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Changing the zimbra server's hostname

1. Stop the flow of mail & MAKE A VERY GOOD BACKUP (your entire /opt/zimbra and any linked folders)

2. For good measure make sure you don't violate logical hostname principles.

3. The commands: (Warning: Once again before you run the below, heed the advice - make a backup - it seems simple but this procedure can go wrong)

 su - zimbra
 zmcontrol stop
 /opt/zimbra/libexec/zmsetservername NEW_HOSTNAME

4. In versions of ZCS before 4.5.7 (where this is handled automatically), some additional conf files will need to be modified manually to reflect the new hostname. You can run /opt/zimbra/libexec/zmmtainit to update these files to use the host(s) listed in the ldap_url localconfig parameter:

Now update the ip address(es) and host name(s) for the server(s)

5. Update DNS server

6. Edit /etc/sysconfig/network

7. Edit /etc/hosts file with new hostname

8. Reboot

(Those in multi-server setups: Be sure to change any corresponding references to the old hostname & restart services on all hosts)

9. Things to check afterwards:

It may not catch everything, but you can check manually. Use zmlocalconfig and zmprov to check the global config, server configs, user settings, etc.

zmprov gacf | grep

10. You will need to regenerate self-signed certificates (or obtain new commercial certificates) to match the new hostname.

-And if it didn't work (you'll start getting a lot of errors/funny quirks) double check a few of the below comments & suggestions:

Notes on what people had to change manually after zmsetservername:

Someone's note:

zmprov mcf zimbraLogHostname
zmlocalconfig -e
zmlocalconfig -e ldap_master_url=ldap://
zmlocalconfig -e ldap_url=ldap://
zmlocalconfig -e
zmlocalconfig -e
zmlocalconfig -e
zmlocalconfig -e

Another response: There are several files in which I found the old host name after making all the above changes. I edited these files and replaced the old name with the new one (root user):

Under /opt/zimbra/conf:

I also had an entry in /opt/zimbra/postfix/conf/ (myhostname)

Not checked for reliability-someone mentioned:

If you follow the directions exactly (stopping the services first), you get an error. If, instead, you just run the command, there is no error, and it stops the services automatically. That seems to have solved my "problem", or at least alleviated my fears. Since the internal DNS lists both domains fully, I'm not too worried about any leftover domain issues.

I can confirm the previous note. The following are files that I had to change:

on 4.5.7 under Linux, I also had to manually change


Note: I didn't run zmmtainit, which may have fixed those. Also the ssl file is probably mentioned in regenerate self-signed certificates

The logger/stats graphs issues (this is mainly if you didn't zmcontrol stop/reboot):

I had to switch the domain name and found troubles with the logger and server statistics-extra steps needed: (zimbra 4.5.5 on ubuntu 6.06)

the not stopping services first thing

then: change of /etc/hosts and hostname newhostname

followed by:

su - zimbra
zmloggerctl stop
ps aux | grep zmlogger
kill any logger processes
zmloggerctl start

And my graps started working on the fly

But after this, I had TWO server-statistics: 1. the old ones with the old servername 2. a new - empty - set with the new servername.

at this point dnsdomainname still gave me the old domain !

I changed the content of the filename /etc/hostname (containing the old hostname ) and did a reboot.

Now serverstatistics gives me only one servername, the new one, with the old statistical data still there and the new one displayed in a new set of graphs.

Beware: Before going the way described above, I had tried to solve the logging problem with: zmprov mcf zimbraLogHostname newhostname I finished up with a big mess and had to reverse completely to the old hostname to get the admin-console working again.

Someone else's OLDER sans-zmsetservername method:

I went through the very painful process of chaning my hostname without reinstalling zimbra. This will probably void your warranty, but it worked for me (FC4, M1):

Change your hostname using hostname. Change your hosts file and your /etc/sysconfig/network

use zmprov to change the following fields to your new hostname zimbraLmtpAdvertisedName zimbraServiceHostname zimbraSmtpHostname

for example:

zmprov cs zimbraLmtpAdvertisedName ....

Then, for every single user in your sytem (that's right), you have to do this:

zmprov ma zimbraMailHost

I suggest writing a shell script.

To get a list of users, do this or something similar:

zmprov gaa -v | grep '# name'

Once your done with this tedious task, do a:

grep -il ~zimbra/conf/*

Change the hostname in any of the files returned by this command using vi or whatever.

Then shutdown your zimbra software (zmcontrol shutdown/stop)

Start it back up (zmcontrol startup/start)

The only service that will start is ldap and zmmon (for the server in question, at least). This is where it gets fun. You have to manually edit the directory as follows.

First figure out your DN. From ~zimbra/openldap/bin do a:

./ldapsearch -x | grep

You will see a line that looks like this:

#, servers, zimbra

This is the dn of your server. You will need to change it. To do so create a file called, for example, changes.ldif. For the above example, it would look like this:,cn=servers,cn=zimbra

Now, grab your zimbra_ldap_password from ~zimbra/conf/localconfig.xml.

Then run the following command from your ~zimbra/openldap/bin dir:

./ldapmodrdn -h localhost -w password_From_above -D "uid=zimbra,cn=admins,cn=zimbra" -x -r -f changes.ldif

Now do a zmcontrol shutdown.

Then do a ps -U zimbra and kill any zimbra-related processes that are still hanging around. If you kill perl, you should clear the .pid file here: /opt/zimbra/zimbramon/FIFO/

Now rebuild your SSL keys for the new hostname.

If all went well, everything should start on a zmcontrol startup.

One thing I didn't address is changing the hostname on statistics data in mysql, but it doesn't seem to cause a problem, so I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Make sure to back everything up and cross your fingers!

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