Google Apps CNAME restrictions - can they change?

Current DreamHost practices are to hard code Google Apps CNAMES – such as sites, calendar, etc. Depending on the hosting arrangement www. is either fixed to DH or fixed to Google Apps. The behavior of the naked domain is unspecified (see recent forum post on this, it seems to vary).

eNom allows more flexibility. All CNAME settings can be edited. So if I prefer to call use documents insted of docs I can (as long as I configure my Google Apps the same way). I can change www. Naked domains can go to, etc.

Is there interest in asking DH for greater CNAME control? At least we ought to be able to edit the CNAMES for things that go to

I’d also like to do things like create a CNAME called “files” such that “” would resolve to a DreamHost directory. I don’t think that’s possible today.


tags: google apps, dreamhost, jfaughnan, jgfaughnan, DNS

john faughnan
tags: jfaughnan, jgfaughnan

Are you saying that you don’t have full control if you just manually edit the DNS entries for domain?

I thought the Google Apps support from Dreamhost was more of a convenience mechanism than a power user mechanism. After all, we’ve always been able to set up our DNS to point to Google Apps, it’s just that they’ve recently put in features to be able to do this explicitly via the panel rather than having to set this up manually using our own fine-grained control of our DNS entries.

The one thing that is known to be impossible is to have separate hosting for your domain and your www subdomain. I think this is a weird case because I think having a domain and the www subdomain do different things is unconventional to the point of being something that I think should possibly be disallowed (because it confuses users).

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I’m of the same opinion. The redundant www prefix should have died long ago.

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Lensman? As in ‘gray lensman’ et al from ?Doc Smith? I barely remember those stories …

Anyway, you can’t edit the CNAME entries DH generates for Google Apps integration. They’re static, even though a Google App user can assign their “calendar” any custom subdomain – like, for example “calendre” or “schedule”. Obviously if they do that with DH it won’t work.

Practically speaking though, the main thing I wanted was to be able to use DH to host files, even though Google Apps owns “www”. Turns out there’s a simple solution. Here’s what I ended up with:

  1. If user enters or they go to my Google Pages/Sites stuff. (I see your point btw, it’s too dangerous to treat “www” as though it were a subdomain.)

  2. If user enters they go to DreamHost directory. If they enter the URl is rewritten to

I did this by making “” fully Google App hosted, then creating the “” as a subdomain hosted by DH, with the ‘rewrite www.files… as files…’ option.

So this achieved my end, which was to be able to extend Google Apps with a true web file share.

john faughnan
tags: jfaughnan, jgfaughnan