Setting up email addresses

Greetings all, first time on the forums here so I was a bit lost as to where to find the answer to this…

I have multiple domains and want to do the same thing for each. For example: I have two sites for my girlfriend and she would like the same email ID for both so that she could be and Can I do this? Or will it only allow forwarding and aliases, not 2 mail accounts with the same myname?

When I first got my Code Monster service I thought this was easier than today when I started transferring domains over… Any suggestions?

Yep, you can do this. This will help:

So, essentially, it creates a random “user” to associate with that new email address? Not exactly what I was looking for, but I guess if they make “users” the basic category for ownership instead of “sites” then I guess this is what I have to do right?

No, you can set that. Just go to your Mail tab and create an email account, you’ll see everything there.

MacManX says, in response to this question, “Nope- just look at email setup”. I’m looking at it and it still seems like users are the basic category of ownership instead of sites. Here’s where I get this impression:

(excerpt from kbase: Snag: your e.g. "" mailbox won’t have login name “fred” as you might have expected. It will have a login name like “m7483986”, which your users may find less easy to remember e.g. for logging in at non-DH webmail.
Workaround: Create the mail address not through panel Mail… but instead through Users | Users | Add New User where you can choose a friendly login name from those not already taken on the DH system. Though this method creates also an FTP user of the same name, if you don’t want this you can delete it using […/ Delete] - check the box for user type ftp box not the box for user Type mail.)

What does this mean? That all of the users on your 160k plus domains have to have a unique userid? Then that seems to mean dreamhost is user based instead of domain based.

Okay, so it seems like I need to set my desktop mail client userID to the m*. Is that true? If it is, where in the kbase or wiki does it say that specifically? That’s the page I need.

Does the outside world ever see that m*? Or is it only used to sign into webmail/download email to desktop?

Thanks for any help.


Yeah, it seems an accurate assesment to say that users are the basic catagory of ownership.

The next part is simpler than you’re making it out ot be I think. When you se the panel to create a E-mail address (just an e-mail address, not a user account) then it creates the mailbox at the domain you selected, and you get this m123454578 thing. The only time you need to know that m* login is for setting up an E-mail client like outlook express or Thunderbird.

When you go to log into webmail, you just enter your E-mail address and password, you don’t need to memorize that M* number.

It’s true that you can set up a user, and have the panel also create them an E-mail address during the process. This E-mail address will not have an M* associated with it, but will use the user name for E-mail clients, and webmail works the same as any other E-mail address.

Yes, all user names must be unique across your server (not just for your plan, but for your server). As fas as domains go, each domain has to be assoicated with a user, but multiple domains can be associated with that user. If you want, all 160k domains can be associated with that one user, or you can spead it out across as many users that you plan allows.

Each domain is seperat from all others. The user associated with the domain will get a folder for each domain. Files, settings, everyting is adjustable on a per domain basis.

If you were given a M* login for your E-mail address then you will need to use that as the login name when setting up your E-mail client. There’s a page in the k-base that walks you through setting up outlook express for E-mail. That should be of some help. There’s proably information in the Wiki too.

No, the outside world will never see your M* it will always disply your name and or E-mail address. The m* is only used for the user name for POP/IMAP from your E-mail client. For webmail, you just ned to know the E-mail address and the password.

FYI, dreamhost is activly working on changing the system so it doesn’t use the m* any more. They had hoped to have it changed with the upgrade to debian sarge on the servers, but it’s proving more difficult than they thought it would be. So, it’s in the works - but it’s not here yet.


Wow, You are a dreamninja.

Exactly the answer I was looking for. I jumped the gun and deleted my mail accounts, created new users that had real names instead of m*, then gave them the mailboxes. Weird workaround that worked for me, but I would have liked the wonderful explanation you give below to be somewhere in the wiki— something like “This is how dreamhost looks at users-directories-domains-etc: an introduction to our semantics”.

I read the wiki’s on pop, adding email users, and setting up mail client on a Mac (MacMail). I didn’t look at the microsoft product instructions. I also read through the kbase on setting up email.

If it’s okay, I’ll ask you to clarify some other things that I find confusing:

In the Manage Addresses/edit Email Addresses panel, the order of events is kind of backwards for a user like me.

I think the first part is to set up forwarding (or bounced), but it implies that you have to enter an email address for it to be delivered at all.

Then you say “also deliver to this DreamHost mailbox” That’s so weird.

Made me wonder “What’s a DreamHost mailbox, if not the address I’m setting up now? Why do I have to keep telling you where to deliver my mail, when I’m trying to set up mail to be delivered to”

I find that really confusing. The kbases document is a good step-by-step, ( though I’d like a little explanation to go with steps 3 and 4 (namely why to leave the box blank on step 3— see my confusion above).

Current problem: I am still not able to get mail through my client (mac mail). I have followed all the instructions in the wiki (, though I’m using pop instead of imap.

I’m able to see my mail using that means it isn’t a dns-type issue, right? If so, it’s an issue between my mail client and dreamhost. I have the correct username and password, I’ve entered the settings as the wiki describes. Does it take some time (after creating a user) for pop to become available?

I’m off to read pop vs. imap. Perhaps dh doesn’t really like pop…

Thanks in advance for help. Very grateful.

PS: I just noticed something in the wiki on setting up Mac OSX mail–

For incoming mail server, the instructions indicate Could my old host be holding that address? Can I use as incoming mail server instead? Maybe this is a DNS thing…

I’ll look into adding that info to the wiki, perhaps some others will find it helpful.

A lot of people find the m* thing very confusing. Getting a normal naming system is one of the most voted for sigguestions I’ve heard.

Ask away… I’ll see if I can answer them.

The field is to set up the E-mail address you want. Next you can set it to forward to a single address or a list of them. Now you have your choice of also creating a mailbox at dreamhost. If you’re just setting up an E-mail address you can leave the “will be deleverd to” blank.

For step three in the K-base article, it’s just making sure you’re not selecting the option to delete the E-mail messages. And “check off” would mean to make sure that there is a check mark in the box - so that a DH mailbox is created. I guess that could be a bit confusing when you’re getting used to a new system, but the one form is allowing you to create forward only E-mail address, as well as regular pop/imap addresses.

As far as your currnet E-mail problems go, I would syspect that it’s an issue with the settings in your E-mail client. If webmail is working that means that the address is fully functinoal and you should be able to connect in whatever way. Dremahost works just fine with pop addresses, I have several created and checking just fine.

As far as a DNS issue, as long as you have updated the DNS for the doamin to point to ns2. Etc. then there’s no way anyone else is interfering with

Perhaps, if you post the software adn verion you’re using for E-mail, as well as the settings and the exact error you’re getting someone who’s familiar with that program will pop in and be able to help you out.

I think that’s all of your questions. Feel free to post with more as they come up.


Great. Thanks.

One clarification. You said:

" Now you have your choice of also creating a mailbox at dreamhost."

Well there it is-- That’s the stumbling block for me. What does that mean? Is it possible to create an email address without a mailbox?

I’ve entered my mail settings exactly as described in the wiki (with the exception of selecting POP, which they state is okay. I definitely want pop as I prefer to work offline.)

I’m beginning to think that the issue is a DNS issue. I’m in the process of having my domain registrar moved from Network Solutions to Dreamhost. I’ve changed the DNS entry in the management area of Network Solutions three seperate times now (waiting 24 hours in between). For some reason they SWITCH BACK. Weird. I’m checking the pointer using Could be something to do with the lag between registrars… however, NS lets me sign into the management area, change the dns, then the change propagates. Then, strangely, it reverts.

I looked at DH’s dns management area and the warning scared me off. Is it possible for you to check that the DNS is pointed correctly (in case DH is fully the registrar?) I’ve got to figure out why the authoritative nameserver for my domain keeps changing back from you (dreamhost) to my old host (lunarpages).

You want a wiki entry on escaping Network Solutions? By next week, I might be an expert.


It would be easier if you could just create usernames specific to your site, like, instead of being told that some other customer has bob and having to have something stupid like bob2 as your username, which messes up the e-mail addresses because if you mask your address as, it’s actually being sent from which alot of e-mail clients and services will label as spam because it isn’t the correct e-mail.

I have been trying to make sense of this thread and don’t know if I succeeded but I’m going to jump in anyway. You CAN create and it does not matter if someone has, that has nothing to do with it.

When you create an e-mail account you do NOT have to create a mailbox. You can simply have all messages that are to forwarded to another e-mail or existing mailbox. When you create a new e-mail address it gives you the option of having it delivered to a mailbox (m*) which you will have to remember the name of only to set up your e-mail client. So your username is simply m* and password you created but the e-mail address is Think of that m as meaning MAILBOX and it might confuse you less.

I hope that helped a little.

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Yep, you’re exactly right - but after months the number of times I’ve forgotten that the user name for mail client login can be different from the email address is amazing. I wish it were simpler.

If you understand the underlying Unix system you’ll realize that m**** and “users” (ftp and/or shell) are all actualy real Unix accounts and have to be unique - its just the way the DreamHost system works (like it or not). may be called a “user” but its not realy - its basically a mail alias that deliver to some underlying unix account either a login or m*** mail box account.

Another DreamHost mail trick to note is if you have, both forward to who is a real non “Forwarding only” address then you can go to webmail and login as mary, jane or fred and with fred’s password and see the same email but you’ll get different webmail settings. Interesting eh? And yes, confusing.

Overall I think it would have been far better if the mail system used the common terminology and metaphor of mail accounts and aliases instead of “forwarding only” addresses which are really only forwarding if they go across accounts (and then all hell breaks loose because spam filtering the stops working properly, or at least nicely).


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All excellent points, and this was useful when I moved my other domain also to DH hosting recently.

I’m only weighing in in this thread to remind you folks of the really useful site that you can log in to with your ‘fake’ username (username_that_isn’t_a_UNIX_username_just_a_mail_ID) to double check your mailbox name (or IMAP or SMTP or POP server/settings etc.), if you’ve forgotten it and don’t want to use DH’s cryptic UserPanel interface (no offense!) :slight_smile:

Oh, and also to set up vacation.

THIS is a great convenience!