Generally speaking, Zentyal is meant to be installed exclusively on one (real or virtual) machine. However, this does not prevent you from installing other applications, that are not managed through the Zentyal interface. These applications must be manually installed and configured.

Zentyal runs on top of Ubuntu [1] server edition, always on LTS (Long Term Support) [2] versions. LTS has longer support periods: five years instead of three.

You can install Zentyal in two different ways:

  • using the Zentyal installer (recommended option),
  • using an existing Ubuntu Server Edition installation.

In the second case the official Zentyal repositories must be added and installation continued by installing the modules you are interested in [3].

However, in the first case the installation and deployment process is easier as all dependencies reside on a single CD or USB. Another benefit of using the CD or USB is to have a graphical environment that allows the use of a web interface from the server itself.

[1]Ubuntu is a Linux distribution developed by Canonical and the community, focused on laptops, PCs and servers:
[2]For a detailed description about the publication of Ubuntu versions it is recommended you consult the Ubuntu guide:
[3]For more information about installing from the repository please go to

Zentyal installer

The Zentyal installer is based on the Ubuntu Server installer. Those already familiar with this installer will also find the installation process very similar.

To start with, you choose the installation language, in this example English is chosen.


Selection of the language

You can install Zentyal by using the default mode which deletes all disk contents and creates the partitions required by Zentyal by using LVM [4] or you can choose the expert mode which allows customised partitioning. Most users should choose the default option unless they are installing on a server with RAID software or they want to create special partitioning according to specific requirements.


Installer start

In the next step choose the language for your system interface. To set the language, you are asked for your country, in this example the United States is chosen.


Geographical location

You can use automatic detection for setting the keyboard: a few questions are asked to ensure the model you are using is correct. Otherwise, you can select the model manually by choosing No.


Autodetection of the keyboard


Selection of the keyboard

If you have more than one network interface, the system will ask which one to use during installation (i.e. for downloading updates). If you have just one, you will not see this question.


Network interface selection

Now choose a name for your server: this name is important for host identification within the network.



In the next step you are asked for your time zone. It is automatically configured depending on the location chosen earlier on, but you can modify it in case this is incorrect.

Time zone

Time zone

Once you have finished these steps, the installation process will start and the progress bar informs you of installation progress.

Later, the administrator name is requested.



Afterwards, log into the system by inserting the username or login. This user will have administration privileges and in addition, the same user will be used to access the Zentyal interface.


System username

In the next step you are asked for the user password. It is important to note that the user defined earlier, can access, using the same password, both system (via SSH or local login) and the Zentyal web interface. Therefore you must be especially careful to choose a secure password (more than 12 characters including letters, numbers and symbols).



Here, insert the password again to verify it.


Confirm password

The installation progress bar will now appear. You must wait for the basic system to install. This process can take approximately 20 minutes, depending on the server.

Base system installation

Installation of the base system

Once installation of the base system is completed, you can eject the installation CD and restart the server.



Now your Zentyal system is installed! A graphical interface in a web browser is started and you are able to access the administrative interface. After the first restart, the graphical environment was automatically started, from now on you must authenticate before it will begin.


Graphical environment with administrative interface

To start configuring Zentyal profiles or modules, you must insert the username and password indicated during the installation process. Any user you later add to the admin group can access the Zentyal interface and has sudo privileges in the system.

[4]LVM is the logical volume manager in Linux, you can find an introduction to LVM management in

Initial configuration

When you access the web interface for the first time, a configuration wizard will start. To start with, you can choose the functionality for your system. To simplify this selection, in the upper part of the interface you will find the pre-designed server profiles.


Zentyal profiles

Zentyal profiles available for installation:

Zentyal Gateway:
Zentyal will act as a gateway of the local network, offering secure and controlled access to Internet.
Zentyal Unified Threat Manager:
Zentyal protects the local network against any external attacks, intrusions, internal security threats and enables secure interconnection between local networks via the Internet or other external network.
Zentyal Infrastructure:
Zentyal manages the infrastructure of the local network with basic services such as DHCP, DNS, NTP, HTTP server, and so on.
Zentyal Office:
Zentyal can act as server for shared resources of the local network: files, printers, calendars, contacts, user profiles and groups.
Zentyal Unified Communications:
Zentyal can act as a communications center for the company, handling e-mail, instant messaging and VoIP.

You can select any number of profiles to assign multiple roles to your Zentyal Server.

We can also install a manual set of services just clicking on their icons, without having to comply with any specific profile. Another possibility is to install a profile and then manually add the required extra packages.

In the example only the Gateway installation profile is used.

Once you have finished the selection, only the necessary additional packages will be installed. In addition, if there are any recommended complimentary components, you will be asked if you want to install those too. This selection is not definitive and later you can install and uninstall any of the Zentyal modules via the software management tools.


Confirmation and recommended complimentary components

The system will begin the installation process of required modules and you will be shown a progress bar as well as brief introduction to core Zentyal functions. Additional services available for Zentyal will also be displayed.


Installation and additional information

Once the installation process has completed, the configuration wizard will configure the new modules and then you are asked some questions.

First of all, you are asked for information regarding your network configuration. Then you need to define each network interface as internal or external, in other words; whether it will be used to connect to an external network such as Internet, or to a local network. Strict firewall policies will be applied to all the traffic coming in through external network interfaces.


Initial configuration of network interfaces

Next, you must select the type of server you want in the “Users and Groups” module. If you are going to have only one server, you select Stand-alone server. If, on the contrary, you are deploying a master-slave infrastructure with several Zentyal servers and centralised management of users and groups, or if you are interested in synchronising the users with Microsoft Active Directory, then select Advanced configuration. This step is available only if you have installed the Users and Groups module. The configuration of the “Users and Groups” mode can take a few minutes.


Select a type of server for Users and Groups module

The last wizard will allow you to subscribe your server to Zentyal Cloud. In case you already have a subscription, you just need to enter your credentials. If you still don’t have an account in Zentyal Cloud, it is possible to automatically register a free basic subscription.

Both ways, the form will request a name for your server. This is the name that will identify your Zentyal server in the Zentyal Cloud interface.


Zentyal Cloud subscription wizard

Once you have answered these questions, you will continue to configure all the installed modules.


Initial configuration is finished


Saving changes

When the system has finished saving changes, access to the Dashboard: your Zentyal server is now ready!



Hardware requirements

Zentyal runs on standard x86 or x86_64 (64-bit) hardware. However, you must ensure that Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 LTS (kernel 2.6.32) supports the hardware you are going to use. You should be able to check this information directly from the vendor. Otherwise you can check Ubuntu Linux Hardware Compatibility List [5], list of servers certified for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS [6] or by searching in Google.

The Zentyal server hardware requirements depend on the modules you install, how many users will use the services and what their usage patterns are.

Some modules have low resource requirements, like Firewall, DHCP or DNS. Others, like Mailfilter or Antivirus need more RAM memory and CPU. Proxy and File sharing modules benefit from faster disks due their intensive I/O usage.

A RAID setup gives a higher level of security against hard disk failures and increased speed on read operations.

If you use Zentyal as a gateway or firewall, you will need at least two network cards, but if you use it as a standalone server, one network card is enough. If you have two or more Internet connections, use one network card for each router or connect them to one network card keeping them in the same subnet. VLAN is also an option.

Also, it is always recommended that a UPS is deployed along with the server.

For a general purpose server with normal usage patterns, these are the recommended minimum requirements:

Zentyal Profile Users CPU Memory Disk Network cards
Gateway <100 P4 or equivalent 2G 80G 2 or more
100 or more Xeon Dual core or equivalent 4G 160G 2 or more
UTM <100 P4 or equivalent 2G 80G 1
100 or more Xeon Dual core or equivalent 4G 160G 1
Infrastructure <100 P4 or equivalent 1G 80G 1
100 or more P4 or equivalent 2G 160G 1
Office <100 P4 or equivalent 1G 250G 1
100 or more Xeon Dual core or equivalent 2G 500G 1
Communications <100 Xeon Dual core or equivalent 4G 250G 1
100 or more Xeon Dual core or equivalent 8G 500G 1
Hardware requirements table

When combining more than one profile, you should think in terms of higher requirements. If you are deploying Zentyal in an environment with more than 100 users, a more detailed analysis should be done including usage patterns, benchmarking and considering high availability strategies.


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