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Thread: Thoughts on the "ideal" host OS?

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    boy412 is offline New Member
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    Default Thoughts on the "ideal" host OS?

    Are there any reasons to choose running some distribution of Linux over Mac OS X? Are certain distros inherently more suitable for running ZCS? This would be a small workgroup of less than 100 users.

    Sorry for the noob question, but I didn't see this question addressed in the FAQ's. I'm guessing some flavor of Linux is going to be the best choice...but whether its SUSE, Red Hat, or Ubuntu I really have no idea.


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    LMStone is offline Moderator
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    Although we prefer SLES, there really is no one "ideal" Linux distro IMHO on which to run Zimbra.

    If you want a commercially supported distro, then you can use SUSE, RH or an Ubuntu LTS.

    If you want clustering, then you can only use RH.

    In the past, Zimbra has done most of their dev work on RH as we understand it, but they do certify (and test) Zimbra on all the distros they list as "supported".

    We like SUSE because of YaST, SuSEconfig scripts, and a number of other items that, to us, make system administration tasks easier than on RH and Ubuntu.

    We also support Macs, but even a number of edus with whom we work who are primarily Mac shops tend to run Zimbra on Linux.

    Hope that helps,
    Mark

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    ewilen is offline Moderator
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    You'll find this question asked occasionally on the forum but I don't mind sharing my experience.

    I tested Zimbra on a Mac Mini under OS X 10.4. I was originally planning on using that as a production platform (with an external RAID 1 array), but I was scared off by these bugs:

    Bug 7039 – System kernel panic when zimbra server is mac dual core intel
    This is quite old and doesn't seem to get much attention, even though it hasn't been closed.)

    Bug 21441 – Requesting Apple-Server (10.5, leopard) support for ZCS
    The upshot of this one is that even though it's marked FIXED, and even though pm.zimbra.com lists 10.5 as a platform, the download page still states that the 10.5 version is Beta.)

    Bug 32613 – OSX 10.5: Directory services cache corruption
    This is the truly scary one and has been the subject of at least one forum thread. Going into production with 10.4 wasn't an option because more recent machines required 10.5, and I need a standby.

    (Also, at the time, the Mac Mini couldn't really hold more than 3 Gigs of RAM. Nowadays it use 4 Gigs.)

    For these reasons I decided to go into production with a RHEL 5 64-bit server and I haven't regretted it. The only area, aside from cost, where I'd have been happier with the Mac is that the latter is a little easier to back up using Retrospect, which is our network backup system.

    Still, it's a shame that this problem still plagues Mac servers.

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    n4bbq is online now Senior Member
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    We use Zimbra on Mac OS X and have the issues mentioned above, so I am about to move it to Ubuntu.

    I've successfully moved it from our production Mac 10.5 (32 bit) to Ubuntu 8.04 (64 bit) on a test server and am now just waiting on the new production server to arrive.

    If I were you, I'd not put it on OS X.

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    LMStone's Avatar
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    Since we help a number of edus which are mostly Mac shops, I am guessing Zimbra's support of the Mac platform is driven in large part by this customer segment.

    But I agree there are more "gotchas" hosting Zimbra on a Mac than on Linux.

    Again, our preferred Linux distro is SUSE, but I'm not trying to start a distro flame war here; we support RH and Ubuntu as well.

    All the best,
    Mark

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    boy412 is offline New Member
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    Thanks for all of the information guys! I'm familiar with Ubuntu so I'll probably go that route. I may run it under OS X for demonstration purposes.

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