Batch create email accounts?

I need to create hundreds of email accounts on one of my domains. Is there any way to do so in batch?

(I’m doing this in order to create hundreds of Twitter accounts, so I’m looking for tips on that, too.)


Before we help you with this please explain how or why you want to create “create hundreds of Twitter accounts” and explain how they will be used within twitters terms of service.

On the surface this request looks abusive, if you want help from here please explain to us how it is not.

First of all, I’ve already discussed this with Twitter support. I told them exactly what I was going to do, and gave them access to the (not yet publicly available) site.

Here is their reply (emphasis added):

Second, having been a DH customer since December 2004, the lack of any predisposition toward abuse on my part has been pretty clearly established by this point.

Second first, as forums go we know little about each other. I have no knowledge that you have been a dreamhost customer since ___ or whether or not you have been warned along the way. It’s also entirely possible that you didn’t think through whether the purpose creates a terms of service issue or not.

There are no dreamhost API’s to create email account, however if all you need is hundreds of working address it’s pretty simple to to using the “Bulk-Edit Forwarding-Only Addresses” function of the panel to achieve something that will work for your stated purpose. The caveat is that all the email actually arrives in the same email box.

You can easily use a Spreadsheet program to compile a list of hundreds of email address, then copy the same email address of a real email box down the page in the next column. Save it as a tab delimited text file. Open that in notepad and paste the entire contents from there into the control panel window. The result is hundreds of email addresses all forwarding to one email box.

Or — same idea, but even easier — just set up a catch-all address temporarily.

Ok, so I just add a bunch of entries following this pattern into the “Bulk-Edit Forwarding-Only Addresses” form?

That’s simple enough (I wasn’t familiar with this functionality), and the fact that all mail for the accounts will go to catchaddress is a bonus.

I notice that the from and to address are separated by two tabs. Is that the required delimiter for these lines?

Also, do you foresee any problems with this strategy given that I will have to reply to activation emails sent to each twitteracct?@mydomain address?


(btw - I read your initial reply as accusatory. That may have been my misperception)

I think that these would need to be permanent addresses. Skipping the one-time upfront effort of creating the accounts would leave me to suffer ongoing incoming spam.

I have all of the account names stored in a database (each is tied to specific audience segments) anyway. So I can create all of these bulk email entries with a select statement, then just paste it into the form


I think that even a single space works as the seperator on that form. I once created 137 mailboxes for a project in that exact manner and i used a single tab.

I haven’t signed up for a new twitter in awhile, but I’m 99.98% sure that clicking a link from the email sent is the confirmation-- and you won’t have any problem. in fact it’s easy–as you noted-- considering you only have to log into one email box.

(I was slightly accusatory there is no doubt, like I said on the surface this appear abusive, but given your post count here I did think you should have a chance to explain. If post count had been = 1, I’m not sure how I would have worded it but I wouldn’t have given you any benefit of doubt.)

So everything was going well until I created a Twitter support request from an account linked to one of the forwarding only email addresses. (There was a good reason for that, but it would distract from what’s important here). The support system sends an automated response to the registered email address on the account (which is a forwarding only address) that must be responded to from the registered (forwarding only) address.

Am I screwed?

If we call the forwarding only account foacct, and the receiving account racct, can I:

  • remove foacct from the forward only list
  • create a full account named foacct
  • forward the email in question from racct to foacct and reply as if none of this happened

If so, will anything change in the headers that would likely give away what happened, thereby invalidating m y confirmation, from Twitter’s perspective?


log in to the account that has the actual mailbox via webmail.
When viewing the inbox at the top click options.
Then click personal information.
After the options personal information page loads click 'edit advanced identities’
Fill out an Alternate Identity with just the first 2 fields (real name and the forward only address).
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click save.
Click compose at the top of the page.
Use the drop-down at the top of the page to change the from address.

Using dremahost’s webmail is the only way I’ve found to do this without the “on behalf of” being added to the sender. In other words, if I try to do the equivalent via a client like Outlook i always see a “on behalf o” extension added to the from address.

–edit to add a click I left out above

(I’ve got to say that your knowledge in this area has officially blown me away… the bulk edit thing I would have (re)discovered at some point in the future. This, though, I wouldn’t have discovered for years, if ever)

I tested this with a message from another account, and the following header entries in the received reply concern me (IPs, domains and addresses obscured):

Received: from webmail.DOMAIN ( [])
     (Authenticated sender: FORWARDED-TO ADDRESS)
     by (Postfix) with ESMTPA id 986B7B8057
     for <>; Tue, 8 Nov 2011 21:13:59 -0800 (PST)
Received: from (proxying for
     (SquirrelMail authenticated user FORWARDED-TO ADDRESS)
     by webmail.DOMAIN with HTTP;
     Tue, 8 Nov 2011 21:13:59 -0800

My concern is that the receiving system will parse out the authenticated user and reject the reply as not coming from the registered (forwarded-from) address.

Your thoughts?

The “authenticated sender” isn’t present in all email messages — it’s quite unlikely that Twitter will be checking for it.

You’re probably right.

That said, DH support said that my original idea would work (creating a full account, forwarding the email to the full account, and replying from there). I tested that, found no vestiges of the forwarded-to account in the test reply headers, and went ahead with the reply to the twitter zendesk address.

As yet, I haven’t received any bounce/error message, so hopefully it worked.


So, if you were wondering what I’m doing with “hundreds of Twitter accounts” (132 at present), this is it:

(and to reiterate, this was done with Twitter’s permission)

All feedback welcome!

I know this is old, but are you talking about the dh control panel? Or which control panel?

Yup. Specifically the “bulk editing forward-only addresses” button is on this page: