Restore Zimbra LDAP database from backup

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Wondering how to restore the Zimbra LDAP database from a backup? We can help you with it.

Here at Bobcares, we have seen several such Zimbra related queries as part of our Server Management Services for web hosts and online service providers.

Today we’ll take a look at the restoration process of the Zimbra LDAP database from backup.


How we restore Zimbra LDAP database from backup

Recently, one of our customers approached us with the below error while restarting Zimbra services.

$ zmcontrol start
  Starting ldap…Done.
  Unable to determine enabled services from ldap.
  Unable to determine enabled services. Cache is out of date or doesn’t exist.

We found the problem to be with the LDAP database. So we decided to rebuild the database as it was unrepairable.

Now let’s take a look at how our Support Engineers restore the Zimbra LDAP database from backup.

Before restoring an LDAP from the backup, we make sure that:

  • LDAP service is not running
  • The /opt/zimbra/data/ldap/config directory is empty and writeable
  • The /opt/zimbra/data/ldap/db directory is empty and writeable


Step 1: Stop Zimbra Services

First, we found that a recent Zimbra LDAP backup located under /opt/zimbra/backup directory. Generally, backups are named ldap_[timestamp].tar.gz and contain the following files:

  • ldap.ldif
  • ldap-schema.ldif (schema information)
  • ldap-config.ldif (backup of all cn=config elements)

First, we stop all Zimbra Services by running the below command.

$ zmcontrol stop


Step 2: Backup Zimbra LDAP Data

After stopping the services, we back up the old data. We run the below commands as a root user.

$ mv /opt/zimbra/data/ldap/config/ /opt/zimbra/data/ldap/OLDconfig/
$ mv /opt/zimbra/data/ldap/mdb/db /opt/zimbra/data/ldap/mdb/OLD_db/

Then we recreate LDAP data folders and give them the correct permissions as below.

$ mkdir -p /opt/zimbra/data/ldap/mdb/db /opt/zimbra/data/ldap/mdb/logs
$ chown -R zimbra:zimbra /opt/zimbra/data/ldap
$ /opt/zimbra/libexec/zmfixperms -verbose


Step 3: Restore the Zimbra LDAP database from backup.

Now, we have the data directory empty. So we navigate to the directory with the LDAP backup. The backups were archived, so we uncompressed them before restoration.

$ cd /opt/zimbra/backup/sessions/incr-20190218.230007.912/ldap
$ ls
ldap.bak.gz ldap-config.bak.gz

We run the below commands to uncompress the Zimbra LDAP configuration files.

$ gunzip *.gz
$ ls
ldap.bak ldap-config.bak

Then we restore ldap-config.bak using the slapadd command. We run it as Zimbra user.

$ slapadd -q -n 0 -F /opt/zimbra/data/ldap/config -cv -l ldap-config.bak
  added: “cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “cn=module{0},cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “cn=schema,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “cn={0}core,cn=schema,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “cn={1}cosine,cn=schema,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “cn={2}inetorgperson,cn=schema,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “cn={3}dyngroup,cn=schema,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “cn={4}zimbra,cn=schema,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “cn={5}amavisd,cn=schema,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “cn={6}opendkim,cn=schema,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “olcDatabase={-1}frontend,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “olcDatabase={0}config,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “olcDatabase={1}monitor,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “olcDatabase={2}mdb,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “olcOverlay={0}dynlist,olcDatabase={2}mdb,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “olcOverlay={1}unique,olcDatabase={2}mdb,cn=config” (00000001)
  added: “olcOverlay={2}noopsrch,olcDatabase={2}mdb,cn=config” (00000001)
  ############## 100.00% eta none elapsed none fast!
  Closing DB…

We do the same for ldap.bak.

$ slapadd -q -b “” -F /opt/zimbra/data/ldap/config -cv -l ldap.bak


Step 4: Start Zimbra Services

After restoring the database, we start all the Zimbra Services. We start with LDAP service.

$ ldap start
$ ldap status

Once it is successful, we bring up all other Zimbra Services.

# su – zimbra
$ zmcontrol start
  Starting ldap…Done.
  Starting zmconfigd…Done.
  Starting logger…Done.
  Starting convertd…Done.
  Starting mailbox…Done.
  Starting memcached…Done.
  Starting proxy…Done.
  Starting amavis…Done.
  Starting antispam…Done.
  Starting antivirus…Done.
  Starting opendkim…Done.
  Starting snmp…Done.
  Starting spell…Done.
  Starting mta…Done.
  Starting stats…Done.
  Starting service webapp…Done.
  Starting zimbra webapp…Done.
  Starting zimbraAdmin webapp…Done.
  Starting zimlet webapp…Done.
  Starting imapd…Done.

Then we check the status.

$ zmcontrol status
  amavis Running
  antispam Running
  antivirus Running
  convertd Running
  imapd Running
  ldap Running
  logger Running
  mailbox Running
  memcached Running
  mta Running
  opendkim Running
  proxy Running
  service webapp Running
  snmp Running
  spell Running
  stats Running
  zimbra webapp Running
  zimbraAdmin webapp Running
  zimlet webapp Running
  zmconfigd Running

Finally, the customer was able to access Zimbra Admin UI and perform the normal Email administration tasks.

[Need any further assistance with Zimbra related queries? – We are here to help you.]



In today’s writeup, we saw how our Support Engineers restores the LDAP database from backup.


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