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Thread: "Home" Installation Questions

  1. #1
    emanaton is offline New Member
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    Default "Home" Installation Questions

    Greetings All,

    Ok - I've perused the forum and wiki and am not finding ready answers to my questions, so I'm posting them here. I'm a programmer analyst, a competent Linux user, have a good working understanding of the DNS system, and have experience installing and maintaining with various server technologies (mail servers, databases, etc.). I want to know how feasible it would be to setup Zimbra “at home” for use by myself and my family.

    My ideal situation would be to setup one of my Intel boxes as a Linux / Zimbra server to run on my home network. I would then configure it to retrieve and download messages from our various servers (e.g. a couple of domains, gmail, etc.). My family would then be able to log in to use the Zimbra client from that box (and I'd setup a dynamic DNS forwarding service to deal with connections from outside the house LAN).

    So, my primary question is: Can this be done? If so, can you give me some pointers on where to look to set up such a system and perhaps provide me with heads up on any “gotchas” I should keep an eye out for and avoid.

    Many thanks!

    Sean

  2. #2
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    It's a doddle to set-up Zimbra for home use. I'd suggest going with a more 'established' operating system such as CentOS4 (a no-cost RHEL4 version). As long as you have the DNS records set-up correctly, modified the /etc/hosts file and got the compat libs installed (all mentioned in the Zimbra Quick start guide) and enough memory on the system then you really should have no problems.

    Welcome to the forums.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

  3. #3
    gmsmith is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by emanaton View Post
    Greetings All,

    Ok - I've perused the forum and wiki and am not finding ready answers to my questions, so I'm posting them here. I'm a programmer analyst, a competent Linux user, have a good working understanding of the DNS system, and have experience installing and maintaining with various server technologies (mail servers, databases, etc.). I want to know how feasible it would be to setup Zimbra “at home” for use by myself and my family.

    My ideal situation would be to setup one of my Intel boxes as a Linux / Zimbra server to run on my home network. I would then configure it to retrieve and download messages from our various servers (e.g. a couple of domains, gmail, etc.). My family would then be able to log in to use the Zimbra client from that box (and I'd setup a dynamic DNS forwarding service to deal with connections from outside the house LAN).

    So, my primary question is: Can this be done? If so, can you give me some pointers on where to look to set up such a system and perhaps provide me with heads up on any “gotchas” I should keep an eye out for and avoid.

    Many thanks!

    Sean
    Sean,

    Welcome to the forums!

    A couple of things. To do what you are looking to do, it will be a lot easier with the new POP account aggregation coming in 4.5 (due shortly). There is an RC2 release of 4.5 available for download today that includes this feature. If you are running on a consumer level broadband connection, you may be required to use their outgoing SMTP server, so you will want to check that and set that up accordingly in Zimbra. Other then that, just be sure to read the quick start guide and don't pull a "Greg" as my wife calls it and just dive right in...it will same you some time in the long run.

    Funny you bring up this setup, I know someone who is going to be doing the exact same thing.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    emanaton is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmsmith View Post
    Welcome to the forums!
    Thank you phoenix and gmsmith!

    Quote Originally Posted by gmsmith View Post
    A couple of things. To do what you are looking to do, it will be a lot easier with the new POP account aggregation coming in 4.5 (due shortly). There is an RC2 release of 4.5 available for download today that includes this feature.
    Outstanding! I'm actually moving across country in the next week and plan on taking this project on some time in late February, so that might just work out perfectly. I'll go take a peek at when the RC is expected to complete its cycle.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmsmith View Post
    If you are running on a consumer level broadband connection, you may be required to use their outgoing SMTP server, so you will want to check that and set that up accordingly in Zimbra.
    Hmm... Other than using some sort of available high-speed connection, I'm not actually sure what my situation is going to be in-so-far as my ISP is concerned. However, I'm hoping that I'll be able to engineer a solution in which I use the SMTP server of my domain web-space-provider instead of sending the mail "directly" from the local machine. I've never set up a mail server that acts in such a capacity (and that may be because such scenarios are just silly for reasons I haven't yet considered), but that's what I'm going to shoot for regardless. Baring that, I'll see what's available locally.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmsmith View Post
    Other then that, just be sure to read the quick start guide and don't pull a "Greg" as my wife calls it and just dive right in...it will same you some time in the long run.
    Roger that – thanks. I've perused the quick start guide, and it looks straight forward enough, but past experiences suggest that the reality can be very different than what is oft suggested by “quick start” guides. *Sean crosses his fingers* =oP

    Quote Originally Posted by gmsmith View Post
    Good luck!
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
    It's a doddle to set-up Zimbra for home use.
    Ok – I had to go look up “doddle”.


    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
    I'd suggest going with a more 'established' operating system such as CentOS4 (a no-cost RHEL4 version).
    Really? I've never used CentOS4. My experiences have been with primarily with Red Hat (hated it), Gentoo (*shrug*) and Ubuntu (love it). I'm hoping I'll be able to set myself up using the latter, but will settle for whatever works best. After all, it's not like I'll be able to use my Zimbra box for much of anything else, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
    As long as you have the DNS records set-up correctly, modified the /etc/hosts file and got the compat libs installed (all mentioned in the Zimbra Quick start guide) and enough memory on the system then you really should have no problems.
    Ok – question on that – in your experience, how much memory would be needed for a server being used by two people? The box I'm thinking about using is Pentium III, 930 MHz with 512 MB.

    Thanks so much for your help and advice!!

    Sean

  5. #5
    mrupright is offline Member
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    Hi Sean,

    I am using Zimbra at home for my wife and I's email. I am running my zimbra server on a P4 1.6ghz processor with 1 gig of ram. Top usually shows around 100-150 meg of free ram. The web client loads a little slow, but I think this can be improved some hopefully. However, once loaded it runs great!

    You will definitely want to relay the outgoing smtp through either your isp or a relay service. The bulk of consumer isp ip blocks are blacklisted as spam sources.

    Other than sending email to your new server to test the following link is just as handy:smtp test

  6. #6
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by emanaton View Post
    Ok – I had to go look up “doddle”.
    Sorry, a bit of English vernacular slipped out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by emanaton View Post
    Really? I've never used CentOS4. My experiences have been with primarily with Red Hat (hated it), Gentoo (*shrug*) and Ubuntu (love it). I'm hoping I'll be able to set myself up using the latter, but will settle for whatever works best. After all, it's not like I'll be able to use my Zimbra box for much of anything else, right?
    The reason I'd suggest CentOS is that it's the same as RHEL4 and is the one of the operating systems recommended by Zimbra for the NE version. In the end it's what you're most comfortable with.


    Quote Originally Posted by emanaton View Post
    Ok – question on that – in your experience, how much memory would be needed for a server being used by two people? The box I'm thinking about using is Pentium III, 930 MHz with 512 MB.
    I'd suggest 1Gb minimum as Zimbra is memory hungry, if you can't then you may encounter problems. There are some things you can do to reduce the memory footprint, it's been covered a couple of times in the forums. Having said that, I think there's a thread somewhere that people have posted their specs and some of the are round about the same as yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by emanaton View Post
    Thanks so much for your help and advice!!
    You're welcome and good luck with the installation.

    BTW, the 4.5 version of Zimbra is expected to go GA sometime in the 3rd week of January.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

  7. #7
    emanaton is offline New Member
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    Many thanks - I'll upgrade that PC's memory, keep my eye out for the new release, and get things going after my move. You all have been great for my confidence - thanks so much! =o)

    I wonder if we might not want to get a page going in the Zimbra wiki on setting up an "in home" configuration - it sounds like lots of peeps might be thinking in these terms. *Sean strokes his beard thoughtfully*

    Thanks again,

    Sean
    zimbra_forum@emanaton.com
    www.emanaton.com

  8. #8
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    It isn't really any different than a single server business set-up, the subjects have been covered many times in the forums but but if that's an offer of adding a page then feel free.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

  9. #9
    Kvasimongo is offline Starter Member
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    I just installed Zimbra to use at home. So far it seems great! Since im not the most experienced linux user, installation took some time. Im running it on Debian 3.1 2.6 kernel in VMWare. Its running OK with 768 mb ram allocated to the VMWare session.

    Ive tried a few other mail servers before, but this is by far the best/easiest ive seen (that is free ).

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