Run Zimbra Desktop directly from a browser window

Zimbra Desktop, Zimbra’s offline capable webmail client, normally runs in its own stand alone window as a separate application, however there are a few things I find frustrating about this requirement, namely:

  • I do most of my work in Firefox – I want Zimbra desktop open in a tab so that I can access it within Firefox.
  • I’d like to have multiple views on my mailbox – i.e. I often refer to other emails whilst I’m drafting a new one and with a single window instance, it’s a pain to switch between both emails as it requires that I save the email I’m working on to Drafts before navigating to the reference email. With Zimbra desktop running in multiple tabs, I’d be able to switch between drafting and my inbox very easily.

Well it turns out all of this and more is possible… Zimbra Desktop is really just a GUI which connects to a web server running on your local machine, therefore all we need is the URL of your mailbox and we’re away.

Zimbra Desktop uses a personalised URL and you’ll need to open the file <install>/zdesktop.webapp/webapp.ini with a text editor and find the “uri” key, and the value after “uri=” is the URL, which will look something like this:


Now all we need to do is copy this to a tab in Firefox and we’re away – I’ve got my first two Firefox tabs set to view my email, whilst tab three displays my calendar.