Zx Backup Moving a mailbox between two mailboxd servers

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Moving a mailbox between two different mailboxd servers

This little guide will walk through the steps required to move a mailbox between different mailboxd servers in a Zimbra infrastructure using ZeXtras Backup.

Please note that this is just a "workaround" that will lead to a very small downtime for the mailbox being moved, and that a proper "move mailbox" feature will be added to ZeXtras Suite in the future.


For clarity purpouses, the following naming will be used in the guide:

  • account@domain.com : Fictional name for the mailbox to be moved
  • "Original Mailbox": The mailbox to be moved
  • "New Mailbox": The resulting mailbox
  • "Original Server": The server on which the mailbox was originally hosted
  • "New Server": The server on which the mailbox will be moved

Important Warning

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Following this guide you will end up with a new account on a new server. This means that the new account will not have any backup history, and that the backup history of the old account will be available on the original server until the expiration of the Data Retention time.


  • ZeXtras Backup is required in order to proceed. The Realtime Scanner engine must be active and functional (during part of the process it will be disabled and it will then be re-enabled).
  • The backup path of the Original Server must be mounted on the New Server and the 'zimbra' user on the destination server must have r/w access to it.
  • It's very important that no Scan operations are started during the move.

Step-by-step guide

  • Log into the Original Server's shell and switch to the 'zimbra' user
  • STOP the Real Time Scanner
 zxsuite backup setProperty ZxBackup_RealTimeScanner false
  • Run an Account Scan on the Original Account
 zxsuite backup doAccountScan account@domain.com
  • Rename the original account to a provisional name
 zmprov ra account@domain.com account_old@domain.com 
  • Log into the Destination Server's shell and switch to the 'zimbra' user
  • Start an "External Restore" using the original account name and specifying the original server's backup path as the source path. It's important to use all the "skip" directives described.
 zxsuite backup doExternalRestore /path/to/originalserver/backup/ accounts user@domain.com skip_aliases true skip_system_accounts true skip_distribution_lists true skip_coses true
  • Once the restore is completed, remove any existing aliases from the original mailbox
  • Flush Zimbra's cache on both servers (failing to do so might lead to "Alias already existing" during the next step)
 zmprov fc all
  • Create all due aliases on the new mailbox
  • Finally, re-start the Realtime Scanner
 zxsuite backup setProperty ZxBackup_RealTimeScanner true
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