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How to Set Up DKIM for Zimbra: Step-by-Step Guide

Sunday, June 16, 2024

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a method for validating the authenticity of an email message. Setting up DKIM for Zimbra can significantly enhance your email security, reduce the chances of your emails being marked as spam, and prevent email spoofing. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up DKIM for your Zimbra mail server.


  1. Access to your Zimbra server with administrative privileges.
  2. Access to your DNS management console.
  3. Basic understanding of command-line operations.

Step 1: Generate DKIM Keys

First, you need to generate a DKIM key pair (private and public keys).

1. Log in to your Zimbra server

ssh yourusername@yourzimbraserver

2. Switch to the Zimbra user:

sudo su - zimbra

3. Navigate to the appropriate directory:

cd /opt/zimbra/libexec

4. Generate the DKIM keys using Zimbra’s built-in script:

./zmdkimkeyutil -a -d yourdomain.com

This command generates the DKIM keys for the specified domain.

Step 2: Retrieve the Public Key

After generating the keys, you need to retrieve the public key to add it to your DNS records.

1. Locate the DKIM public key

cat /opt/zimbra/conf/dkim/yourdomain.com/mail._domainkey.yourdomain.com.txt

2. Copy the entire content of the public key file.

Step 3: Add the DKIM Public Key to Your DNS

Next, you need to create a TXT record in your DNS settings.

  1. Log in to your DNS management console.
  2. Navigate to the DNS settings for your domain.
  3. Create a new TXT record with the following details:
    • Name: mail._domainkey.yourdomain.com
    • Type: TXT
    • TTL: 3600 (or your preferred value)
    • Value: Paste the public key you copied earlier.

Step 4: Verify DKIM Setup in Zimbra

Once the DNS TXT record is propagated, you need to verify that Zimbra can properly use the DKIM key.

1. Log back in to your Zimbra server (if you logged out)

ssh yourusername@yourzimbraserver
sudo su - zimbra

2. Verify the DKIM configuration

/opt/zimbra/libexec/zmdkimkeyutil -q -d yourdomain.com

This command checks the DKIM configuration for your domain.

Step 5: Test Your DKIM Setup

To ensure everything is working correctly, send a test email and check the DKIM signature.

1. Send a test email to a service that can check DKIM signatures (e.g., Mail-Tester):

echo "Test email" | mail -s "DKIM Test" your-email@mail-tester.com

2. Check the result on the testing service’s website.


If you encounter issues, check the following:

  • DNS Propagation: Ensure the DNS changes have propagated. This can take some time.
  • Correct Public Key: Verify that the public key in your DNS TXT record is accurate.
  • Logs: Check the Zimbra logs for any errors related to DKIM.


Setting up DKIM for Zimbra enhances your email’s credibility and security. By following these steps, you can ensure that your emails are properly authenticated, reducing the risk of them being marked as spam or being used in spoofing attacks. Regularly monitor your email deliverability and DKIM status to maintain a secure email environment.