Setting up wildcard addresses?


I’m moving the email from one of my domains over to DreamHost this weekend. It doesn’t get a lot of email, so it’s a good way to figure out how this works before I move my big domains over.

I have been using Communigate Pro, which allows email addresses with embedded 's, acting as wildcards, so I’ve been using lots of addresses of the form foo.@my.domain, where the * has a company name (for tracing the source of my addresses). Since I don’t have a list of the ones I’ve used, I need to set up a wildcard address to match all possible ones.

It seems that I have to disable spam filtering, set up a catch-all address, and pipe that into a procmail file, which would match the wildcarded addresses, move them to my main mailbox, and bounce the rest. It would also have to run them through SpamAssassin manually.

Does that sound right?

I’m still rather unclear on how the mail system works here, though. Is there a reasonably comprehensive description somewhere of how incoming messages are processed?

Some questions:

  • If I have a catch-all address, what happens to email sent to explicit addresses on that domain? IOW, if I set up a .forward.postfix file, does all the mail for my domain go through it? If not, then what does?

  • Do users with shell accounts that I have on my plan have completely independent email? That is, does email for their address(es) get caught by my (the main) .forward.postfix file? Is it possible for them to have their own .forward.postfix file?

  • If I want to use SpamAssassin 3.x, do I have to install it separately for every shell user on my plan?

  • If I have other domains in my account, does all the email for those domains get redirected by the main .forward.postfix file?

TIA for any help.

  • Stoney


The .forward.postfix file just affects whatever mailbox it is put into. Email comes into the mail server and the To: address is looked up in the list of addresses you have set up. A specific address is always used before a wildcard. If no specific address is found, a wildcard will be used.

The reason we ask that you disable catch-all address when using our spam filter is due to the sheer amount of spam that will be coming into it. That would also be a problem if you are running your own copy of spamassassin and there is a good chance we may ask that you stop doing so due to the server resources used. Email used to be much easier on servers before spam became such a problem.

To answer other questions… Every shell user is also a ‘mailbox’. Each mailbox needs its own independent procmail and/or .forward file if you want to process the email coming into it.

And one single copy of spamassassin would be enough for all mailboxes. You would just have to point the procmail file to wherever it is installed.

Email for each domain is handled separately by whichever email addresses you set up for it. It can all be sent to the same mailbox or it can be split among however many mailboxes you like.

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Head Honcho/Founder