Upgrading to Zimbra Appliance 8

After doing some testing on the recently released Zimbra Appliance version 8 I decided it was good enough to make the step from my current Zimbra Appliance running version 6.0.14 to the newly release version 8.0.0_GA_5434 (build 20120907144730). Although announced there is no version of the Appliance for Zimbra 7.

The most important thing for me was the availability of the Active Sync (EAS**) feature in this release for my mobile devices. A quick test with my HP Pre3 showed it works flawless. It appears EAS protocol version 12.1 is used, so HTML mail is supported. This was not the case with the previous Zimbra Appliance release where I had the make use of the Z-Push connector to enable HTML mail on my webOS devices.

I have described the installation steps below. As a prerequisite have VirtualBox 4.1 installed.

  1. Download the Appliance zip (zca- file from the Zimbra download page and unzip it in the directory where you will create the virtual machine.

  2. Modify the virtual machine creation script below to suite your environment.

!/bin/sh vmName="vm04-zca8" vmPath="/data/virtualbox/vms" vmVrdePort="3393" VBoxManage createvm --name "$vmName" \ --register \ --ostype "Ubuntu" \ --basefolder "$vmPath" VBoxManage modifyvm "$vmName" --memory 3072 \ --acpi on \ --boot1 disk \ --boot2 dvd \ --boot3 net \ --audio none \ --clipboard disabled \ --vram 1 \ --vrde on \ --vrdeport $vmVrdePort \ --vrdeauthtype null \ --rtcuseutc on \ --ioapic on VBoxManage modifyvm "$vmName" --nic1 bridged \ --bridgeadapter1 eth0 \ --nictype1 82545EM VBoxManage storagectl "$vmName" --name "SCSI Controller" \ --add scsi \ --controller LsiLogic VBoxManage storageattach "$vmName" --storagectl "SCSI Controller" \ --port 0 \ --device 0 \ --type hdd \ --medium "$vmPath/$vmName/zca-" VBoxManage storageattach "$vmName" --storagectl "SCSI Controller" \ --port 1 \ --device 0 \ --type hdd \ --medium "$vmPath/$vmName/zca-"

  1. Once the virtual machine has been created you can start it. In my case I had to connect to port 3393 with my RDP viewer to have console access.

  2. When the system is started you’ll notice a blue screen where three URLs are displayed and an option to login. Because I don’t use DHCP those URLs had as ip-address. So I had to login and change the network settings manually.

  3. To change the network setting execute /opt/vmware/share/vami/vami_config_net.

  4. Next thing recreate the users and start the export/import.

I ran into a problem importing some large mailboxes on the CLI using zmmailbox. Receiving out of memory errors. I therefore used the migration tool provided by the Zimbra Administration interface running on port 7071. Select Maintenance and Tools and you will find Migration. There select the Migration wizard. You can use this option if you have the old Zimbra server still running.

The upgrade did not went that smooth, but it’s done now.

My Specs:

  • VirtualBox 4.1.20 on Debian 6 (Squeeze)
  • Zimbra ZCA 8.0.0
  • HP TouchPad 3.0.5
  • HP Pre3 2.2.4


Yesterday the mail malfunctioned with a strange database error. It tuned out the virtual appliance experienced a memory shortage and decided to kill the mysql instance.

[1043932.499250] Out of memory: kill process 2111 (mysqld_safe) score 805951 or a child [1043932.862510] Killed process 2585 (mysqld)

To solve the problem I changed the number of amavisd processes from 10 to 2 in the ‘/opt/zimbra/conf/amavisd.conf.in’ file under ‘$max_servers’. Each amavisd process consumes 100MB. To activate the change I restarted Zimbra. Now there should be plenty memory available for smooth operation.