How to setup the Mail System

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How to setup the Mail SystemLast Modified: Nov 7, 2008, 5:33 pm
One common problem people have is an incorrectly setup mail system.  Here is a list of rules that must be followed:

1) hostname must not match any domain that is being used on the system.  Example, if you have a domain called and you want to recieve mail on, you must *not* set your hostname to  We recommend using instead.  You must make sure that you add the A record for so that it resolves.

2) The hostname must be in the /etc/virtual/domains file.

3) The hostname must *not* be in the /etc/virtual/domainowners file.

4) The hostname must resolve.  If not, add the required A records to the dns zone such that it does.

5) The directory /etc/virtual/hostname must exist.. (eg: /etc/virtual/  It must not contain any files.

6) Any domains that you want to use for email (eg: must be in both the /etc/virtual/domains file and the /etc/virtual/domainowners file.   The directory /etc/virtual/ must exist and the files /etc/virtual/ and /etc/virtual/ exist.

7) File permissions for virtual pop inboxes should be (not applicable with Dovecot/Maildir):

/var/spool/virtual/   770 username:mail
/var/spool/virtual/*   660 username:mail

If you've made any changes to you /etc/exim.conf file and require a fresh copy, you can retrieve one with this guide:

8) Ensure your hostname does not contain any upper case letters.

9) Make sure that your main server IP has a reverse lookup on it.
Related Helpfiles
Using an external Mailserver
How to add reverse IP Lookup on your IP's
How to update your exim.conf
Sending mail to hotmail, yahoo and gmail.
How to change your hostname

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