Are you looking for a best alternative for Microsoft Exchange server?  Then Zarafa is the one you should try. Zarafa, previously known as Connectux, is a groupware application that provides an integration with your existing email server and Microsoft Outlook Access via a propriety client-side plugin. Zarafa offers its own Ajax based email clients called Webaccess and a HTML5 based Webapp, both mail clients has the same look and feel of Microsoft Outlook and we can keep using the features in Outlook.


Also Zarafa offers all features that are existing in Outlook such as Personal address book, Calender, Shared calender, Public folder, notes and tasks etc. Using Zarafa we can view/send/delete mails, calender and contacts via a web browser like Microsoft OWA (Outlook Web Access). It comes with different editions, you can read the detailed comparison of all editions here.


Zarafa provides its groupware functionality by connecting the Linux-based server with Outlook clients using MAPI. The communication between server and client is based upon SOAP technology. The connection to Outlook clients can be secured using TLS/SSL, either directly between the Zarafa server program and the client, or via an HTTPS proxy. All data is generally stored in a MySQL database, although attachments can be saved on the filesystem. The Zarafa server can get its user information from LDAP, Active Directory, Unix user accounts or the MySQL database. The webmail is based on AJAX technology, with a PHP backend using a MAPI PHP extension. Other clients can connect via POP3, IMAP and iCalendar/CalDAV.




List of Zarafa Features.

– Addressbook.
– Calendar.
– Notes.
– Tasks.
– Personal Folders / Public Outlook Folders.
– Permissions for every User and Folder configurable.
– Meeting invitation and free/busy option.
– Resources planning.
– POP3.
– iCalendar.
– CalDAV.
– PDA synchronization via Z-push.
– BlackBerry integration over BES.
– Out-of-office message.
– Brick-level backup.
– Single sign-on.
– Hierarchical storage management (Zarafa Archiver).
– Server-side message indexing (version 6.40.0 and higher).





Before installing, we haveto setup Postfix mail server and let us integrate Zarafa to Postfix later. To install and configure Postfix mail server, refer the following link.

Installing postfix in centos

Please note: Do not install Dovecot or anyother pop3/imap server or stop it’s service permanently, otherwise you can’t use the built-in IMAP/POP3 server of Zarafa.

Hence Zarafa depends on MySQL and Apache, it is must to have a working LAMP stack. To install LAMP server, refer the following link.

We have completed all the prerequisites, now start installing Zarafa.




Install Zarafa Latest versioin 7


#tar xzf
#cd zcp-7.1.7-42779-rhel-6-x86_64

During Installation it ask for your mysql database and zarafa related details..



# chkconfig zarafa-server on
# chkconfig zarafa-dagent on
# chkconfig zarafa-gateway on
# chkconfig zarafa-spooler on
# chkconfig zarafa-search on



Configuring Postfix

Zarafa doesn’t send/receive mail alone, we have to integrate it to any existing mail server. In this case, i already installed and configured Postfix mail server as described in the above link.

Now let us integrate Zarafa to Postfix. To do that, edit the file /etc/postfix/,


# vi /etc/postfix/
mailbox_command = /usr/bin/zarafa-dagent “$USER”


# service postfix restart
#chkconfig postfix on



Create Public store and users

Create public store using command:

# zarafa-admin -s
Then create users. For example, here i am going to create two users called “corner” and “brein”.

# useradd corner
# useradd brein
# passwd corner
# passwd brein

Now let us assign mail id’s to them as shown below.

# zarafa-admin -c corner -p centos -e -f “corner”
# zarafa-admin -c kumar -p centos -e -f “brein”


-c – Create user
-p – password
-e – email
-f – full name

To create administrative user, you should use -a parameter with value “1″.

sathish is user already in my system

# zarafa-admin -c sathish -p centos -e -f “sathish” -a 1

-a – administrative user
-1 – describes administrative user, You can use 0(zero) for non-administrative users.





Access Zarafa webmail

We have done with configuration, Let us log in to Zarafa webmail. Navigate to https://ip-address/webaccess or https://domainname/webaccess.




Enter the username and password to log in.

Now you’ll be able to access the email box of the user.



As you see in the above screenshot, the interface is somewhat similar to Microsoft Outlook. From here, you can send/receive/delete mails.



Let us compose a test message and sent it to user corner.







Click on the New button on the left top corner. A window will open. Enter the recipient mail address and type the message. Click Send button after composing your email.

Log out from the current user.

The log out will be found in the lower right corner and log in back to corner user.

Congratulation!  That its ….