Upgrade Zimbra FOSS v7 to v8

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I created these notes whilst upgrading my Zimbra servers to latest v8. I'm not an expert, but the below worked for me. I run Zimbra on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS currently, and haven't upgraded to 12.04 LTS for a few reasons...

  • Its still a new OS so may need a high frequency of patching
  • Its only just supported on VMware, ESX4.1 Update 3 is required, and so my hosted server probably can't be upgraded yet.
  • I normally prefer to do OS upgrades as new builds, but I can't be bothered to rebuild my Zimbra servers

I also use Z-Push to provide Mobile Sync (Active-Sync), which I recently upgraded to use v2 (see Z-Push v2 with Zimbra) - this survives the upgrade without issue, but its obviously well worth you doing your own testing if you also use Z-Push.


The most important part about any upgrade is not how to perform the upgrade, its how to fallback from the upgrade when it doesn't work properly. Always assume the worst, and give yourself more than one option. At the very least make sure you have a copy of /opt/zimbra, and a export of mailboxes is nice to have as well. See the following

If you're running on a Virtual Machine, take a snapshot as well. If you need to advise users on downtime, make sure you allow a bit of time to faff around investigating what went wrong and then reverting back.

If you have a backup server you should ensure that its ready to go, prior to the upgrade of the primary server. You may want to shut it down (or prevent incoming mail reaching it) to stop mail being received whilst the primary is being upgraded, if its hosts backup mailboxes for example.

Similarly its worth spending some time ensuring that the server you're upgrading is in good working order prior to the upgrade, for example...

  • No monitoring alerts (if your server is monitored)
  • No unexpected errors in recent logs
  • Plenty of free disk space, and coping well with load

Upgrade Procedure

  1. Download the appropriate version from http://www.zimbra.com/downloads/os-downloads.html
  2. Uncompress the package
    • EG tar -xzf zcs-8.0.0_GA_5434.UBUNTU10_64.20120907144627.tgz
  3. Change directory into the package folder and run the install script
    • EG cd zcs-8.0.0_GA_5434.UBUNTU10_64.20120907144627
    • ./install.sh
    • The script should detect the existing Zimbra install and state that it will perform an upgrade - do not proceed if this is not the case (answer no to subsequent license agreements)
  4. Accept the license agreements
  5. Perform the database integrity check
  6. Confirm that you wish to upgrade
  7. Answer no to the installation of any (additional) packages
  8. Confirm Y to continue at The system will be modified. message
  9. The install will now proceed
    • The whole upgrade takes a while (1hr+ depending on server spec, size etc; though actual downtime will be less, probably nearer 30 mins)

Post Upgrade

Perform basic checks such as...

  • All services are started
  • Nothing obviously wrong in the logs
  • Can send and receive mail OK.

If you made changes to the Zimbra crontab (eg High CPU Workaround), these will need to be reapplied.

If you are monitoring the Clamd AV service, you'll need to monitor the socket file (/opt/zimbra/data/clamav/clamav.sock) rather than TCP 3310 - see Monitoring Zimbra with Nagios > Clam AV Service