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midcarolina 30th July 2011 04:49

DNS and mail server

Let me first tell you my system so you'll know what we're working with.
Fedora 14 x86_64, 500GB Raid 5, 16GB Ram, Intel i5 Quadcore 3.2Ghz

I am using Godaddy's DNS servers to piont to the main domain of the server. Which is also (with subdomain) the server name, so

Everything works great for this site except a few things that have to be minor. The ISPConfig 3 "Monitor" indicates everything is fine. However, under "System State", I used to be able to view disk usage, cpu, everything. Now each of these give me ???.??.???.???

Also I have set the mail up in numerous ways, none of which work. I've setup forwarding, you name it. no errors, just no mail? I don't have seperate servers created for mail, dns, etc. They all use the main server.

Last, instead of my clients using GoDaddy's name servers, I created and pointing to Googles global DNS. I ran a traceroute on the server using SSH according to Googles instructions, and the traceroute came back exactly as Google stated it should resolve. But they won't work nor are they recognized in a DNS search. (i.e. should resolve, but doesn't resolve anything.

Oh, one note about mail. Do you know anything about That what the mail tests say.

Thanks in advance for all this mess!

falko 30th July 2011 13:20

Let's start with the mail part first. Any errors in your mail log?

midcarolina 30th July 2011 22:31

Hi Falko,

Ok, first let me say that this system is a bit more (or seems to be) in-depth than what I am used to, so I checked several things. It just seemed to be many logs and files associated with mail, so I wanted to be thorough. Here is what I did:

I Looked in /var/mail/ where I could see 'root' mail and client mail. Clients were completely empty. The root file didn't really show anything indicating any specific errors, just functions that had run. No warnings or indicators of any file path missing - nothing. So next,

I looked in /var/log/mail/ Again, although I didn't know every detail of what I was viewing, I saw no errors or warnings, just functions or programs that had run.

So, finally, since I remembered from the install that there were several items associated with mail (postfix, Getmail, squirrelmail, etc.) I viewed every single log file associated with any of these. Nothing really indicated any errors, only that a certain process had run at a given time, etc.

I used the email forwarder to try and forward to a gmail account that I use (actually a Google App which I added my domain too - the webserver domain) That didn't help either. Are there any records I need to create in the Godaddy account? I have the A records pointing to my Public IP (the webserver) so it seems like "no" would be the answer. Do I need to create any MX records in ISPConfig?


falko 31st July 2011 21:39

You need to create MX records for your domains that point to your ISPConfig server. If you have created A records at GoDaddy, you must create the MX records there as well.

midcarolina 1st August 2011 09:56


Ok, here is EXACTLY what I did, and email is working. However, I would like to not have every new WHM or end-user have to do this, so tell me if I am thinking correctly or not. I have been using Google Apps for my tlds for over a year now. At Godaddy, I added 4 MX records from Google (priority 10,20,30,40) all pointing to @, which points to my server's public IP.

Now, back at ISPConfig, I made 4 mx records also. In your manual, using the debian based system, your example shows creating separate hosts for mail, db, server, etc. My system is not set-up this way. The only server running is So, I set this: >>> (pointing to) >>> >>> >>>

A couple of questions. Number one, are these settings (above) for ISPConfig correct? Again, mail is working. Number two, I am trying to keep my server and services "branded" if you will. In other words, can new domains now just point to my server in the MX records? That was what I was trying (and still am) to do with my nameservers. I guess what I am trying to say is that I want everything to run through my server, except one thing alone (which isn't really a server issue), and that is to be the actual domain registrar, like GoDaddy or Enom.

I hope I am making sense. Thanks for all.

falko 2nd August 2011 11:30

There is one thing you have to keep in mind - MX records must always piint to A records, not to CNAME records. For example, if you have created an MX record for that points to, and is a CNAME to, this doesn't work! must be an A record that points to an IP.

Did you check out this tutorial?

midcarolina 2nd August 2011 19:16

So, an MX record like pointing to doesn't work? It seemed to me that the webserver was just a mask for the IP anyway, because points to the IP, or not?

falko 3rd August 2011 11:30

Yes, but take a look here:

The characteristic payload information of an MX record is the fully qualified domain name of a mail host and a preference value. The host name must map directly to one or more address record (A, or AAAA) in the DNS, and must not point to any CNAME records.[1]
Also check out

midcarolina 3rd August 2011 23:24

Ok Falko, Two things

I set the ISPConfig mx records like such: >> points to 192.168.1.XX >> 192.168.1.XX >> 192.168.1.XX >> 192.168.1.XX

The only way the mail works is if I use it outside of the one website on the server (before it is production). Example, when you said to set the MX records at the domain registrar, this allowed me to use Google Apps mail exchange network....working beautifully. But, if I go to the website (which is live) and test the contact us form (which I have used on other sites, so I know the form is set-up correctly and reliable) the mail is not routed to my inbox. So, making sense of it, this indicates to me that ISPConfig is still not set-up correctly (server-side & website), but the registrar MX is.


Mark_NL 4th August 2011 00:22

You are now pointing your records to local ip address.

Keep the MX records at GoDaddy, and point them to the external ip address of your server.

Does the webform send a mail straight to ?

then open up the mail log (i think it's /var/log/maillog on fedora) and tail it


tail -f /var/log/maillog
Then press send on the webform and see if you get new entries in your logfile.

(Note: don't forget about dns cache, since you're editing dns records)

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