Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Zimbra + Evolution =

... Zimbrolution?!

What the Zimbra am I talking about? Zimbra is "open source server and client software for messaging and collaboration - email, group calendaring, contacts, and web document management and authoring"[1] that we are trialling at work. Essentially for me that means its a neat web interface to my mail, calendar and contacts.

But the problem with all these webmail webcalendar apps is you may send an email or make a contact on the web interface, and you don't have it in your normal mail client. You may use exchange or something like that, but if you're a die-hard Linux user such as myself, you're often left high and dry.

Enter Zimbraevo[2], the Zimbra Evolution Connecter. It's an add-on to Evolution[3] that lets you synchronise your mail, contacts and calendar with Zimbra.


OK, so I've convinced you to use Zimbraevo, but how? Well, you could search for some elusive instructions on installing it, but I didn't find a complete set.

You can either use my Gentoo ebuild below, or follow these tips:


  1. Zimbra server. I'm assuming someone has already set this up for you to use.
  2. Linux. There is a Windows version of evolution, so let me know if you have success installing Zimbraevo for it.
  3. svn, gcc or another compiler, and evolution. You need it to get the source and compile it. If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's probably a good idea to go here or do something else with your time :)

Getting the source

from your favourite command line, type
svn co zimbraevo
This will get you the latest bleeding edge source.

Make & Install

  1. cd to the newly created zimbraevo/trunk/ directory.
  2. type:
    1. ./
    2. make
    3. make install


Now restart evolution. For mail, you can just use imap. If your sysadmin has installed zimbra on your normal mail server, then you may not even have to do anything! But for the other features, try out the Zimbra server:
  1. Go to Edit > Preferences. You will see a similar preferences window to the one pictured here.
  2. Select "Add". Enter your email address, click Forward.
  3. Under Server Type, select Zimbra Collaboration Suite.
  4. Enter the other details as required. For me, the mail server and password is the same as my normal imap account. Your situation may vary depending on your setup. If in doubt, ask your sysadmin.
After you apply the final screen, you will see a new entry in your sidebar (folder list). I called my account Zimbra, so that's what I see.

Not only that, but there are also new contacts and calendars! Add a contact or calendar entry in Zimbra, and it appears in Evolution! I'm very happy with the way it "just worked". And I'm using Evolution 2.10.3, which hasn't been tested by Zimbra yet.

What Else?

If you happen to use Gentoo Linux, here's a free ebuild for you that pulls in the svn source, builds it and installs it. Copy the following text into an overlay. I put it in/usr/local/portage/gnome-extra/zimbraevo/zimbraevo-9999.ebuild.
# Zimbraevo live svn ebuild by Iain Buchanan
# $Header: $

inherit eutils subversion

DESCRIPTION="Zimbraevo - Zimbra Collaboration Suite Evolution Connector"




src_unpack() {

src_compile() {
cd ${S}/trunk
emake || die

src_install() {
cd ${S}/trunk
make DESTDIR="${D}" install || die

So there you have it. Please post your findings, I would be interested to hear what other brave Zimbraevo's are doing!

[2] Introducing Zimbra Connector for Evolution


Casey said...

Hey there..
I'm using your ebuild... and the bootstrapper keeps failing with:
configure: error: Evolution development libraries not installed

There isn't a specific evolution-dev ebuild.. I assume zimbraevo wants evolution's source. Can this be coded into the ebuild?

Iain said...


sorry about the delay in answering - I've been away!

I'm getting the same error with evolution 2.12.1. What version are you using?

I'll see if I can fix it!


Anonymous said...


Trying to use your zimbra client for evolution under Ubuntu Hardy Heron (Evolution

Mail works fine, but when I try to use the calendar I see the following error message:

Error on zimbra://$USERNAME@$ZIMBRAHOST:80/10 Authentication failed.

Any thoughts on solutions? Or even what this means?

J said...

Same here on the error:

Error on zimbra://$USERNAME@$ZIMBRAHOST:80/10 Authentication failed

on calendar

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