View Full Version : "Philosophical Question" Replacing Microsoft Exchange Server with "something Linux"?

July 2nd, 2007, 09:30 PM
I'm a happy if only moderately technically minded user of Ubuntu Linux on my desktop computer.

In discussing Linux, one more technically minded individual said he liked Linux but wouldn't or couldn't migrate because "Linux doesn't support Exchange Server or have an alternative. Call me when it does. (seriously, I'll be there)".

My first response was to search the Web for Linux "Exchange Server". I received a whole lot of hits that seemed to suggest that there are in fact many different ways to attack the problem of Linux supporting Exchange Server. I, however, am not qualified to determine how useful or usable many of those putative solutions might or might not be.

So, does anyone have any information or ideas regarding this? I'm not really a server guy (and truth be told, don't particularly care 'bout such things)...

July 2nd, 2007, 09:40 PM
There are a host of exchange alternatives that are far less costly.

Zimbra and Scalix are premier collaboration suites that come to mind. Zimbra is incredibly easy to setup on any version of Linux but is most heavily documented on Ubuntu (not that there's much needed). Zimbra is being called the "Exchange Killer". It really depends on company needs and direction. If you have IT that is not open minded or interested in an alternative, it is useless to try to "convert" them. I had similar dealings with a push to use StarOffice or OpenOffice in my one company versus the extremely costly licensing of Office on desktops. IT was all for the alternative but the users killed it off because they didn't want to change from what they were use to. Your situation might be the other way around with IT not accepting an alternative. If they are not a linux house, they really might not be pro open source alternatives.

My one old company was a HUGE linux house on the IT side but normal users killed many open source IT pushes to front end users.

July 2nd, 2007, 09:52 PM
There hasn't been anything that could do Exchange + Outlook functionality until recently. Now there are alternatives with the same functionality, the original doubters are ignoring them.

Apparently around 25% of the surveyed Exchange admins plan to move to a Linux based mail groupware/mail server such as Scalix or Zimbra. http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=343

And specsavers have just moved to open source including binning Exchange.

July 2nd, 2007, 10:07 PM
There's also Zarafa. It's not open source, but it runs on Linux, and it's a complete replacement for Exchange, so much so that you can even use it in combination with MS Outlook clients on Windows PC's (like, when your users don't want to give op Outlook, or you have other reasons to leave the desktops Windows while you move to Linux for your servers).


July 2nd, 2007, 10:46 PM
Thanks to everyone who has responded or will respond to my question. Your contributions have enabled me to sound much smarter (at least in writing) on this subject than I actually am....

Cheers & thanks 'gain,