Groupware Service

Groupware, also known as collaborative software, is a set of applications used to integrate the work of different users into common projects. Each user can connect to the system from various work stations on the local network or from anywhere in the world via the Internet.

Some of the most important features of groupware tools are:

  • Communication between users: mail, chat rooms, etc.
  • Information sharing: shared calendars, task lists, common address books, knowledge base, file sharing, news, etc.
  • Project management, resources, time management, bugtracking, etc.

There are a large number of groupware solutions available on the market. Among the Open Source alternatives, one of the most popular options is eGroupWare [1] which is the one selected for the Zentyal Platform to implement this important feature within business environments.

[1]eGroupware: An enterprise ready groupware software for your network

Setting up eGroupware with the eBox Platform is very simple. The goal is for the user not to need to access the traditional configuration offered in eGroupware and to allow him to manage all the settings from eBox interface, unless some advanced customization is required. In fact, the password for the configuration of eGroupware is auto-generated [2] by eBox and the administrator should use it under her own responsibility: by taking any wrong action the module might become improperly configured and left in an unstable status.

[2]Note for eGroupware advanced users: The password is stored in the file /var/lib/ebox/conf/ebox-egroupware.passwd and usernames are admin and ebox for header and domain configuration respectively.

Groupware service settings with eBox

Most of eGroupware configuration is performed automatically by enabling the module and saving the changes. Without requiring any additional user intervention, eGroupware will be operating fully integrated with the eBox directory service (LDAP). All users being added to eBox from that moment on will be able to log in eGroupware without requiring any other action.

In addition, you can integrate the webmail service provided by eGroupware with eBox mail module. For this the only action required is to select a pre-existing virtual domain and to enable the IMAP service, allowing for the reception of mail. This is done by the eBox installer automatically if you select ebox-egroupware to install. Instructions for creating a mail domain and configuring the IMAP service are fully explained in chapter Electronic Mail Service (SMTP/POP3-IMAP4).

For the domain selection used by eGroupware, you should access the Groupware ‣ Virtual Mail Domain tab. The interface is shown in the following image. It is only needed to select the desired domain and click the button Change. Although, as usual, this action does not take effect until the button Save Changes is pressed.


In order for users to be able to use the mail service they will need to have their own accounts created on it. The image below (Users and Groups ‣ Users) shows that during the configuration of eGroupware a notice is displayed indicating the name of the mail account that should be used from eGroupware.


eGroupware consists of several applications; in eBox you can edit access permissions to these applications for each user assigning a permission template, as shown in the image above. There is a default permission template but you can define other ad-hoc ones.

The default permission template is useful for configuring most of the users of the system with the same permissions, so that when a new user is created permissions will be assigned automatically.

To edit the default template go to the Groupware ‣ Default Applications tab, as shown in the image.


For small groups of users such as administrators, you can define a custom permission template and apply it manually for these users.

To define a new template go to Groupware ‣ User Defined Permission Templates in the menu and click on Add New. Once the name is entered it will appear on the table and you can edit the applications by clicking on Allowed Applications, in a similar way as with the default template.


Be aware that if you modify the default permission template, changes will only be applied to users that are created from that moment on. They will not be applied retroactively to users previously created. The same applies to the user-defined templates: if there were any users with that template applied on their configuration you should edit that user’s properties and apply the same template again once it has been modified.

Finally, once you have configured everything, you can access eGroupWare through the address http://<ebox_ip>/egroupware using the username and password defined in the eBox interface.


eGroupware management is beyond the scope of this manual. For any question, you should check the official eGroupware user manual. It is available on-line in the official website and it is also linked from within the application once you are inside.

Practical example

Enable the Groupware module and check its integration with the mail.

  1. Action:

    Access eBox, go to Module Status and activate module Groupware, checking the box in the column Status. You will be informed eGroupware configuration is about to change. Allow the operation by pressing the button Accept. Make sure you have previously enabled the modules on which it depends (Mail, Webserver, Users, ...).


    The button Save Changes is enabled.

  2. Action:

    Set up a virtual mail domain as shown in the example Practical example A. In this example a user is added with her corresponding email account. Steps related to objects or forwarding policies in the example are not necessary. Follow the steps just until the point in which the user is added.


    The new user has a valid mail account.

  3. Action:

    Access the :menuselection: Mail –> General menu and in the Mail Server Options tab check the box IMAP Service Enabled and click Change.


    The change is saved temporarily but it will not be effective until changes are saved.

  4. Action:

    Access the :menuselection: Groupware menu and in the Virtual Mail Domain tab select the previously created domain and click Change.


    The change is saved temporarily but it will not be effective until changes are saved.

  5. Action:

    Save changes.


    eBox shows the progress while applying the changes and informs when it is done.

    From now on eGroupware is configured correctly to be integrated with your IMAP server.

  6. Action:

    Access the eGroupware interface (http://<ebox_ip>/egroupware) with the user you created earlier. Access the eGroupware mail application and send an email to your own address.


    You will receive in your inbox the email you just sent.

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