mail not being received for new virtual server

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#1 Sat, 06/25/2011 - 00:57

mail not being received for new virtual server

Some specs: Ubuntu 10.04 Virtualmin 2 virtual servers &

The mail for happydaybakeshop is being received fine. I can see it coming in via the mail.log. Anything sent to the burkefreelance address I don't see in the logs or receive anything.

I use Zonedit to handle the DNS records. I have an MX record set for "mail" and it points to the ip of the server. But when I issue the 'host -t MX" command it says there is no MX record. I'm not sure why one of my domains works and the other doesn't. One thing that is sticking out is that the server hostname is

I looked through the postfix configuration options but nothing jumped out at me as a difference between the two virtual servers.

Any thoughts on where to start to debug this issue?

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 03:05

Actually, on my end, it seems that neither happydaybakeshop nor burkefreelance have MX records... So it's rather surprising that the former should work. :) Might just still be in some cache or local nameserver or hosts file for your test systems.

Look at this:

You might want to make sure that you actually have MX records correctly configured at "Zoneedit".

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 11:20 (Reply to #2)

Ok, now I put the following 2 records in zoneedit. These are the entries in their gui. Do these look right?

Subdomain : Type : TTL : Preference : Host (These are the boxes in zoneedit to enter a record)

mail : MX : 300 : 10 :

@ : MX : 300 : 10 : mail

And when I look at it says the MX records are showing up. Is that all I should have to do? And now I just have to wait for caches to clear on other mail servers before they actually get this record? In this case it shouldn't matter what my hostname of the machine is correct?

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 11:40


Yup, that should be good.

And no, the hostname of your server doesn't matter. So long as the IP address in the MX record is pointing to your server, it should be able to deliver email.


Sat, 06/25/2011 - 13:20 (Reply to #4)

How long will it take for this to propagate?

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 18:18

happydaybakeshop looks okay now. though reports an error:

Looks like your nameservers do not agree on the SOA serial. Ths SOA records as reported by your nameservers: ->  2011252423 ->  2011252548
 This can cause some serious problems that is why you should fix this asap.

You should report this to your zone hoster ("zoneedit") if it does not clear up in the next hours. Looks like they have a misconfiguration there.

Also, just for completeness: MX records have to point to host names, not IP addresses. The report from Zoneedit looks okay, but the line you posted: mail : MX : 300 : 10 : is, for your information, incorrect.

Propagation times for zone changes depend on the configured TTL values. After the TTL have elapsed the change should at the latest have propagated. Though nameservers can, even if they should not, ignore the TTL values in the zone data and employ their own.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 21:24 (Reply to #6)

Ok I'll let zoneedit know and see what they say.

Also as for the records I posted I made a typo and the record for "mail" should be an A record. Does that still look ok?

mail : A : 300 : 10 :

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 04:41 (Reply to #7)

Yep, that looks good.

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 21:40

So my hostname for this server is Initially I was going to use it as a dns server hence the ns1 naming but opted to use zoneedit for the dns records. I'm wondering how the domain fits into the mix with the MX record. Since I'll have multiple virtual servers with other domains with other MX records for those domains. They will all just point to the correct IP address and that's it? Does my hostname of the server need to resolve. Like should I be able to do host and get something back because right now I can't.

I read on some posts how postfix needs the server to have a FQDN and resolve. Is this just a red herring for me or is this causing some of my issues?

Sat, 06/25/2011 - 22:06

The name your MX record uses doesn't matter -- all that matters is that the domain name resolves to an IP hosted on your server.

The hostname of your server should resolve... if it doesn't, odd things could happen :-)

You'd at least want to make sure an entry for your hostname existed in your /etc/hosts file.

Does anything out of the ordinary show up if you go into System Settings, and click Re-Check Config?


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 09:36 (Reply to #10)

This is what I'm getting now.

Your Postfix configuration is missing the system's mail hostname from the mydestination line, which will cause mail to bounce.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 09:46 (Reply to #11)

I fixed this configuration issue. When messing around with settings I deleted a comma in the mydestination line. Now the check is fine.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 10:01

Mail still isn't hitting the server from outside. I'm testing it with Wormly putting in the following

SMTP Server:
Sender Email:
Recipient Email:

I get the following error.

SMTP -> ERROR: Failed to connect to server: Connection timed out (110)
Message sending failed.

I am behind a NAT and have port 25 being forwarded. Postfix is running. What else am I missing here?

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 10:59


Hmm, well, I attempted to connect to a few ports on the IP port 25 (SMTP), 80 (http), 110 (POP), and 10000 (Webmin/Virtualmin) -- none of those worked, I received a Connection Refused error for each of those.

Are you certain that the port forwarding is setup correctly?

Also, some ISP's block certain ports -- it's possible that your ISP is blocking those ports.


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 12:38

I can confirm that. Telnet connects fail, ping fails, a traceroute from my server stops here:

traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
 1 (  0.256 ms  0.214 ms  0.232 ms
 2 (  1.601 ms  1.574 ms  1.547 ms
 3 (  0.750 ms  0.730 ms (  0.708 ms
 4 (  3.078 ms  3.035 ms  3.005 ms
 5 (  3.504 ms  3.483 ms  3.720 ms
 6 (  6.732 ms  6.609 ms  6.591 ms
 7 (  6.865 ms  6.834 ms  6.818 ms
 8 (  100.919 ms  100.902 ms  100.888 ms
 9 (  101.365 ms  101.327 ms  101.311 ms
10 (  99.096 ms  99.082 ms  101.278 ms
11 (  102.686 ms (  102.997 ms (  104.911 ms
12 (  102.463 ms (  104.941 ms  102.964 ms
13 (  137.937 ms  136.042 ms  137.838 ms
14 (  143.560 ms  142.882 ms  149.036 ms
15 (  147.025 ms  144.635 ms  144.601 ms
16 (  145.090 ms  142.153 ms  144.821 ms
17 (  143.241 ms  145.869 ms  143.682 ms
18 (  145.673 ms  143.197 ms  143.388 ms
19  * * *

My assumption is the same as Eric's. Incorrect port forwarding, some firewall or ISP blocking ports before your PC. Or maybe your Internet connection is not permanently up?

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 13:24 (Reply to #15)

First of all thanks for the help. I do appreciate it immensely. Sorry for the wild goose chase but I did learn some in the process. It turned out my router just decided to stop working and nothing was being forwarded through. I reset the router & everything started working again. Initially I thought things were working since I was testing within my local net, which always trips me up. I have a Netgear WNDR3700. Have any of you guys heard of issues like this with Netgear routers?

Again thanks.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 13:57


Glad to hear you got it working!

That's actually the same router I use here at home. I haven't had that sort of problem before, though I don't do much port forwarding with it :-)

Have a good one!


Sun, 06/26/2011 - 14:32

Good luck with your further hosting endeavors! :)

I'm myself using a FritzBox as home router (I like the tight integration of DSL modem, router, access point, VPN host, DECT phone base, ISDN VoIP gateway, fax reception, answering machine, ...) Port forwarding works okay with it, am using it for some stuff like [cough]filesharing[cough].

I'm not (currently / anymore) using it for hosting purposes at home though, got my VMWare root server for that. :)

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