Zimbra REST API Reference


Method: Get Folder  

Method: Import Message  

Method: Get Contacts  

Method: Import Contacts  

Method: Get Calendar  

Method: Get FreeBusy  

Method: Import Appointments  

Method: Get Tasks  

Method: Get Item  

Method: Get Briefcase  

Method: Get Briefcase Item  

Method: Export Mailbox  


Developer Article

Article Information

This article applies to the following ZCS versions.

ZCS 8.0 Article ZCS 8.0 ZCS 7.0 Article ZCS 7.0 ZCS 6.0 Article ZCS 6.0

Zimbra exposes its data via a REST API. This document is the reference for that functionality.

REST (REpresentational State Transfer) is an approach for building application services that make resources available via a URL. For example, the following REST command retrieves all inbox items as a simple RSS feed:


Learn more about REST at the Wikipedia article Representational State Transfer.


Command Format

The format of a Zimbra REST command is:


HTTP GET methods are for reading items. HTTP POST methods are for creating/modifying items. The following describes the components of the Zimbra REST command:

Component Description
protocol The transport protocol, for example, http.
host The host name or IP address of the Zimbra Collaboration Suite server
port The port number, for example, 7070.
user The user. To load an explicit user account, specify the user in one of the following formats:
  • john.doe
  • john.doe@mydomain.com
  • http://localhost:7070/home/john.doe@mydomain.com/inbox.rss

You can also use "~" as a shortcut to the current authenticated user. For example:

object Designates the object to perform the command against. This might be a folder (such as inbox or drafts) or omitted (to download a specific item). If omitted, the query parameters provide the information the command requires.

For example, to download the inbox folder as XML:


For example, to download an item:

params A list of command-specific URL parameters. See the specific command for a list of the required and optional parameters.

Response Formats

The following describes the various response formats, designated using the fmt= parameter. Not all commands support all formats. See the specific command for a list of supported formats and command-specific details:

Format Description
xml Extensible Markup Language file format. See the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XML
json JavaScript Object Notation file format. See http://www.json.org
rss Really Simple Syndication web feed format. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS
atom Atom syndication format. See [1]
html Hyper Text Markup Language file format. Produced the output as a web page.
zip Data compression and archive format.
tar Data archive format ("tar").
tgz Compressed tar file.
ics iCalendar file format. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICalendar and RFC 2445.
ifb Internet Free Busy format. See RFC 2445.
csv Common Separated Values file format. A specific CSV format can be designated using the csvfmt parameter. Supported CSV formats include:
  • zimbra-csv
  • yahoo-csv
  • thunderbird-csv
  • outlook-2000-csv
  • outlook-2003-csv
sync Requests that the server return additional meta-data in the response headers. When using this option, the headers are returned inline of the response, unless you specify nohdr=1.

For example, get a mail message by item id and return the meta-data in the response headers and inline.


For example, get a mail message by item id and return the meta-data in the response headers only.


The following is a list of the meta-data headers:

  • X-Zimbra-ItemId
  • X-Zimbra-FolderId
  • X-Zimbra-Tags
  • X-Zimbra-Flags
  • X-Zimbra-Received
  • X-Zimbra-Modified
  • X-Zimbra-Change
  • X-Zimbra-Revision
  • X-Zimbra-Conv


There are multiple methods to authenticate as a user when accessing a mailbox. Using the auth= parameter, you can designate how to authenticate and whether or not to set the authentication cookie.

Default is auth=co,nsc,qp. Meaning: first, check for a cookie auth token; second, check for query parameter auth token; thrid, prompt for basic authentication.

The auth= parameter supports a list of comma-separated values which include:

Value Description
co The authentication token will be retrieved from the ZM_AUTH_TOKEN cookie.

For example:

qp The authentication token will be retrieved from request parameter zauthtoken.

For example:



These methods refer to Basic Authentication:
  • ba = Use Basic Authentication and do not set cookie after authentication.
  • nsc = Same as ba.
  • sc = Use Basic Authentication and set cookie after authentication.

For example:



The API supports the following methods to retrieve Zimbra data.

Mail Methods

Get Folder

Import Message

Address Book Methods

Get Contacts

Import Contacts

Calendar Methods

Get Calendar

Get FreeBusy

Import Appointments

Task Methods

Get Tasks

Item Methods

Get Item

Briefcase Methods

Get Briefcase

Get Briefcase Item

Mailbox Methods

Export Mailbox

Using the zmmailbox CLI

A useful Zimbra Command Line Interface (CLI) for use with the REST API is zmmailbox. With zmmailbox, you can execute REST methods via the command line. This is a particularly useful tool if you plan to script exporting & importing data. See the ZCS-to-ZCS Migrations blog entry for an example. When exporting/importing large mailboxes, it is important to set the timeout to "0" (infinity):

To perform GET methods (like exporting the inbox content in ZIP format), use the following syntax:

zmmailbox -z -m user@domain.com -t 0 getRestURL "/inbox?fmt=zip"

To perform POST methods (like importing the content of inbox.zip), use the following syntax:

zmmailbox -z -m user@domain.com -t 0 postRestURL "/inbox?fmt=zip" /tmp/inbox.zip

Verified Against: Zimbra Collaboration Server 7.0 Date Created: 01/16/2010
Article ID: https://wiki.zimbra.com/index.php?title=Zimbra_REST_API_Reference Date Modified: 2014-04-11

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