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I just made a website for someone who used to have a yahoo small business account so they could check "username@domain.com" mail through their yahoo interface. Now they are not getting their email anymore probably because I changed the DNS records to point the domain to my server. How can I accept the email that he receives and forward to another email account? Is there anyway for me to not even receive the email and direct right to another email account he owns such as his aol account?

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3 Answers

If you have a mail server set up, you could try just adding an entry to the /etc/aliases file, something like:

friend:newaddress@somedomain.com

would redirect all mail you received address to friend@{any domain you receive mail for} to the new address. This is making a lot of assumptions about the mail setup on your server, and will probably require a little more configuration than that do do what you want.

If the problem is DNS related however, you could probably just add an MX record pointing to wherever the DNS records pointed to previously. Then mail would go where it did before you made any changes and you shouldn't need to do anything else.

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How can I accept the email that he receives and forward to another email account?

You're talking about using a mail relay. Most MTAs will support this with a little setup. This method is heavily dependant on the MTA you use but typically there are several approaches. For instance, you can:

  • Specify that a local account has a different delivery destination
  • Specify a mail alias to be used during initial routing

Now they are not getting their email anymore probably because I changed the DNS records to point the domain to my server.

Is there anyway for me to not even receive the email and direct right to another email account he owns such as his aol account?

You need to add the correct A, PTR, and MX records for the intended domain for this to work. These must be present in the server providing the DNS zone definitions.

The mail exchanger for the domain is specified in DNS, and without an MX record present for the DNS zone (definition), it will, by default, cause outside MTAs to attempt delivery to the servers specified in the domain, which would be your servers because they are the ones hosting the zone. It's really a good idea to always have MX records for mail exchangers for any zone definitions you have for just this reason. While email will work without MX records, it doesn't work as well as it could with the records present.

Be sure that there is a matching forward and reverse definition for the server specified in the MX record, and that the definition returns the same name for both types of look-ups. Modern mail exchangers do a full resolution, one from name to address, then from that same address back to a name, in an attempt to detect spammers. Having records that do not match will result in some email servers rejecting any email that originates from the server, so this is a good idea.

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The A and AAAA records specify where the domain (website) is hosted. Those should be pointed to your server. (AAAA is for IPv6)

The MX records specify where the mail goes. Those should be pointed at Yahoo's mail servers.

So, you'd have something like this:

example.com.     IN    A      10.11.12.13
www.example.com. IN    CNAME  example.com.
example.com.     IN    MX     10 whatever1.yahoo.com.
example.com.     IN    MX     20 whatever2.yahoo.com.
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However - If Yahoo no longer owns the website, they may not allow the email domain either. You have to make sure Yahoo will still host the domain's email even though the site domain has been moved elsewhere. –  AudioDan Jun 14 '09 at 13:09
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