Open-Xchange Server 6 on CentOS5 Linux

This article will guide you through the installation of the Open-Xchange server, it describes the basic configuration and software requirements. As it is intended as a quick walk-through it assumes an existing installation of the operating system and requires average system administration skills. More, this guide will show you how to setup a basic installation with none of the typically used distributed environment settings. The objective of this guide is:

  • To setup a single server installation
  • To setup a single Open-Xchange instance, no cluster
  • To setup a database for a single database service, no replication
  • To provide a basic configuration setup, no mailserver configuration

Important: This installation guide will only work for v6.20. If you want to install v6.22 or later please use the installation guide for newer versions.


  • Plain installed CentOS5 with latest updates
  • A configured internet connection

Add Open-Xchange Repository

Open-Xchange maintains public available software repositories for different platforms, such as RHEL. This repository should be added to the RHEL installation to enable simple installation and updates.

Start a console and create a software repository file for Open-Xchange:

$ vim /etc/yum.repos.d/ox.repo


# if you have a valid maintenance subscription, please uncomment the 
# following and add the ldb account data to the url so that the most recent
# packages get installed

name=Open-Xchange Updates

In case there are issues with an username and password containing URL unsafe characters, e.g. an @, they have to be entered URL encoded. Details can be found at

In addition, you need to add this repository for the special meta package for centos:

repo below is for open-xchange-meta-centos

name=Open-Xchange Misc

Note: you need the open-xchange-meta-centos package because CentOS does not ship Sun Java packages and thus, installing Open-Xchange packages will fail because of missing dependencies. open-xchange-meta-centos fulfills the sun-java dependency and depends on openjdk6 as shipped with Centos.

Updating repositories and installing packages

Reload the package index. This will download the package descriptions available at the software repositories:

$ yum update

The following command starts the download and installation process of all required package for Open-Xchange deployment:

Using Meta packages

The following Meta packages are available:

Name Description
open-xchange-meta-admin all provisioning packages
open-xchange-meta-gui all gui packages
open-xchange-meta-messaging the complete messaging packages like unified inbox, twitter, facebook, etc.
open-xchange-meta-mobility OXtender for business mobility
open-xchange-meta-outlook Outlook OXtender Updater
open-xchange-meta-pubsub all publish/subscribe related packages
open-xchange-meta-server the server backend packages
open-xchange-meta-databaseonly all packages needed when open-xchange is only managed via database and not e.g. LDAP
open-xchange-meta-singleserver most of the above

If you want to install everything on a single server, just run

$ yum install mysql-server open-xchange-meta-centos open-xchange-meta-singleserver \
   open-xchange-authentication-database open-xchange-spamhandler-default 

Note: You have to choose between one of the available spamhandler and authentication packages depending on your requirements. If you plan to only manage your open-xchange installation via database and do not plan to integrate e.g. with LDAP and OXLDAPSync, you might also want to install the package open-xchange-meta-databaseonly.

Of course you can still install the single packages as usual to be able to select a specific set of functionality that you'd like to have, for example:

$ yum install mysql-server open-xchange-meta-centos \
open-xchange open-xchange-authentication-database \
open-xchange-admin-client open-xchange-admin-lib \
open-xchange-admin-plugin-hosting open-xchange-admin-plugin-hosting-client \
open-xchange-admin-plugin-hosting-lib open-xchange-configjump-generic \
open-xchange-admin-doc open-xchange-contactcollector \
open-xchange-conversion open-xchange-conversion-engine \
open-xchange-conversion-servlet open-xchange-crypto \
open-xchange-data-conversion-ical4j open-xchange-dataretention \
open-xchange-genconf open-xchange-genconf-mysql \
open-xchange-imap open-xchange-mailfilter \
open-xchange-management open-xchange-monitoring \
open-xchange-passwordchange-database open-xchange-passwordchange-servlet \
open-xchange-pop3 open-xchange-publish open-xchange-publish-basic \
open-xchange-publish-infostore-online open-xchange-publish-json \
open-xchange-publish-microformats open-xchange-push-udp \
open-xchange-resource-managerequest open-xchange-server \
open-xchange-settings-extensions open-xchange-smtp \
open-xchange-spamhandler-default open-xchange-sql open-xchange-subscribe \
open-xchange-xerces-sun open-xchange-subscribe-json \
open-xchange-subscribe-microformats open-xchange-subscribe-crawler \
open-xchange-templating open-xchange-threadpool open-xchange-unifiedinbox \
open-xchange-admin-plugin-hosting-doc open-xchange-charset \
open-xchange-group-managerequest open-xchange-i18n open-xchange-jcharset \
open-xchange-sessiond open-xchange-calendar-printing \
open-xchange-user-json open-xchange-gui-wizard-plugin \
open-xchange-report-client \
open-xchange-configjump-generic-gui \
open-xchange-gui open-xchange-gui-wizard-plugin-gui \
open-xchange-online-help-de \
open-xchange-online-help-en open-xchange-online-help-fr

Open-Xchange configuration

To avoid confusion right at the start notice that Open-Xchange uses multiple administration levels and requires different credentials at some stages at the installation and server management. Note that the passwords chosen at this guide are weak and should be replaced by stronger passwords.

  • The MySQL database user
    • Username: openexchange
    • Password used at this guide: db_password
    • Responsibility: Execute all kinds of database operations
  • The Open-Xchange Admin Master
    • Username: oxadminmaster
    • Password used at this guide: admin_master_password
    • Responsibility: Manage contexts, manage all kinds of low level server configuration
  • The Context Admin
    • Username: oxadmin
    • Password used at this guide: admin_password
    • Responsibility: Manage users/groups/resources inside a context

In order to setup the Open-Xchange Server it is mandatory to have the database running:

$ /etc/init.d/mysqld start

Note: in case of a distributed setup, it is recommended to start mysql with --skip-name-resolve or to add all hosts to the hosts file of the database server so that slow DNS responses do not slow down the creation of new database connections.
In a distributed setup you should also take care of the fact that Open-Xchange supports only a Statement Based Replication at the moment ( See also Load_balancing_and_clustering

a good idea is to add the Open-Xchange binaries to PATH:

$  echo PATH=$PATH:/opt/open-xchange/sbin/ >> ~/.bashrc && . ~/.bashrc

Now we have to initialize the Open-Xchange configdb database. This can all be done by executing the initconfigdb script.

$ /opt/open-xchange/sbin/initconfigdb --configdb-pass=db_password -a

Add the -i option if you want to remove an already existing open-xchange configdb.

Note: The -a parameter adds an administrative account to mysql, this administrative account is required for the creation of the oxdatabase database, you may find problems following the instructions of this tutorial if you either set a mysql root password or do not create this administrative account, if you have manually setup this administrative account, grant the permissions for database creation or you may find a problem in the context creation.

Before starting any service, all basic configuration files need to be set up correctly. The --configdb-pass option indicates the password of the openexchange database user previously created, the --master-pass options specifies the password of the Open-Xchange adminmaster user that will be created when executing the oxinstaller script.

Important: You should have your Open-Xchange license code at hand. If you do not plan to license Open-Xchange, you can use the option --no-license instead. Please also check OXReportClient documentation for more information about configuring a supported and maintained Open-Xchange server.

Important: For MAX_MEMORY_FOR_JAVAVM a rule of thumb for simple installations is half available system memory. The value must be in MB. For example "1024" for 1GB . For production environments please consult our Sizing Whitepaper.

$ /opt/open-xchange/sbin/oxinstaller --add-license=YOUR-OX-LICENSE-CODE \
--servername=oxserver --configdb-pass=db_password \
--master-pass=admin_master_password --ajp-bind-port=localhost --servermemory MAX_MEMORY_FOR_JAVAVM

Note: In a clustered setup, --ajp-bind-port must be set to *

Now is a good time to configure the way OX will authenticate to your mail server. Edit the file /opt/open-xchange/etc/ and change the com.openexchange.mail.loginSource to use. This is very important for servers that require your full email address to log in with.

# adjust com.openexchange.mail.loginSource
$ vim /opt/open-xchange/etc/

After initializing the configuration, start the Open-Xchange Administration service by executing:

$ /etc/init.d/open-xchange-admin start

Next we have to register the local server at the Open-Xchange configdb database:

$ /opt/open-xchange/sbin/registerserver -n oxserver -A oxadminmaster -P admin_master_password

Now we have to create a local directory that should be used as Open-Xchange filestore. This directory will contain all Infostore content and files attached to groupware objects. To maintain access by the Open-Xchange Groupware service, it is required to grant permissions to the open-xchange system user.

$ mkdir /var/opt/filestore
$ chown open-xchange:open-xchange /var/opt/filestore

Now register the directory as a filestore at the Open-Xchange server:

$ /opt/open-xchange/sbin/registerfilestore -A oxadminmaster -P admin_master_password \
-t file:/var/opt/filestore -s 1000000

Note: You might want to adapt the value provided with -s, the "The maximum size of the filestore in MB", see registerfilestore --help.

Note 2: If you are setting up OX App Suite, you need a shared filestore accross your OX servers even though you do not plan to have the OX Files feature enabled for your customers.

Finally register the groupware database, this is a separated database where all groupware specific data is stored:

$ /opt/open-xchange/sbin/registerdatabase -A oxadminmaster -P admin_master_password \
-n oxdatabase -p db_password -m true

Configure services

Now as the Open-Xchange Server has been set up and the database is running, we have to configure the Apache webserver and the mod_proxy_ajp module to access the groupware frontend. To gain better GUI performance, the usage of mod_expires and mod_deflate is strongly recommended. Those modules will limit the amount of client requests and compress the delivered content. The default installation of the Apache webserver on CentOS provides a welcome screen which is not necessary for server operation, it can be removed by deleting the corresponding configuration file:

$ rm /etc/httpd/conf.d/welcome.conf

Configure the mod_proxy_ajp module by creating a new Apache configuration file.

$ vim /etc/httpd/conf.d/proxy_ajp.conf

<Location /servlet/axis2/services>
    # restrict access to the soap provisioning API
    Order Deny,Allow
    Deny from all
    Allow from
    # you might add more ip addresses / networks here
    # Allow from 192.168 10 172.16

LoadModule proxy_ajp_module modules/

<IfModule mod_proxy_ajp.c>
   ProxyRequests Off
   <Proxy balancer://oxcluster>
       Order deny,allow
       Allow from all
       # multiple server setups need to have the hostname inserted instead localhost
       BalancerMember ajp://localhost:8009 timeout=100 smax=0 ttl=60 retry=60 loadfactor=50 route=OX1
       # Enable and maybe add additional hosts running OX here
       # BalancerMember ajp://oxhost2:8009 timeout=100  smax=0 ttl=60 retry=60 loadfactor=50 route=OX2
      ProxySet stickysession=JSESSIONID|jsessionid scolonpathdelim=On
   # OX frontend
   <Proxy /ajax>
       ProxyPass balancer://oxcluster/ajax
   <Proxy /servlet>
       ProxyPass balancer://oxcluster/servlet
   <Proxy /infostore>
       ProxyPass balancer://oxcluster/infostore
   <Proxy /publications>
       ProxyPass balancer://oxcluster/publications
   # USM
   <Proxy /usm-json>
       ProxyPass balancer://oxcluster/usm-json
   # SOAP
   <Proxy /webservices>
       ProxyPass balancer://oxcluster/webservices
   # OXtender
   <Proxy /Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync>
       ProxyPass balancer://oxcluster/Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync

Modify the default website settings to display the Open-Xchange GUI

$ vim /etc/httpd/conf.d/ox.conf
<VirtualHost *:80>
	ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost

	DocumentRoot /var/www/html

	<Directory /var/www/html>
		AllowOverride None
		Order allow,deny
		allow from all
		RedirectMatch ^/$ /ox6/
               Options +FollowSymLinks +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch
       # deflate
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/javascript application/javascript text/css text/xml application/xml text/x-js application/x-javascript

	# pre-compressed files
	AddType text/javascript .jsz
	AddType text/css .cssz
	AddType text/xml .xmlz
        AddType text/plain .po
	AddEncoding gzip .jsz .cssz .xmlz
	SetEnvIf Request_URI "\.(jsz|cssz|xmlz)$" no-gzip
	ExpiresActive On
	<Location /ox6>
	        # Expires (via ExpiresByType to override global settings)
	        ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 6 months"
	        ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 6 months"
	        ExpiresByType image/jpg "access plus 6 months"
	        ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 6 months"
	        ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 6 months"
	        ExpiresByType text/html "access plus 6 months"
	        ExpiresByType text/xml "access plus 6 months"
	        ExpiresByType text/javascript "access plus 6 months"
	        ExpiresByType text/x-js "access plus 6 months"
	        ExpiresByType application/x-javascript "access plus 6 months"
	        ExpiresDefault "access plus 6 months"
	        Header append Cache-Control "private"
	        Header unset Last-Modified
	        Header unset Vary
	        # Strip version
	        RewriteEngine On
	        RewriteRule v=\w+/(.+) $1 [L]
	        # Turn off ETag
	        Header unset ETag
	        FileETag None
	<Location /ox6/ox.html>
	        ExpiresByType text/html "now"
	        ExpiresDefault "now"
	        Header unset Last-Modified
	        Header set Cache-Control "no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0"
	        # Turn off ETag
	        Header unset ETag
	        FileETag None
	<Location /ox6/index.html>
	        ExpiresByType text/html "now"
	        ExpiresDefault "now"
	        Header unset Last-Modified
	        Header set Cache-Control "no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0"
	        # Turn off ETag
	        Header unset ETag
	        FileETag None

After the configuration is done, restart the Apache webserver

$ /etc/init.d/httpd restart

Finally start the Open-Xchange Groupware service

$ /etc/init.d/open-xchange-groupware start

Adding services to runlevels

The new services are now installed and configured, but to make them start up on a server boot, they need to be added to some runlevels:

chkconfig --level 345 mysqld on
chkconfig --level 345 httpd on
chkconfig --level 345 open-xchange-groupware on
chkconfig --level 345 open-xchange-admin on

Creating contexts and users

Now as the whole setup is complete and you already should get a login screen when accessing the server with a webbrowser, we have to setup a context and a default user as the last step of this tutorial.

The mapping defaultcontext will allow you to set this context as the default one of the entire system so that users which will be created within this context can login into Open-Xchange Server without specifying their domain at the login screen. Only one context can be specified as defaultcontext. The oxadmin user that will be created by this command is the default admin of the created context. This account will gather additional functions that are also described in the administration manual. The context id parameter must to be unique and numeric, otherwise the server will complain when you try to create a context. New contexts must be created by the oxadminmaster user, user accounts inside a context are created with the credentials of the contexts oxadmin account. The access-combination-name property defines the set of available modules and functions for users of the context.

$ /opt/open-xchange/sbin/createcontext -A oxadminmaster -P admin_master_password -c 1 \
-u oxadmin -d "Context Admin" -g Admin -s User -p secret -L defaultcontext \
-e -q 1024 --access-combination-name=all

Create a user for testing purposes:

$ /opt/open-xchange/sbin/createuser -c 1 -A oxadmin -P secret -u testuser \
-d "Test User" -g Test -s User -p secret -e \
--imaplogin testuser --imapserver --smtpserver

Now connect to the server with a webbrowser and login using the credentials testuser / secret.

Log files and issue tracking

Whenever unexpected or erroneous behavior takes place, it will be logged depending on the configured loglevel. All logfiles are stored at the operating systems default location. Events triggered by the Open-Xchange Groupware services are logged to a rotating file open-xchange.log, events triggered by the Open-Xchange Administration service are logged to open-xchange-admin.log. Those files are the very first place to monitor.

$ tail -f -n200 /var/log/open-xchange/open-xchange.log.0
$ tail -f -n200 /var/log/open-xchange/open-xchange-admin.log.0