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MX records for mail server

Posted on 2009-04-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I'm pretty new to DNS, so please bear with me.  I've just bought a VPS package for hosting a couple of websites.  I've found that my server comes with MailEnable mail server, so I would like to manage the mail for the websites too.

I want to ensure my DNS information has been set up correctly.  I have set up the following domains and DNS information:

Type - Domain - Type - Target

A - mydomain.com - 1.2.3.4
A - mydomain.co.uk - 1.2.3.4
MX - mydomain.com - mail.mydomain.co.uk
MX - mydomain.co.uk - mail.mydomain.co.uk
A - mail.mydomain.co.uk - 1.2.3.4

Reverse DNS for 1.2.3.4

1.2.3.4      servername.mydomain.co.uk

My question is, for my mail server to work correctly, do I need to change the PTR record servername.mydomain.co.uk to be mail.mydomain.co.uk?  Or do I need to create an A record for IP 1.2.3.4 to point to servername.mydomain.co.uk?  Does this general setup look solid or seeing as though I am using the .co.uk domain as the main one, should hte .com be a CNAME to the .co.uk version?

Thanks very much for your help.

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Question by:garry_m
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Chris Dent earned 125 total points
ID: 24139757

> do I need to change the PTR record servername.mydomain.co.uk to be mail.mydomain.co.uk?  

That one needs to match the name used by the server when sending out mail. That will be somewhere in MailEnable configuration, or can be found by examining the header of mail sent from your system.

There's no problem using .co.uk as the outbound name for the mail server, that won't harm anything.

It's sort of vaguely documented here:

http://www.mailenable.com/documentation/Standard/SMTP%20properties.html

And, at least in theory, should be the Local Domain Name value.

As it's the server used in your MX you should be able to use this tool to test whether or not the value is correct:

http://www.mxtoolbox.com/

Chris
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Expert Comment

by:briandunkle
ID: 24140222
PTR records are for reverse lookup, A for forward lookup, so if you tried to do an A record for 1.2.3.4 it would choke; you can only have one PTR record per IP.

One question is why do you even need the MX records if it's all on the same server? Or are the 1.2.3.4 different in the actual entries? i.e. is this all one box?

If it's a different box, put in a reverse for the mail server, send things out as that server, all is good.
If it's the same box, just send mail out as that box, and the MX records will pretty much not matter.
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Expert Comment

by:briandunkle
ID: 24140229
the "you can have only one" was in case you thought of putting 1.2.3.4 as going mail.whatever also.
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 24145692

I would still strongly advise adding MX Records, even if it's for no other reason than clarity.

Chris
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Author Closing Comment

by:garry_m
ID: 31569968
Thanks very much, i've set up the mail server to use the same name as the PTR record and all works perfectly.
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Author Comment

by:garry_m
ID: 24146764
Sorry I forgot to ask previously, would it be wise/good practice to have the PTR record for my server to be mail.mydomain.co.uk?  Even though it is a web server too?
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 24146942

Nothing on the web server side will care about the PTR record. It's more important to have it set correctly for mail if that's what the server is used for.

Chris
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