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The binary version of ZCS open source edition is not open-source

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 130.232.131.160] on November 07, 2008 07:28 AM
The "open source" Zimbra Collaboration Server 99% of people run is licensed under restrictive Zimbra End-user License Agreement (ZEULA). The only way to run open source -licensed (YPL 1.1) version of Zimbra is to compile it from source. Unfortunately the best way I can describe that is as infernal:

- build files are often badly broken, depending on the state of their Perforce (p4) repository
- build system makes faulty assumptions about the build environment
- external dependencies are not documented properly
- build process is very, very poorly documented

For those reasons you need to do endless of hours debugging the build process, making hacks, searching for dependencies, fixing build files etc. just to get one step forward. In the end you might end up with a functional version of Zimbra. In short, Zimbra is not meant to be compiled by anyone else but Zimbra employees, who have access to internal documentation. The fact that the binary version is released under the restrictive ZEULA underlines the fact that they don't want Zimbra to be modified by external developers.

So yes, Zimbra is open source. But running the open source version is beyond 99% of the people.

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