MX Records for Non-Hosted Subdomain


I have a server that I operate from my home on a static IP. I also use Dreamhost to host my personal website at I have setup an A Name record ( as a custom DNS entry for through the Dreamhost panel that points to the static IP of my server. Thus, I can now access my home server at

My home sever is also capable of acting as a mail server, and I would like it to handle all mail for (i.e. I would like the Dreamhost servers to continue handling mail for the root domain (i.e.

Since my subdomain is not hosted by Dreamhost (I only need Dreamhost to provide the DNS records for it), it does not have it’s own DNS or MX record links in the web panel. If I try to officially create it as a hosted subdomin (as opposed to just adding the A record manually to the root domain’s DNS records), Dreamhost tries to fully host it and I can no longer redirect the requests to my home server. But if I do it manually as I am now, I have no access to subdomain specific MX record editing.

How do I setup custom MX records that will only effect the subdomain? Ideally, all these issues could be solved if I could setup a DNS only subdomain through the panel that allows arbitrary custom DNS records (including MX) for anything at Any help would be appreciated.


Interesting — it seems that you’ve found a bit of a gap in our DNS editor. Here’s a workaround:

  1. Create the subdomain like you did before, as a fully hosted subdomain
  2. Once that’s done, click the “Remove” button under “Fully hosted”.

You now have what amounts to a DNS-only subdomain, which you can add a MX to.

I had a very similar case, and 9 years later this solution is still valid!
It’s a pity it has to be done this way, it is not very straightforward (if any).
If anyone ever has to do anything similar:

  • Don’t forget to first delete the old server_mywebsite_com A entry
  • Then add the server_mywebsite_com sub-domain
  • Remove only the hosting (“Remove” button under “Fully hosted”)
  • Only then add a custom MX record changing first entry to:
    10 server_mywebsite_com
    Under https://panel_dreamhost_com/index.cgi?

Hope to help anyone in the future…
Sorry, I had to change dots for underscores to post links as a newbie (They weren’t links!)