Catch-all workaround


Well I can see what Dreamhost are getting at by doing this, but it doesn’t make things any easier for anybody with a large number of Domains that only use 1 email account.

I personally use my Gmail account for everything, the fact I like like the way it works and all the space just does it for me.

Now if I am right Dreamhost are not stopping the catch-all address, as it is quite useful; I must admit I have recieved a good number of ‘important’ emails even though they spelt my name wrong.

So the Catch-all will now only forward to a Dreamhost mail account… well that’s fine. As you can set all your catch-all addresses to bounce to and then set up the to forward to the account you always use.

If you have seperate forwarding for each domain then just forward the Catch-all to itself… ie. forwards to (same domain) and then because is a named account you can use that to forward to your destination…

Simple really…


I would really encourage you not to do this, it’s just going to come back to hurt you and others at dreamhost. If you need the solution now, perhaps that’s ok but you really shouldn’t do this. Dreamhost is working very hard to make sure that we can all reliably send E-mails out and not be blocked by spam prevention measures. Forwarding so much spam on, when it looks like it’s coming from dreamhost just isn’t good for anybody.

–Matttail - personal website


Catch-alls are just a bad idea. You’re better off using a forwarding account for any email addresses you require.

Spammers will find a domain that has a catch-all and start using that to spam sites. SMTP protocol allows mail servers the ability to verify user accounts. What happens when you have a catch-all is will show as a valid user from your domain and allow the email to pass. You do not want this.

Here’s my setup:
All important ->
Then I have: ->

It works very well. All my aliases point to one email account (my master account which I use to split between gmail and POP3) and then that account forwards to gmail.

Catch-all is off.

yerba# rm -rf /etc


that’s work fine for you, not for everybody…


My setup was purely exactly. It by no means was a “you should do it this way.”

Reguardless of my setup, catch-alls are still a bad idea. Reason given above.

yerba# rm -rf /etc


If they spell your name wrong then without catch-all it will bounce, they will see it didn’t get delivered and send it again, if it was important.


I’ve been using a catch-all on all of my domains for at least 5 years now. You want to know how many times it’s been abused? ZERO.

So while it’s a bad idea for YOU - it works for me. I prefer to not give my real address to any website and to give each one a unique address to use. I refuse to log in to the dreamhost panel and create an alias every time I need to do this (sometimes many times/day).

I will continue to use this workaround - or others if dreamhost blocks this one - until dreamhost supports “special prefix forwarders” such as “prefix-*” I think it’s a simple enough compromise, really.


There’s a suggestion listed in the panel for the “plus” aliases:

“Allow support for “plus”-style email addresses: goes to”

I ask that you support it.


Alright Mr. Almighty. You just keep going around thinking you’re invincible and nobody will ever use your domain to spam. It’s only a matter of time, just remember that.

Come on…Do you people really think you’re infallible?

People, use some common sense here. Sure, it might be convenient for you to create emails on the fly, but all seriously, sometimes you gotta drop convenience for security. Isn’t anybody here even the /least/ bit security conscious?

And for a time comparison, it took 7 years for mine: Creation Date: 29-Oct-1998
My domain didn’t get used until late last year.

yerba# rm -rf /etc


No, I don’t think I’m infallible at all.

I realize using a catch-all opens a vector by which I can be “attacked” by spammers (where attacked mean I get a lot of mail that likely gets filtered by my spam filter anyway… oh no!). But it’s a risk I have made the decision to live with for the sake of convenience. We all make decisions like this on a daily basis as it relates to techynology and life in general. Just because you have decided it’s not worth the risk to you, doesn’t mean I must decide the same thing.

And for the record, my post included a suggestion that was a compromise – can you please tell me how the compromise solution is “a security hole?” While you’re at it, can you lecture me about how I should wear my seatbelt at all times? And a helmet when I ride my bike. I do both of these things anyway, but I could use another lecture. :slight_smile:


People can still spoof your domain in spam as the from address whether you have a catch-all or not. You are just less likely to be aware of it without the catch-all, or it will take more time for you to notice.


hey, I do both those things, too. I even use a mesh jack when it’s hitting high 90s here. I tell you, that gets HOT when you’re in stop/go traffic. 0.o

My point of the matter is some SMTP servers can check to verify the from address is valid, not just the domain. That check is nullified with a catch-all.

yerba# rm -rf /etc