Kolab2 Installation - Overview

From Kolab Wiki

Revision as of 19:46, 20 February 2012 by Cwickert (Talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

All you need to know in order to install the Kolab server.

Contents

Quick Links

If you already know which installation variant you want to choose, these are the relevant short cuts:

Otherwise you might wish to get an overview of the server structure before deciding on the installation variant. Just continue reading in that case.

The Kolab server structure

The Kolab server is constructed out of several widely used open source components such as postfix, cyrus-imapd, apache, openldap and four Kolab specific "glue" components. If Kolab would only use the basic features of packages like postfix or cyrus-imap it would not be too much of a casino problem to provide source archives for the four Kolab packages and let the different distributions handle the packaging so that you could install the Kolab server on just any distribution.

Original problem

But the situation is not that simple. In fact, the Kolab server needs to patch packages like cyrus-imapd, and php-imap, so that they provide some additional functionality crucial for the Kolab server. While each distribution provides its very own set of package versions that are called "stable" at a given point in time, managing the Kolab specific patches so that you get a stable and reliable server is only possible for one such distribution. So the Kolab developers had to choose such a reference distribution.

The OpenPKG solution

The best option for this reference distribution was OpenPKG. This distribution provides a distribution within a distribution. You can basically install it on any normal Linux distribution and it will reside within a specified directory of your normal system. For Kolab this will be the /kolab directory. This way, you still choose your favorite Linux distribution as your basic system and only use the "foreign" distribution within a defined area of your server.

Drawbacks

This certainly also has drawbacks: If you are used to the tools of your standard distribution you suddenly need to use the OpenPKG specific administration tools within the /kolab directory. Some system administrators will consider that an inacceptable solution and consequently a corresponding question is prominently listed in the FAQ. Hopefully the abstract above also explains why this choice was necessary.

Alternatives

Nevertheless you have the option of installing Kolab natively on some selected architectures. Kolab as a project has drawn enough interest that it has been transferred from its original OpenPKG installation to natively integrate into other Linux distributions. Most of these projects are still rather young and if you need a rock solid Kolab server you should definitely choose the OpenPKG version.

The OpenPKG installation

OpenPKG based installations can be done based on binary packages or based on source packages. If you wish you can also install the latest version from CVS.

Installing from binaries

For some system binary packages are available. These can be used to directly install the OpenPKG environment on the corresponding platform. Usually the Kolab project will provide such packages for the Debian distribution.

Installing from source

Installing from source packages might sound more complicated than it actually is. It is the most common alternative of installing the Kolab server and should work on just any standard Kolab distribution.

Since this source distribution can be installed on many different distributions there are some distribution specific notes available:

Installing from CVS

This installation method is your method of choice in case you want to modify the server and/or get involved into Kolab development.

Kolab on other Linux distributions

Kolab has been integrated natively into several distributions and you can install it without the use of OpenPKG on these platforms.

Native installation

  • Native installation - Installing the Kolab server natively integrated into a Linux distribution without using OpenPKG.

Intergration Kolab into other distributions

There are some notes available that provide hints what needs to be done in order to integrate Kolab into other distributions. You will need to have some development skills to do this.

Personal tools