Switching to Google Apps: DKIM/SPF/etc?


If I switch my domain to use Google Apps so I can use GMail for my email… does anyone know if it will automatically setup correct SPF, Domain Keys, reverse DNS and other such DNS records to help people authenticate me as some who should be sending mail from my address?

– Michael Cook


Just a heads-up: You don’t have to switch to Google Apps in order to use GMail for your domain.

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I plan to use the “use GMail at your domain” thing in the email control panel. I don’t plan to enable the other options (like pages, calendar, and docs). Is that what you’re talking about?

I know I can just forward my mailbox to a normal GMail account as well.

– Michael Cook


Yeah, the bit about the Apps part isn’t necessary.

After you enable GMail for the domain you’ll be directed over to Google where you fill out a short form and upload some data onto your domain that a GoogleBot uses to verify you are indeed the domain owner. Once verified, Google sets everything up automatically on their end. On the DreamHost side of things your MX records are changed to point at Google for your mail.

Process takes about ten minutes.

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When you setup a domain to use GMail/Google-Apps via DreamHost’s Panel, the correct MX and CNAME (for sites, mail, calendar) are setup automatically by DreamHost. Since all incoming/outgoing mail is handled by Google’s servers, there is no need for reverse-DNS entries on your domain.

SPF, However, is not automatically setup. So you will need to manually setup an SPF TXT record for your domain, using an include statement to specify that your mail will come from Google’s mail servers. For example, I use:

v=spf1 a include:aspmx.googlemail.com ~all

Although GMail uses Domain Keys for user@gmail.com addresses, Google Apps for Domains does not appear to support Domain Keys – at least that is the impression I got when I was setting up my domain. If Domain Keys are very important to you, you should research it some more.


Google Apps for Domains has now added DKIM support. To turn it on, go to your Apps Dashboard > Advanced Tools > Authenticate Email