Installation (Zimbra Appliance)

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The Zimbra Collaboration Appliance (ZCA) seems to be a bit of a forgotten/troublesome project for Zimbra. Version 7 has been in beta for a very, very long time; and if you trawl the forum you'll find comments from those that have been waiting for it for a long time and are now being ignored by their sales reps. I'd like to think it is a genuine attempt to get Zimbra into non-Linux environments, rather than a vanity project since the purchase by VMware; either way, I suspect its probably demanded far more development resource than they expected hence the delays.

That said, it has the potential to be a great solution for those new to Zimbra and Linux.


Download a copy of the (OVA format) appliance from or just get a copy of the download URL to delay downloading until deployment, plus get a license if you want to run for more than 60 days (10 user license is free, and includes Zimbra Mobile (ActiveSync)). The appliance needs to be run on VMware vSphere.

The appliance is just over 2GB in size (though the disk in 18GB if thick provisioned and can be deployed as...

  • Trial - 1 vCPU, 2 GB RAM
    • Not officially suitable for production, but fine for the free 10-user license
  • Midsize - 2 vCPU, 4GB RAM
    • Production use up to 500 users
  • Large - 2 vCPU, 8 GB RAM
    • Production use up to 1000 users

To deploy

  1. In the VI Client, go to File | Deploy OVF Template...
  2. Locate the downloaded OVA file or paste in the URL, click Open and then Next
  3. Check the OVF Template Details and click Next
  4. Accept the End User License Agreement and click Next
  5. Enter a suitable VM name, and change the destination location as required, and click Next
  6. Select the appropriate Deployment Configuration, and click Next
  7. Select the appropriate Host / Cluster, and click Next
  8. Update the Resource Pool config as required, and click Next
  9. Select a Datastore and click Next
  10. Select a Disk Format of your preference and click Next
  11. Select a network to connect the VM to (IP address settings can be applied later), and then click Next
  12. Leave the IP Address Allocation as Fixed, and then click Next
  13. In the Properties step, proceed as follows and then click Next
    • 0. Configuration Password - Enter a password note that it won't be obscured
    • 1. Server Name - Enter the network hostname for your server (not FQDN - eg mailserver)
    • 2. Administrative Account - Enter your admin email address and password note that the password won't be obscured
    • Networking Properties - Enter an IP address
  14. Confirm the config is correct, then click Next



You may get a warning to say that your license is not activated, in which case log in as the zimbra user to your server, check you've got the correct license loaded, then activate it (your server needs to be able to reach the Zimbra license portal)

zimbra@mail:~$ zmlicense -p

zimbra@mail:~$ zmlicense -c
license not activated for 7.0.0_GA_3077

zimbra@mail:~$ zmlicense -a

zimbra@mail:~$ zmlicense -c
license is OK