How to install and configure Zimbra mail server

Installation and configuration of Zimbra mail server

Zimbra is an open source mail server to send and receive mails. This setup is handled by main agent called Mail Transfer Agent (MTA). Installation and configuration of Zimbra mail server is explained in this tutorial.


Mail server categories

  • SMTP - handles all the outgoing mails
  • POP3 / IMAP - handles all the incoming mails
  • Mail filtering - handles processing the email to organise according to specific criteria ( i.e for filtering mails )

To install Zimbra Mail server

Zimbra Mail server handles all the incoming and the outgoing mails. It uses SMTP and POP3 / IMAP protocols. It supports all the linux distribution. Here, we are going to install zimbra in CentOS.

Now create an entry in /etc/hosts file with the IP and the domian name. Here, we are setting the IP as and hostname as

[root@mail ~]# vim /etc/hosts  mail


The domain name must start only with 'mail'.

Once the basic setups are completed, download the zimbra tar file from its official website,


Choose the respective distribution and download the file.


The tar package will be downloaded to Downloads directory.

[root@mail  Downloads]# cd Downloads
[root@mail  Downloads]#  ls –l
total 873584
-rw-r—r--  1  root  root 894543081  May 24 13.35  zcs-8.6.0_GA_1153.RHEL_64.20141215151155.tgz

By default, zimbra will be installed in /opt location. So move the tar package to /opt location and extract over there.

[root@mail  Downloads]#  mv  zcs-8.6.0_GA_1153.RHEL_64.20141215151155.tgz  /opt
[root@mail  Downloads]#  cd  /opt
[root@mail  opt]#  tar  -xvf   zcs-8.6.0_GA_1153.RHEL_64.20141215151155.tgz
[root@mail  opt]#  cd  zcs-8.6.0_GA_1153.RHEL_64.20141215151155
[root@mail  zcs-8.6.0_GA_1153.RHEL_64.20141215151155]#  ls  -l
drwxr-xr-x  2  root  root 8020  Dec  16  2014  docs
-rwxr-xr-x  1  root  root 8020  Dec  16  2014
drwxr-xr-x  2  root  root 8020  Dec  16  2014  packages

Run the installation script ./ to install the zimbra.

[root@mail  zcs-8.6.0_GA_1153.RHEL_64.20141215151155]#  ./

Once the installation process is started, it ask for the License Agreement. Give yes and continue.

The packages mentioned in the below image will be downloaded in your system which is necessary for zimbra. Give yes to proceed with the installation.

Since we have not created any MX record for this domain, it displays the following DNS error to domain.
To know how to create a new MX record in cPanel/WHM, visit

After creating the MX record retry with the same step and the following message appears.

Port conflict error can be solved after the zimbra is installed.



To set the admin password

In the admin password category you can set the password. Type 7 to continue, then type 4 to set the admin password for zimbra.
Type your password and enter r to proceed with next step.

To apply the configuration, press a. Type yes to all the questions to continue with the configuration.
Now the Zimbra is successfully installed.

Open the browser and navigate to or https://<IP_address> 

You will get the home page and all the configurations is to be made in the Admin console. Go to Drop-down at the right corner and select Admin console.

Enter the same login credentials used at first, to open the Admin console page.
Once its logged in, you can see that few services are not running.


To run those services, Open the terminal and check the status of zimbra to know the exact service which is stopped.

[root@mail zcs-8.6.0_GA_1153_RHEL6_64.20141215151155]# service zimbra status


Its confirmed that mta service is not running. At first, restart zimbra.

[root@mail zcs-8.6.0_GA_1153_RHEL6_64.20141215151155]# service zimbra restart

And check the services like httpd, postfix and named.

[root@mail zcs-8.6.0_GA_1153_RHEL6_64.20141215151155]# service postfix status
master is stopped
[root@mail zcs-8.6.0_GA_1153_RHEL6_64.20141215151155]# service httpd status
httpd is stopped
[root@mail zcs-8.6.0_GA_1153_RHEL6_64.20141215151155]# service named status
named is running

httpd and postfix/sendmail service should be stopped.

Finally check the status of zimbra again.

[root@mail zcs-8.6.0_GA_1153_RHEL6_64.20141215151155]# service zimbra status


You can find that all the services are active.

Now go to the Admin console page and refresh.

To add user or domain

After all the services are active, go to Manage, then click Settings→ New to add the user.


Now enter the user name, password and other details to create a new user.

Once you hit the Finish button, a new account will be created.

Now send a mail from the user account to the admin account for checking the Zimbra mail.
The mail is successfully received in Admin account.



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Tags: WHM cPanel CentOS SMTP Zimbra IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
user image Author :  Matthew