Zimbra Tech Skillz: Rebranding and White-Labeling Your Zimbra Deployment

Did you know that your Zimbra Collaboration deployment can be rebranded and white-labeled? Rebranding means replacing the Zimbra logo and colors with your own company logo and colors. White-labeling takes things a step further and replaces instances of “Zimbra” with your company name. Many other email apps can’t be rebranded or white-labeled, so you are stuck with their logo, colors, etc.
But do note that rebranding and white-labelling is only available in Zimbra Network Edition deployments.

Rebranding in Zimbra

As a general rule, you can easily customize the following elements in Zimbra. Click each link for more information on how to rebrand that element.
If you know some advanced HTML and CSS, and you are ready for a little work, you can also customize:
  • Layout of the Skin Zones
  • Appearance of the Splash Screen
  • HTML templates for the various widgets and many application screens (see Working with Templates)

White-labeling in Zimbra

There are different levels of white-labeling available in Zimbra:
  • Text Fragments: text for buttons, text field, etc.
  • Help
  • Custom Messages

Changing Text Fragments

The Zimbra Collaboration Server uses message catalogs to store translated strings and patterns that are used to localize the product. The files are standard Java properties files that are combined and converted to native JavaScript for the client code at run-time.

Message files contain text fragments (strings) that are displayed in the Zimbra Web Client. Text fragment examples include button text, text fields, etc. To customize what your users see, override the default messages in the Zimbra message directory: …/zimbra/messages/.

Note: There are several types of files in that directory, along with translations into French, Japanese, Spanish, etc.
Here is a list of the message files and their functions:

  • I18nMsg.properties – International messages such as month names, date and time formats, etc.
  • AjxMsg.properties – Messages used by the ajax toolkit used by ZWC such as date names, generic error messages, etc.
  • ZhMsg.properties – Messages used by the Zimbra end user basic web client.
  • ZmMsg.properties – Messages used by the Zimbra end user web client.
  • ZtMsg.properties – Messages used by the Zimbra legacy mobile client
  • ZaMsg.properties – Messages used by the Zimbra Admin web client.
  • ZabMsg.properties – Messages used by the Zimbra Admin web client Help pages (??).
  • old– ZMsg.properties – Common messages such as server error messages, etc.
  • old– ZsMsg.properties – Messages used by the Zimbra Server when automatically replying to appointment requests for locations and resources. (The language used for the outgoing messages is based on the server’s default locale, not the client.)

Note: The files without a country code are the American English versions, eg: ZmMsg.properties is messages in English, while ZmMsg_it.properties is the Italian version.

Changing Zimbra Help

The Zimbra Web Client Help can be rebranded to replace references to Zimbra and the Zimbra product name with your company and product names. The default variables in the file ZbMsg.properties are as follows:

  • “web client long name” – ClientNameLong = Zimbra Web Client
  • “web client short name” – ClientNameShort = ZWC
  • “Your company name” – CompanyName = Zimbra
  • “This variable is not relevant.  Do not change” – DesktopName = Zimbra Desktop
  • “product full name” – CollaborationProductFullName = Zimbra Collaboration Suite
  • “product short name” – CollaborationProductShortName = ZCS
To change these variables:

1. SSH to the Zimbra server.

2. As Zimbra, change to the following directory: /opt/zimbra/jetty/webapps/zimbra/WEB-INF/classes/messages/

3. To change the values, edit ZbMsg.properties.  Replace the Zimbra name with your company name. DO NOT CHANGE OR REMOVE THE VARIABLE DESCRIPTOR.

4. Restart the server: type zmcontrol restart.

5. Reload Help in the browser.

Step 5 may require a forced browser reload or a clearing of the browser cache.

Note: When you upgrade ZCS, changes made to the ZbMsg.properties file are lost. We recommend that you make a copy of the changed file to restore after upgrades.

Changing Custom Messages

The simplest example of changing a custom message is the copyright/trademark and disclaimer you see at the bottom of the Zimbra Web Client login page. Other custom message changes may include content on the splash screen, additional tool tips, etc.

Custom messages are also used for localisation also, so all translations go into these files.

To change custom messages:

1. Create a Skin Message Directory such as: …/zimbra/skins/YourSkin/messages/

2. Create one or more files with the same name as the standard message file that you want to customize.

3. Add entries in your skin message file with the same name as that of the standard message. You do not have to copy all of the messages from the original file — the messages from the default file will be used for anything missing from your file. (if they add entries with the same name … how does zimbra know which to use? if this is a dumb question, please ignore me. )

4. Follow the same procedure for any other languages for which you wish to create custom messages.

Note: You do not need to update your manifest.xml file — all messages in your Skin Message Directory will be loaded automatically.

Did you find this post useful? Are there other Zimbra Tech SkillZ you would like to learn? Please email your suggestions to zimbra-team@zimbra.com.

Many thanks,
Your Zimbra Friends & Colleagues

, , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to Zimbra Tech Skillz: Rebranding and White-Labeling Your Zimbra Deployment

  1. Shan April 23, 2019 at 10:37 PM #

    i tried to change some messages in “/jetty_base/webapps/zimbraAdmin/WEB-INF/classes/messages/ZmMsg.properties” but nothing changed. i reloaded my browser and even used an incognito one but still shows the default strings. is there any command to reload zimbra so it will read it or am i doing something wrong?

    • Gayle Billat April 24, 2019 at 9:16 PM #

      Hi Shan – please ask your question in forums.zimbra.com. That’s the best place to get a quick answer to technical questions. Thanks!

Copyright © 2022 Zimbra, Inc. All rights reserved.

All information contained in this blog is intended for informational purposes only. Synacor, Inc. is not responsible or liable in any manner for the use or misuse of any technical content provided herein. No specific or implied warranty is provided in association with the information or application of the information provided herein, including, but not limited to, use, misuse or distribution of such information by any user. The user assumes any and all risk pertaining to the use or distribution in any form of any subject matter contained in this blog.

Legal Information | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | CCPA Disclosures