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when i query for the mailservers of domainx with "dig domainx.com MX" the result is:

domainx.com. 55188 IN MX 120 mail2.domainx.com.
domainx.com. 55188 IN MX 100 mail.domainx.com.

When the webserver (postfix) sends a mail to someone@domainx.com it uses mail.domainx.com as relay.

Now, i want to test if he really switches to mail2.domainx.com if mail.domainx.com is not available. I have no access to the mailservers, just the webserver which is running postfix.

I thought of temporarily making a false entry in /etc/hosts for mail.domainx.com on the webserver - will this work?

Is there another and better way?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You could temporarily add a blackhole route to the primary MX and then observe Postfix's behaviour.


ip route add blackhole ip.add.re.ss


route add -host ip.add.re.ss -blackhole
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THX - This is a nice solution. Sadly my webserver says "command not found" for route or ip. i think i have to go with the /etc/hosts - version. –  Benjamin Dec 15 '11 at 16:03

Usualy, I test this problematic with the firewall : I put a filter from my server to the IP of mail.domainx.com, on the SMTP port (25/tcp).

Then, Postfix can't join the first server and should try the second.

But I think you can do the same thing with your /etc/hosts proposition, by choosing an IP which doesn't exists.

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