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What I really want is a good FOSS replacement for MS Exchange. Can anyone recommend one?

I'm not sure to what extent this qualifies as an MS Exchange replacement (it certainly isn't a drop-in replacement), but the Open-Xchange suite, which powers mailbox.org, is quite good: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-Xchange

There is OpenChange but it seems like it needs more upstream developers.


Serious question: what does Exchange provide that you don't get out of open protocols for calendars, address book, and IMAP mail?

I have used Exchange and didn't see any advantage at all. Perhaps I missed something.

It's really exchange + outlook + lync... the integration is really good (for teams in a larger organization), is what it comes down to. From organizing meetings, to the rooms the meetings are in, etc... seeing when other people are busy. It's organization wide, and fairly transparent to the end user.

With lync integration properly setup it's really nice as well. Though the mac client doesn't work as cleanly as it does on windows.

Still the closest I've come is Zimbra + zpush. Zimbra isn't fantastic, but it covers a lot. zpush is for the mobile part, and allows to you to connect to Zimbra as if it were an exchange server.

Probably not, for a lot of people exchange already "does too much stuff", you can get a lot of replacements to things it does, email, calenders, authentication. But not a all-in-one package.

There are a number of packages that fit some definition of "open source alternative to Exchange", many of them listed at: http://alternativeto.net/software/microsoft-exchange-server/...

In my experience they are big, and tend to lean heavily on php, which isn't much of a plus in my book (mostly because of php's traditional deployment model as a web server module, and issues with session-files and db connections being shared across different scripts -- things that aren't intrinsic to php, but common enough in large project that aim to be able to install and run easily "anywhere").

I have yet to find something light weight that I prefer using, but if you really want "an alternative to Exchange", you might want to look at Kolab: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolab ,SoGo: http://sogo.nu/ (iRedMail bundles some SoGo components) or Citadel: http://www.citadel.org.

Most of them are also really difficult to setup and configure properly, and support costs aren't cheap, as many require a support contract for a commercial plugin to really do what is needed for outlook integration. In the end, for smaller orgs, office 365 may be a better option.

I find that a lot of smaller businesses don't need everything Exchange does, and larger ones should just consider Exchange. It's simply a pragmatic choice, though if someone has an Exchange alternative and makes if FAR easier to setup, I'm all for it. Contacts + Calendar + Mail + Team orchestration is integrated with Exchange+Outlook better than anything else I've tried.

Are you referring to persistent database connections and something like apache mod_php? The first one doesn't seem that common these days and the other one doesn't seem like something that the application would force on you anyway. Why do you dislike the web server module deployment model?

I'm referring to the mod_php-model. It is of course possible, even if running under apache mod_php, to treat each apache instance as an "application server", and potentially run each apache+mod_php-server in a chroot and as a different (system) user.

Koloab works pretty well if you are okay with activesync. It doesn't do MAPI.

Replying to my comment since I can't edit.

Thanks for all the replies. I will check them out.

Does Kolab qualify as good?

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