note: It may be better in a vserver to use an RFC 1918 IP address for localhost instead of - is not bound to localhost on the vserver, it is on the host machine itself. No vserver process can use this IP. You can also use another IP on localnet ( if you so wish, but there may be caveats with vservers I am not yet aware of. I use RFC1918 addresses without any problems right now. In examples below I have as localhost in /etc/hosts.


The Zimbra logger process doesn't seem to startup. "zmcontrol status" on my system shows:

vserver:~# /opt/zimbra/bin/zmcontrol status
Host vserver.somedomain
        antispam                Stopped
        antivirus               Stopped
        ldap                    Running
        logger                  Stopped
        mailbox                 Stopped
        mta                     Stopped
        snmp                    Stopped
        spell                   Running

The logger uses MySQL. I'm guessing there is some problem with privileges and/or connecting to localhost in the "mysql" database. Just a hunch though.

I installed Zimbra on a new VServer and the logger seemd to startup properly. "zmcontrol status" shows it running after several stops/starts. However, I'm still not getting any log data. All statistics windows say "Data not available yet.". Oh well.

Update: With 4.5, logger seems to work just fine, but seemed to require a manual start as zimbra user. Additionally I have seen zmlogger running, but the admin console says it's not. Still figuring this out.


The postfix config file is auto generated by zmmtaconfig internally before postfix is run, so any changes you make to postfix/conf/ will be overwritten. So you must edit /opt/zimbra/conf/ - in fact, any file in /opt/zimbra/conf that has in it should be changed. For eg if you have chosen as your RFC 1918 internal IP address in the vserver to act as localhost, then you could well do this:

cd /opt/zimbra/conf && mkdir bak new && cp * bak && for i in *; do sed 's/127\.0\.0\.1/'  $i > new/$i; done && mv new/* . && rmdir new

to replace all's with en masse (and keep a backup of the originals in bak/)

If you want to modify your mynetworks line in postfix in zimbra, the config is stored in LDAP and must be modified there:

 zmprov modifyServer zimbraMtaMyNetworks ',,,'

for eg if you are using as the internal localhost IP. It may not hurt to add your real external IP here as well (as it would only allow email from that IP through the mail system, which shouldnt hurt). If you do not do this, you may get "mail relaying denied" when you try to send mail out of the zimbra system as a user. Please see ZimbraMtaMyNetworks for more information on this setting.

postfix/conf/ however is NOT autogenerated, and so needs editing in the postfix/conf dir: inet n  -       n       -       -  smtpd
 -o mynetworks=,

Where, again, is your RFC1918 internal IP address chosen to replace your localhost ip ( Do not forget to change the mynetworks line as well, or your AV will not be able to connect back to postfix on 10025 for final delivery.

Note: Avoid using your external internet IP address here, picking an RFC1918 replacement IP for is a better idea in terms of security. You do not want this port open to the internet, as it may be DOSsable or other security issues (buffer overflows, etc) may arise. If you don't absolutely need a port open to the internets, don't open it.

Amavis & FreshClam

Edit /opt/zimbra/amavisd/sbin/amavisd (main Perl script) and explicitly add the IP address of the Zimbra VServer to the "inet_acl" line. I.e:

@inet_acl   = qw( [::1] );  # allow SMTP access only from localhost

Postfix should then be able to talk to Amavis...


$inet_socket_bind = '';  # limit socket bind to loopback interface


$inet_socket_bind = '';  # no loopback in vserver, use rfc1918 internal ip bound to your vserver

also few lines down:

$notify_method  = 'smtp:[]:10025';   # change these to also match your internal
$forward_method = 'smtp:[]:10025';   # rfc 1918 ip addr (can use inet ip, but not recommended)

A bunch of filters in /opt/zimbra/conf/amavisd.conf also need updating from to whatever IP you are using (though many in the default file are commented out, I think I found 3 in the default zimbra amavisd install that needed changing.)

Additionally the local MX for /opt/zimbra/conf/dspam.conf needs changing as well.

Note: there are extra configs that autogenerate more configs for Amavis and FreshClam in /opt/zimbra/conf - be sure to change all the IP addresses in those files to your chosen RFC 1918 address (see postfix above). They must be changed in both /opt/zimbra/conf/amavis.conf and (if you changed them in the master binary as above, you can just comment them out in here so they dont override the master - however, the master may get upgraded later, and all your changes may be wiped, but so might amavis.conf(.in) anyway too...)

Vserver /tmp size

My install of Zimbra wouldn't start clamd with my default debian 16m of /tmp ramdisk space in my vserver. I had to edit /etc/vservers/(name)/fstab and increase it to 128m (though smaller may work, I didnt test), and restart the vserver. 128m lets it start anyway, not sure if I'll run out during operations. --mathx


Memory Usage

While trying to get tomcat to start on our Vserver, we kept getting this error in catalina.out:

Invalid initial heap size: -Xms8001m
The specified size exceeds the maximum representable size.
Could not create the Java virtual machine.

By default, tomcat will use 50% of the system memory available (as defined in tomcat_java_heap_memory_percent). On our 16Gb machine, Tomcat tried to use 8Gb and failed. You can override this default by issuing:

zmlocalconfig -e tomcat_java_heap_memory_percent="6"

Where the 6 means 6% (983.04Mb in our case).

Tomcat/Java startup

If Tomcat doesn't start for you (ie running 'ps auxwf' doesnt show java running anything, and 'lsof -i' doesn't show anything listening on the :7071 port - the Zimbra admin interface port), then zmmta has failed to start. Check /opt/zimbra/apache-tomcat*/logs/catalina.out for errors. My most common one was finding that the IMAP and SMTP ports were already bound - by IMAP and SMTP running on the host of the vserver. (See notes at top of this section on binding daemons to single IPs). I am not quite sure why Tomcat is responsible for running the IMAP daemons, but it is.

Distro Specific Settings

Security limits (SuSE OSS 10.0 vserver)

Edit /etc/security/limits.conf and comment the last two lines - otherwise the su command won't work and the installation will fail.

# End of file
#zimbra soft nofile 10000
#zimbra hard nofile 10000

Rerun /opt/zimbra/libexec/ to complete the setup.

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