I'm working at a small webhosting company. I have to set up the autoconfig (Thunderbird) and autodicover (Outlook) files, so that user (who have their own domain names, like www.userxyz.com) could set up their Email account in Outlook or Thunderbird by just providing their username and password.

I've followed this instruction (for Thunderbird). I've managed to build the .xml files, and everything works fine, but at the point (which I have linked to) where it says I have to set up a DNS CNAME record for every domain, I have a logic thinking problem.

We have many customers, everyone with another domain name. I can't set up a autoconfig IN CNAME autoconfig.userXYZ.com CNAME Record for every customer we have. This would be not efficient. So my question is how could I handle that, or how would be that handled? I don't have a glue how I could ask that question in another way, but I hope someone understands it.

The user types in his Email adress (into Thunderbird), like [email protected]. Thundbird is looking at autoconfig.userXYZ.com/mail/config-1.1.xml if there is a config file. So I have to bring Thunderbird to look to another adress, like autoconfig.hoster.com/mail/config-1.1.xml, so that I just have to manage one config file, and not thousands of them.

Sidenote: We are using BIND (9).

Thanks in advance. Regards, john.

  • Are you asking how to set up the CNAME/A record, or the autoconfig files?
    – NickW
    Feb 28, 2013 at 16:32
  • 1. You should specify Exchange Server in your question and your tags. 2. Exchange hosting companies don't usually manage DNS for their customers so they don't have to manage, and aren't responsible for, thousands of DNS records for the domains that they're hosting email for. The customer is usually responsible for getting the appropriate DNS records set up at their DNS host.
    – joeqwerty
    Feb 28, 2013 at 16:35
  • sorry for the weak problem explanation. i know how to set up a CNAME record, i know how to configure the config-files. but i don't know how i should set up a CNAME record for thousand domains! i would require weeks to get this done... so is there a way to set up a CNAME record for more than one domain, or is this impossible? Feb 28, 2013 at 16:35
  • Why do you think it's different for a thousand domains than it is for one? Scripting editing of SOA records is trivial - but you don't even mention what DNS server you use. Are you really an ISP?
    – symcbean
    Feb 28, 2013 at 16:39
  • Why do you need to set up DNS records for thousands of domains? Do you or your company have thousands of domain names registered?
    – joeqwerty
    Feb 28, 2013 at 16:41

1 Answer 1


You didn't specify the server you would be using, but in BIND, inside named.conf, you can specify a file for each zone. If your environment is homogeneous, it gives you the ability to create a simple zone file. Inside that file you add the standard pieces, NS, A MX and CNAME records, and at the bottom, create the entry for the autoconfig.

You then use that single zone file for thousands of simple domains.

Of course, there are probably a million other ways to do so, but this is the one I have used.

  • Thanks for your answer. I think I had a thinking barrier, and now I know what to do with your comment. Yes we use BIND :) Mar 1, 2013 at 9:37
  • Cool, hope it helps.
    – NickW
    Mar 1, 2013 at 9:53

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