Email: homiemail-sub5 mitigation

For anyone affected by the email outage, here’s a way to at least get your email that people send to you from now on:
Go to your dream host panel
Click on the mail page
select manage email
"edit" each account
add an email address “to forward to” – sending it to an email address that currently works (e.g. Gmail)

Your SMTP server from dreamhost will still work, so you can setup your email client to send from your account and your recipients will be none the wiser.

I wish I could say that Dreamhost support provided this suggestion to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t think of it myself until last night so I still have over 3 days of email currently in limbo.

But we should all be reminded and happy that most of the people on this cluster can access their email, right…?

Unfortunately, I have not associated a Gmail address with my account, so I cannot get an authorization code to enable my IP to log in to the panel. Can I get the code sent to my shell account?

Sorry, I’m not sure I understand the problem. I don’t think you have to have previously associated a gmail account with your dreamhost account. Just add any email address ( was just an example) that you can access as a forwarding address. The result is that any email that gets sent to your inaccessible email address will be forwarded to a working email address.

I can’t log into the panel without authorizing my IP address.
To do that, I have to request a one-time auth code to be mailed
to one of the e-mail addresses associated with my account.
I haven’t associated any non-DH e-mail address with the account.
It’s a rough form of two-factor authentication, I guess.
Unfortunately, to contact Customer Support, they tell you to log into the control panel.
I can’t.
All I have right now is a shell.

Ahh… Wow, sorry, I can’t think of any suggestions for you. Live Chat would probably be your best option, but – as far as I know – you have to be logged into your control panel to use Live Chat…

I did find this, so at least you can email them:

Wow I feel like an idiot not thinking of this myself. Thank you, Jeff.

Here I am on the fourth day of no email, totally stressed out knowing that I’m missing important emails, and I could have done this Sunday/Monday. Ugh.

Jazz, man that sucks… Best of luck.

I am so disappointed in DreamHost. I’ve been a customer for nine years and this is by far the worst fumble. This should be CEO-level attention and communication. Even if you fail on the technical front, you can achieve redemption through great communication. Great companies admit their mistakes, are transparent about the causes, and COMMUNICATE with their customers. They’re not answering support tickets. We get a couple vague updates on every day.

I work in the IT department of a midsize company and an email outage of more than ten minutes is unthinkable. DreamHost is a ‘premier’ hosting company… Redundancy? Failover? Backups? Disaster recovery plan?? This is straight up embarrassing.

I have accounts with A2 and WebFaction as well, and after I get my email access back, I’m going to start moving everything over to probably WebFaction. And the 32 domain names with DH I’ll move to Hover.


…you can achieve redemption through great communication. Great companies admit their mistakes, are transparent about the causes, and COMMUNICATE with their customers. They’re not answering support tickets. We get a couple vague updates on every day.

IMO, this is actually worse than the outage.

I’m not going to make some BS story up to my clients. Telling my clients the truth (that I can’t tell them anything specific) has made me look like a fool in using Dreamhost.

For this one client, I’m now forced to switch hosts for email.

ON A SLIGHT SIDE NOTE: I’m not a little surprised to see how FEW people are complaining about this here. (not that forum posts are a scientific measurement)

But even still, if this isn’t a BIG problem, again, why is it taking so long? Raid drives (or ???) shouldn’t take this long to rebuild.

FYI I had some luck last night with account backups. I logged into the panel and initiated a backup, then came back later to download the compressed archives it had generated. In those account archives, among other things, are raw email files. They are aweful to read raw, but I was able to see emails from throughout this week. Better than nothing! And it gives me hope that after this is over, emails will not have been dropped (something support has not been able to assure me of).

Hope that helps some of you guys who just need to see your emails even if they’re raw and hard to deal with.

I’ll probably initiate another backup tonight, assuming the outage is still happening, to see if additional emails have been received today.

dude: good call on the backups. That’s something else that DreamHost support could have done to help us.

Fortunately, my email is back up this morning. Without going into unnecessary detail, I’m severely disappointed in how they handled this.

Count me in as a vote for the “this started as ridiculous, then shifted to unacceptable, and now stands at unimaginable”.

I agree with all posts related to the homiemail-sub5 debacle, my last email was Sunday the 24th - making my plight at DAY 5 WITHOUT A SINGLE EMAIL!

To top it off some time ago I had debated changing my email setup from POP3 to IMAP, consulting the DH wiki pages the recommendation seemed to be obviously to go with IMAP, and now that I have - ALL my emails and folders from the beginning of time DISAPPEARED ENTIRELY on all of my devices. If I would have remained on POP3 I bet I would at least be able to see old emails to know what my clients sent me without the phone calls explaining the situation. As a web-designer and full service re-seller this situation is humiliating at the least and in reality potentially devastating to my business and/or reputation.

The lack of communication is deplorable, the status information lags are unacceptable and the updates almost gloat at the fact that only a few customers are affected. Well our numbers may not be significant but assuredly each of our situations is affected significantly. I wonder at what number threshold Dreamhost starts to act effectively.

Indeed I appreciate the suggestion to forward to Gmail as offered by Jeff_Es and agree that this should have been suggested by Dreamhost in the at least one of my multiple support chats!

ChipCotton: I agree it is surprising how few comments there are but as I initiated this comment I realized that I had not made a “forum profile” yet, as even after being a DH customer for over 13 years I have had no reason to. To make a profile you need an email address, and for those whom had not thought of the gmail or external mail alternative, there request to initial a comment sits in an irretrievable box.

I eagerly await DH solution to provide adequate recompensatory measures for this situation.

The problem with WebFaction is that their discussion forum is excruciatingly boring. Nother ever goes wrong, or if it does, it is fixed quickly and efficiently.

This whole thing is completely ridiculous and unacceptable.

Here’s a tip for everyone - move the email accounts out now. I did it a few days ago, thank goodness.

  • Ask DH to change the domain’s TTLs to 5 minutes.
  • Open an account with Rackspace Email or Google Hosted Email.
  • Set up your boxes there.
  • Change the MX records on Dreamhost.
  • Get email

Unfortunately, this does not get you the email that is sitting on DH’s spooling servers for a week now, ugh. But at least you can get up and running again on a stable email server. This move is 100% worth the cost of paid, quality email hosting.

Your post resonates with me 100% - after years of having my primary email delivered via POP so that I’d be responsible for it’s availability, just 2 weeks ago I decided to finally get with the program and depend on IMAP (and Dreamhost servers) for my email access. Holy Crow - what a welcome - nearly a full week of email downtime. Having worked in high tech my entire career alongside of Ops Guys downtime in the multiple hours range is BAD, downtime of a day is friggin BAD. Downtime of a week is just…un-effing-acceptable.

And, then I wanted to participate in this discussion, but just as you (KeriOn) surmised, I hadn’t previously set up a forum account and my activation email went to my unreachable DH account. (My account appears to be mostly back online finally this evening though a problem or two remain)

OMG, in many years of being a Dreamhost customer, I would have never guessed that they would drop the ball so unimaginably badly technically (at least 5 full days of no email) and then to have such atrociously bad communication - Hey, Elizabeth, customer service 101 - don’t minimize your client’s problems. Many of us, myself included, depend on Dreamhost as our primary email conduit. The only ones reading status updates are those having problems so it isn’t super helpful for you sit there and say “it’s not so bad because just a small portion of users are affected”. And, seriously, I don’t care if it is one person that doesn’t have access to their email because of something happening on the DH side - you have to address it pronto and with transparency. Your communications were nearly categorically unhelpful - about as useful as saying, “Derr, email itz broken”. Sorry, personal attack but I’m really pissed off over this whole debacle. But seriously, you need to step up.

This is complete incompetence, I came from Bluehost because I was having some email downtime (2 days a year) only to find out I would have 3 times as many here. This is the 2nd or 3rd email incident this year, the last time was continued delays. I am looking for a better option perhaps a VPS elsewhere.