DH Mail


I’m in the process of moving all our mail from a local intranet onto the Dreamhost servers so that we can take advantage of the new web-mail feature.

Currently, I have a one “catch-all” account on Dreamhost. The mail from this account gets picked up from our local mail server and then redistributed to local machines.

I’ve now setup 14 email boxes on the DH system, and have disabled the catch-all account. Well, instead of using the alias *, I’ve put ‘wil’ in there instead.

And now for my question: All mail addresses to someone@domain.com now goes to the mailbox ‘someone’ on the DH servers. If that mailbox exists - all is well. However, if the mailbox does not exist, then the mail will be bounced. I don’t want this. I want the mail to go through to a specifed account if no account for that domain was found.

I thought I could do this with keeping the catch-all alias “*” and forward that to my account - however, everyone’s mail started coming to that account isntead of just the ones that were addresses to mailboxes that didn’t exist on my domain.

So, is there a way to do this? That is, if the mailbox doesn’t exist, don’t bounce the message (or delete, -the two options currently there), but send the message onto a designated mailbox. Is this possible?


Wiliam Stephens <wil@stephens.org>

OK. In reply to myself…

I think I’ve solved the problem by having one catch-all account and other named accounts. It seems to work ok by distrubuting email with no account matching to the catch-all one. Good.

Now for my second problem. When sending out email now, I want to just use the aliases set up i.e. I want to send a message to “wil” and it fires off directly to the alias set up, but it always comes back with an error saying that the address is not fully qualified…

ahha, after some tinkering, I see the Eudora option “domain to add to unqualified addresses”. I’ve entered my domain here and all is well, I can just use my “wil”.

But… is there anything I can do server-side for this? Why can’t I just send a message to “wil” and it knows to look in the alias file for the correct domain. I am using my own mail.domain.com after all - can’t it figure out the domain from the server alias I used to log in?

Ack. I’m babling. Anyone understand what I’m saying?


Wiliam Stephens <wil@stephens.org>

simplest way is to add these people to your address book in the webmail program.

the webmail system is just an IMAP client; it’s not on the same machine as your mail, and isn’t aware of your domain / users at your domain.

the login part is aware of this stuff (because we hacked the source code to squirrelmail a bit to make this work) but the system as a whole isn’t.

hope that answers your question (and thanks for the feedback of course).

Sorry Will. My question wasn’t geared towards the web-mail system (or at least it shouldn’t have been). I was asking if this could could be done for normal mail behaviour. I just don’t understand why, if I send out mail to mail.fbagroup.co.uk to recipient “wil” - why doesn’t it pick up on the domain and look in the alias file for “wil”. Why do I have to add the fully qualified domain. Is there a workaround, server-side? A few email clients have an option to add a domain to unqualified addresses - but a few don’t. :-\

I love the new web mail system, though! Super fast! I am very impressed. I’ve looked at your login page source and created my own custom login page for the time being. It would be great if we could customize templates, though - see other thread.

And another question. I haven’t tried this in fear of breaking something… Can I add the sub-domain “mail.domain.com”? What would happen if I did this? Because the system adds mail and web services by default to all domains, and sub-domains would this crew my mail up? I’m jsut being really fussy, and would like to be able to access my web-mail with “mail.domain.com” that’s all. If I can’t then no big deal. To do this, I guess I would have to fiddle the DNS records, as the web panel automaticaly adds mail/web services - which is bound to screw things up, right?


Wiliam Stephens <wil@stephens.org>

[quote]I just don’t understand why, if I send out mail to mail.fbagroup.co.uk to
recipient “wil” - why doesn’t it pick up on the domain and look in the alias
file for “wil”


ok hypothetical situation.

i have domain ‘willskewlstuff.com’. i have the email address ‘will@willskewlstuff.com’. it’s on the same machine as fbagroup.co.uk, and points to my username ‘william’.

now if i send mail to ‘wil’, how does the machine know which username to send to?

since our mail machines have up to 8-12000 users, and up to 13000 domains, it’s not really possible to do what you describe (at least not without a lot of changes on our end), while the usefulness to 99% of our users would be almost nil.

i do know what you mean tho - i’m very lazy and like to just type first names. my mail client will add the domain part to unqualified names that don’t resolve to aliases; most email clients i’ve used in the past can do this as well.

[quote]Can I add the sub-domain “mail.domain.com”?


no - you’d break your own mail. well to be more specific, our system won’t let you add a subdomain with that name (or shouldn’t)… if you wanted to do that you’d need to disable your mail service for that domain on our machines; then it would work. if you really cared about this, it would probably be possible to make it work, but difficult, and might cause you unforseen problems down the road.

Hi Will

I thought as much - thanks for the reply.

I’ve managed to upgrade all of our mail clients to newer versions to support this. I found out that old versions of Outlook Express couldn’t handle unqualified domains. All versions of Eudora, Pegasus and Outlook do - and Mozilla, of course.

I understand your point about the mail server with a numer of domains and mailboxes. I was coming from a background of running our own show on one linux box hosting one domain, so I just assumed (oh, that’s a dangerous word).

  • wil