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Thread: Newbie needs help - please be gentle.

  1. #1
    nimbra is offline Junior Member
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    Default Newbie needs help - please be gentle.

    Hi all.

    I recently inherited a zimbra mail system

    3.1.2_GA_445.FC4 May 30, 2006 running on
    2.6.15-1.2054_FC5smp

    Now... I am a complete newb to zimbra. Been trying to read the forums and the wiki and get little pieces of info here and there and trying to piece this together for my understanding.

    This system is production. I've made a couple simple changes via the browser administrator (lowered threshold for spam, turn on SSL). Each of those were followed by the system crashing and corrupting a couple of emails which made the system keep crashing until we figured out and eliminated the offending messages. In addition, a couple months later the nightly cronjob for spam training kept kicking off processes that crippled the machine. I commented out the crontab entry.

    Anyway, if simple changes via the admin tool crash the system, I am a whole lot leary of really trying to upgrade zimbra, but it seems as though we should considering I'm having to learn this on the fly.

    I'd like to upgrade to the latest open source release (4.5.3ga methinks?). Is there any documentation anywhere that I am missing that would have sort of "complete steps for upgrading zimbra"? Included in said documentation would be things such as

    - what directories need to be backed up
    - how to restore should things blow up in your face
    - how exactly do you do the upgrade including typical configurations
    - pitfalls to avoid
    - helpful tips

    Like I said, I've tried to find this and perhaps I am missing it. Has anybody written up detailed instructions like these?

    Thanks in advance. Sorry if this question has been beaten to death.

  2. #2
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    Welcome to the forums.

    The upgrade is very simple:

    Stop Zimbra
    Backup the /opt/zimbra directories with your favourite back tool
    Unpack the new version
    cd to the directory you've unpacked it to
    run ./install.sh

    That's it. I'd suggest you upgrade to 4.x (check it works) then again up to the current release 4.5.4
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

  3. #3
    soxfan is offline Moderator
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    I'll give it a shot just to get the ball rolling. Not considering myself a Zimbra expert or anything; just someone who has been using Zimbra in production for a few months now, and tested for several months prior to that. Hopefully the true experts will fill in the blanks.

    - what directories need to be backed up
    You should backup the directory /opt/zimbra. Look at the Zimbra wiki for the info on backing up the Open Source edition.
    - how to restore should things blow up in your face
    Wipe out the "bad" Zimbra installation. Install Zimbra from scratch. Restore your data over the Zimbra install. Run the install again as an upgrade. Once again, look at the Wiki and search the forums for more info.
    - how exactly do you do the upgrade including typical configurations
    I've never done a version jump as big as what you will be doing, but I've never done anything more than download the latest version; run the install script; answer "Y" when prompted to do an upgrade. Of course since I've been in production I make sure to backup everything first, but it sounds like that's part of your plan. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never run into any problems with the upgrades.
    - helpful tips
    Well, right off the bat it looks like you are running the FC4 packages on a FC5 machine. Not sure if that's the best thing to do, given that packages for both are available. Just in general I'm not a big fan of Fedora for servers like Zimbra because things change so often. With FC6 being the current version, and FC7 on its way you have to wonder how long Zimbra will continue to release FC4, or even FC5 packages. Also your not going to be able to find other package updates for these OS's. Personally I use CentOS. I know it is not "officially" supported by Zimbra, but the RHEL packages work just fine, and I'm pretty sure there are a lot of Zimbra installs on CentOS.

    Just my 2 cents. Hope this helps, and good luck!

  4. #4
    nimbra is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
    Welcome to the forums.

    The upgrade is very simple:

    Stop Zimbra
    Backup the /opt/zimbra directories with your favourite back tool
    Unpack the new version
    cd to the directory you've unpacked it to
    run ./install.sh

    That's it. I'd suggest you upgrade to 4.x (check it works) then again up to the current release 4.5.4
    Thanks Bill. This is a very good starting point as an outline of the major steps to take. But do you know of any documentation anywhere of all the finer details?

    It would be great if it were that simple, but in trying to catch up I've already read so many people's woes in trying to upgrade. Are there ANY configurations that are needed after an upgrade? How EXACTLY do you restore if the new version isn't working?

    I'm a bit of a nervous nelly given the sensitive nature I've experienced with Zimbra thus far, not knowing really anything about it, and that it is a production system. Thanks for your patience.

  5. #5
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    It really is that simple to upgrade, there is no documentation other than that on the main website page. Restoring, again, is fairly simple and generally painless. If you've taken a backup then you should have no worries about the upgrade or getting back to a working system should it fail, that's what the forums are here for - to help. I can give you all the reassurances in the world but you'll have to do it one day.

    Restoring a system has been covered many times in the forum, didn't you come across it? Restore the files, run (as root) zmfixperms, install the same version you had on the backup and you should (with a following wind) be up and running.

    The version you have is extremely old and you should upgrade as soon as you can, there have been many improvements since that version was released.

    I missed the bit about you having FC4 Zimbra installed on an FC5 system, you should also get out of that set-up asap. Do you have an additional server that you could use as a test machine to migrate your current set-up to? What's the specifications of your current server? On a personal note, I'd rather you moved off Fedora and onto something like CentOS as the operating system.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

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