Outlook and Linux

Tim Frost timfrost at xtra.co.nz
Wed Nov 2 05:59:11 UTC 2005

there was a series of articles on replacing the Exchange server with a
Linux back-end, in Linux Journal some time ago.  Check the LJ archives

>From memory, the solution involved installing a Linux server with the
following services:
* OpenLDAP  (directory services)
* IMAP server

IMAP was used because it supports access to folders (Outlook needs to be
able to create/access at least Inbox, Calendar, Deleted Items/Trash and
Sent Mail).

The series of articles covers the setup of the various services, and
also the configuration of Outlook to use those services instead of an
Exchange server.

There have also been reviews of at least 2 products that do the job -
Bynari InsightServer, and Kroupware.

Hope this helps


On Mon, 2005-10-31 at 22:07 -0500, Eric S. Johansson wrote:
> this may be another one of those for want of a ... a Linux sale was lost 
> cases.  The only reason I bring them here is to try and make the 
> fundamental problems in the real world visible and work out what are 
> reasonable solutions.
> I was asked in this by a client today.  How do you share Outlook 
> calendar and contacts using a Linux system as the core?  Simple 
> filesharing doesn't work because Microsoft screwed the pooch with the 
> resource locking.
> I know about bynari and a couple of other players but they are all 
> rather expensive (quantity 100: $90-$150 which is a significant chunk of 
> change) and want to own the customer from client all the way through to 
> mail server with all of the solutions for antispam, virus etc. coming 
> from them.
> Answers like "don't use Outlook" are not really helpful.  They are 
> married to it and they are on Windows desktop for the foreseeable 
> future[1].  On the other hand, if there was an equivalent client with 
> exactly the same functionality in terms of e-mail, calendars, and 
> contact sharing, they may be open to that kind of change.
> So, how does one solve this problem.  (Telling me to go to a different 
> form is perfectly acceptable)
> ---eric
> [1] about three or four months ago they tried converting a few people to 
> open office so they could cut down the number of Microsoft office 
> purchases they were making.  The conversion failed miserably.  This 
> organization lives and dies by spreadsheets that are shipped around.  If 
> it is going to be a replacement for Excel, the conversion must be 
> perfect.  Everything must behave identically.  Close enough and fudge 
> it, doesn't cut it because these are salespeople dealing with product 
> and customers with a very short turnaround cycle.  stuff that isn't 
> exactly as it was, makes their hearts beat faster and not in a good way.
> try open office 2.0?  not likely.  The experience was so bad it's going 
> to take a while for people to forget.

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