KISS (keeping things simple :)
I went for an install on Debian Sarge - using the source package, building the RPM's, converting them to DEB files (debian packages) with alien, modifying the install.sh script (and friends) to use dpkg rather than rpm, and so on and so forth.
My problem now is, that some of the precompiled packages depend on libraries that I don't have (which is no wonder) - for example openldap depends on a libssl that I don't have (and can't get for Sarge).
What I would *love* to do, is, to use the existing Postfix, OpenLDAP, Apache, Tomcat, etc. etc. etc. packages - then, the Zimbra packages would not have to include all those other already existing already packaged applications.
This would be a *major* benefit for security updates as well - if all the big packages come bundled together, you'd have to update all of them if there is a patch for one of them (you would be installing new Zimbra packages to get a simple fix for, for example, OpenLDAP).
Now, is there any problem in just using the plain postfix, plain openldap and plain apache/tomcat?
I guess that Zimbra is modifying the configuration files heavily and calling helper applications (newaliases from postfix for example), therefore I would have to tell Zimbra about the location of those applications and files. Or?
Am I smoking crack, or would it indeed be possible to make Zimbra a really "light" distribution, not including half the known universe of packages? :)
I'd really love to work on a Debian package for Zimbra, or just generally working on getting it to run smoothly there. Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to get it to run *and* retain my sanity, well, what's left of it anyway :)
Where do I poke to tell Zimbra that postfix/apache/tomcat/openldap/mysql live somewhere else in the filesystem? Is it even possible or have you patched any of those applications so the 'native' ones can't do the job?