Mail Client LDAP Configuration

Mail Client LDAP configuration

   KB 2299        Last updated on 2015-07-12  

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This section will describe how to configure mail clients to use the LDAP service for looking up email addresses in Zimbra's GAL.


1. Open Thunderbird.

2. Go to Edit then Preferences.

3. Under Composition, Addressing, tick the Directory Server box then click Edit Directories.

4. Click Add.

5. In the window enter the following details:

Under General tab

  • Name = Zimbra LDAP
  • Hostname = (enter YOUR servers host name here)
  • Base DN = ou=people,dc=mydomain,dc=com (enter YOUR mail domain name here)
  • Port = 389
  • Bind DN = (leave blank)
  • SSL = (leave unticked)

Under Advanced tab

  • Don't return more than = 500
  • Scope = Subtree
  • Search filter = (mail=*)

6. When done click OK then click OK again to close the LDAP Directory Services window.

7. In the drop down menu make sure Zimbra LDAP is selected, then click OK to close the options window.

8. Give it a test by creating a new email and in the To: box start typing a name or address of someone in the GAL, Thunderbird should display some auto complete options with user matches it finds.


(This may vary slightly depending on version)

1. Open Outlook.

2. Go to Tools then Email Accounts....

NB: For 2007 Go Tools > Account Settings, then select the Address Books tab and click the New... button

3. Select View or change existing directories or address books, then click Next.

4. Click Add, then select Internet Directory Service (LDAP) and click Next.

5. In the Server Name box type in the host name of your Zimbra server (eg

6. Leave Server requires me to sign in disabled and click the More Settings... button. Accept the warning it gives you. (Informs you to restart for new settings to take effect).

7. In the new window:

Under the Connection tab set the following:

  • Display Name = Zimbra LDAP
  • Port = 389
  • Use SSL = (leave disabled)

Under the search tab:

  • Search timeout = (default 60 should be ok)
  • Max # of entries to return = 500
  • Search base = (leave blank or for Outlook 07 select Use Default)

NOTE: For older versions of Outlook (eg 2000) you may need to enter dc=com or similar (com is the top level part of your domain name) into the Search Base field as it doesn't work if left blank. If you have multiple top level domains being hosted on Zimbra (eg and you might need to choose the most relevant on for you (ie either dc=com or dc=au).

8. When done click OK, then Next, then Finish.

9. Restart Outlook (as per the warning we got earlier) to save the changes.

10. When it's started up again we'll check it's working by composing a new email. Type part of a name or address you know is in the GAL into the To: box and press Alt+K, Outlook should auto complete it or give you some options.

User comment on getting external GAL working on 6.0.7GA

by User:Richardteachout

In order to get this to work in 6.0.7 NE, I had to do the following:
Run as zimbra user: libexec/zmldapanon -d (disables anonymous LDAP connections)
run as root: iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p tcp --destination EXT.ERNAL.IP.ADDRESS --dport 389 -j DNAT --to INTER.NAL.IP.ADDRESS:389
(and of course ensure IPtables was running - I also firewalled ALL IP's except the IP's I wanted to be able to connect to the GAL, for additional security)

Then I had to configure Outlook to AUTHENTICATE to LDAP
Server Name:
User Name: uid=user,ou=people,dc=domain,dc=com (assuming your email was
Password: YourEmailPasswordHere

Then I was able to connect with each user in the domain to obtain GAL for our IMAP users. Voila!

Outlook Express

1. Open Outlook Express.

2. Go to Tools then Accounts.

3. Click the Add button then select Directory Service.

4. In the LDAP server box, type the host name of your Zimbra server (eg and leave the LDAP requires logon option disabled, then click Next'.

5. Select Yes to Check addresses using this directory service then click Next and Finish.

6. Under the All tab, find your Zimbra host name in the list, select it and click Properties.

7. Then

Under the general tab:

  • Change the name of the account to Zimbra LDAP
  • Server name, make sure is your Zimbra servers host name
  • Make sure This server requires me to logon is not enabled
  • Make sure Check names against this server is enabled

Under the Advanced tab:

  • Make sure port number is 389 and SSL is disabled
  • Change number of matched to 500
  • In the Search Base put dc=com or similar (com is the top level part of your domain name) into the Search Base field as it doesn't work if left blank. If you have multiple top level domains being hosted on Zimbra (eg and you might need to choose the most relevant on for you (ie either dc=com or dc=au).

8. When done click OK, then Close.

9. To test it out, compose a new email, type part of a name or email address in the To: box and press Alt+K, it should either auto complete it or give you some options.

Apple AddressBook

Not a mail client, (& there's an excellent Zimbra iSync connector for Macs that syncs Apple Mail, iCal, Address Book, and Microsoft Entourage) but on it's own, the Apple Addressbook can lookup from the GAL in much the same way:


Open either or Apple Address Book

   * For Preferences -> Composing -> 'Configure LDAP...'
   * For Address Book: Preferences -> LDAP 

Then enter the information for your Zimbra server

   * Name - Enter an name
   * Server - Enter your Zimbra Server hostname
   * Search Base - Enter your domain like "dc=example,dc=com"
   * Port - Enter 389 for standard, 636 and check 'Use SSL' if you have OpenLDAP in SSL mode.
   * Scope - Subtree 

Authentication is Optional. If you want to authenticate enter your full Zimbra email address and password.


In Kaddressbook, or the Contacts section of Kontact, look for the section called Address Books. Click the "Plus" symbol to open the Add address book dialog.

In the list of address book types that opens, select "LDAP (Provides access to contacts stored on a LDAP directory server)".

Kontact LDAP 1.png

  • User: your username
  • Bind DN: (leave blank)
  • Realm: your email domain
  • Password: your email password
  • Host: your email/ldap server
  • DN: ou=people,dc=yourldaphost,dc=com
  • Filter: mail=*

Kontact LDAP 2.png

Sub-tree Query should be checked.

Kontact LDAP 3.png

Click OK, and your GAL should be displayed in the Contacts window.

Verified Against: unknown Date Created: 12/11/2007
Article ID: Date Modified: 2015-07-12

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