East of the Sun, West of the Moon


Drain bamage

Filed under: Software — Erwin @ 5:16 pm

The (otherwise much appreciated) customer web-interface for DreamHost turned out to have an interesting quirk as I described two days ago:

I noticed that even when I point the MX records elsewhere DH insists on adding mail.*, mailboxes.* and webmail.* entries for each (sub)domain in their DNS, creating needless clutter (call me a purist if you want).

This is what apparently happened:

  • A new (sub)domain (let’s call it dom.ain) is added. At this point you’ll only have 3 entries in DNS:
    1. dom.ain
    2. www.dom.ain
    3. ftp.dom.ain
  • I (foolishly, I now find out) use the Custom MX Records menu-option to redirect email for this (sub)domain to a few servers of my choice. Now the following DNS entries are added:
    1. dom.ain MX records, one for each server I chose.
    2. mail.dom.ain (5 A records)
    3. mail.dom.ain MX records, one for each server I chose.
    4. mailboxes.dom.ain
    5. www.mailboxes.dom.ain
    6. webmail.dom.ain
    7. www.webmail.dom.ain

Getting a bit crowded in that DNS zone, isn’t it? Sheesh!

What I apparently should’ve done is leave the MX setting on Regular DreamHost Email and add custom DNS entries (MX records obviously, in this case) via a different menu item!

I’ve tested this and can confirm that it works. Phew.

Now, how to get rid of the additional entries after I’ve fixed this whole mess? That’s not entirely obvious (to me anyway). It turns out I need to add an address (this can be a forward so I don’t have to create a pointless mailbox folder) for the (sub)domain and then delete it again. Then, when the DreamHost system notices that (a) you’re using their Regular DreamHost Email option and (b) have 0 addresses, it’ll remove the unneeded DNS entries.

All is well now and my thanks to DreamHost for their timely response to my request for help, but I suspect a few changes and additional pointers wouldn’t go amiss here. 😉

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