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Old 11 Jan 2007, 06:19 AM   #1
janniklindquist
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Advice on virtual domain

Hi,

I would like have both website and email for my domain hosted at FM. However, the help-files are far from clear to me. The DNS-interface of my registrar can be seen on this screenshot (the values are not the current ones).

I would like the web-part to cover both "mydomain.com", "www.mydomain.com" and "something.mydomain.com" - and the email-part to catch anything sent to my domain.

Could someone kindly tell me exactly what to put in where?

Last edited by janniklindquist : 11 Jan 2007 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 11 Jan 2007, 03:27 PM   #2
robmueller
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Since you want to do web & email hosting for the domain at FM, the easiest thing to do is set the "name servers" for the domain to ns1.messagingengine.com and ns2.messagingengine.com

From the screenshot you sent, that's the part at the bottom:

Domain name servers for xyz.com

Now it seems to suggest that it wants an IP address for those servers as well. See if you can leave them blank, or if it really wants one, use:

ns1.messagingengine.com = 66.111.4.2
ns2.messagingengine.com = 66.139.75.100

Rob
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Old 11 Jan 2007, 03:37 PM   #3
n5bb
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Arrow Virtual Domain Activation

The details on some of this changed in December, 2006. The new instructions are at:
Virtual Domains FAQ
Below I will describe the exact details of making this work, step by step. I have included some explanatory remarks so you can understand what you are doing.

There are different ways to make the switch to Fastmail for both your email (MX record in your DNS) and your website (A record in your DNS). In your situation, where you have both a website and email you want to point to Fastmail, the easiest thing to do is to change the Domain Name Servers entry (the two rows at the bottom of the screen you posted) to point to Fastmail rather than freedom2surf. After you do this, the other entries on the registrar setup screen (for MX and A records) will be ignored, since these values will be coming from the Fastmail DNS server, which sets them up automatically for you.

I have tried to set this out in a linear fashion below the exact steps you need to follow to get up and running. This is to perform what is shown in the FAQ link above:
"What do I set the DNS for my domain to to have both email and websites hosted with you?"

(1) First go to the Fastmail Options > Virtual Domains screen and enter your domain name in the bottom (Virtual Domains) section of the page. So in the Domain column enter "mydomain.com". Leave the Active column set to the default (Waiting for DNS) setting. I would leave the Subdomain? column set to the default setting. Click on Add to the right of the new row you just entered.

(2) Now you need to add a Virtual Alias at the top section of that same screen. I would start with entering "*" (asterisk character) in the Name column, then you will have only one choice for the domain (the new domain you entered a moment ago), and you can start by leaving the Target at the default value (your Fastmail account email address). Click on Add at the right end of that row and be sure that Active is checked.

(3) Click Done at the top of the Virtual Domains screen when finished. What we just did was to tell Fastmail what personal domain you want to use, that it's still waiting for DNS (we will fix that in the next step at your registar's website), a subdomain addressing detail we don't need to worry about right now, and finally that you want incoming emails sent to anything@mydomain.com (because of the wildcard character *) to be targeted (delivered) to the Inbox at your normal Fastmail address.

One more detail about the Virtual Aliases screen: If you set (as I just described) *@mydomain.com to target username@fastmail.xxx, then any email sent to your domain (with any username before the @) will go into your Inbox. But let's say that you want to set up email folders for Bob, Sue, and Jerry -- and direct their addressed mail to those folders. There are three ways to do this (executed in the order shown, as far as I can determine):
  • Enter Virtual Aliases, such as bob@mydomain.com targeting username+bob@fastmail.xxx.
  • Set up a Virtual Alias of *@mydomain.com targeting username+*@fastmail.xxx. Now if an email arrives for sue@mydomain.com (upper/lower case are ignored), then it will be filed in the Sue (case ignored) folder. If there is no such folder, it will be filed in your Inbox.
  • Use Rules to force certain messages to be filed in certain folders. The Rules have the final say, and can override what the aliases screen says to do (for internal folders).
(4) Now that the Fastmail screens are ready for the changeover, it's time to enter the following two names (from the FAQ link) into the two rows at the bottom of your registar's DNS setup screen in the Domain Name Server Name column:
Code:
ns1.messagingengine.com
ns2.messagingengine.com
I'm guessing how their screen works, but you probably need to clear out the "Domain Name Server IP Addresses" values, then click Update after each row. This causes the registrar to tell the rest of the Internet (eventually -- this can take a few hours to make it everywhere) that when your domain name is used for email or web addressing (including HTTP or FTP addressing), then the server that can supply the numeric address (from a lookup table) is ns1.messagingengine.com (run by Fastmail), and if this fails then the backup is ns2.messagingengine.com.

(5) To check on proper DNS upgrading, go to the Fastmail Virtual Domains page again, and look in the bottom right (end of the Virtual Domains section). Click on Update at the lower right of the screen. When Fastmail sees that the change from your registrar has propogated to Fastmail, then the Active column for your domain should change to Email & Web. You might need to wait a few minutes for this to update, but in extreme cases it might take up to a couple of hours to see this change. You will have to click Update to redraw the screen to make it visible. When active and propogated through the Internet, email to your domain will come to your Fastmail account as you specified on the Virtual Aliases screen. You can even set it to send gmail@mydomain.com email to your gmail account by setting up a name and target. Very cool!

(6) The web settings are all in the Files screen. First you need to create subfolders as needed with the Action tool. Then upload your HTML code (with the filename extension .html) into whatever directory you wish, using the web upload feature on that screen, FTP, or DAV file transfer. Now click on the Websites button (upper right corner of the screen) and create the website name you wish (it could be http://mydomain.com or http://joe.mydomain.com) and the target folder containing the HTML code. You probably want to publish as Files Only. Click on Add Website and you should see it in the table above. Make sure it's checked Active and it will be on the web instantly. If the code you uploaded had the filename index.html, then a browser pointing to http://mydomain.com will see your website. As you can tell on this screen, you can map various website names (from Fastmail aliases and your domain) and prefixes (http://weather.mydomain.com) or subfolders (http://mydomain.com/newstuff) into any folder in the Files area. You can also upload photos and make them automatically visible in web pages at your domain.

Sorry this was so long, but I thought it useful to go into the gory details. The virtual domain and files features of Fastmail are fantastic!

Edit based on Rob's comments later in this thread:
Fastmail now automatically sends an email to people when their domain activates. This is new -- previously they didn't, it just activated silently and you had to go to the screen to check. So it's easier these days just to wait for the email.


Bill

Last edited by n5bb : 12 Mar 2007 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 11 Jan 2007, 06:08 PM   #4
janniklindquist
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Hi Rob and Bill,

Thanks, guys! I think I have it all setup correctly now. My registrar is not very fast to update these things, so I won't know before tomorrow morning :-) I'll let you know how it works!

Thanks again,
Jannik
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Old 12 Jan 2007, 06:36 AM   #5
janniklindquist
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Quote:
Originally posted by janniklindquist
Hi Rob and Bill,

Thanks, guys! I think I have it all setup correctly now. My registrar is not very fast to update these things, so I won't know before tomorrow morning :-) I'll let you know how it works!

Thanks again,
Jannik
Hmm. I'm confused. I now realize that I actually made the changes at my registrar just before they did their update for today. IOW, the nameserver setup provided by you gentlemen should be active. However, no email gets through and my virtual domain is still "Waiting for DNS". What's going on?

Last edited by janniklindquist : 12 Jan 2007 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 12 Jan 2007, 08:50 AM   #6
louisw
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I have the same issue

I tried the "Standard Method"

HOw long should it take. It has been almost 6 hours.
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Old 12 Jan 2007, 08:57 AM   #7
Berenburger
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It doesn't look good yet.
The mail test on www.dnsreports.com reports:
Quote:
Trying to connect to all mailservers:

in1.smtp.messagingengine.com. - 66.111.4.70 [Could not connect: Got an unknown RCPT TO response: 451 <postmaster@domain.tld>: Relay access denied]
in1.smtp.messagingengine.com. - 66.111.4.71 [Could not connect: Got an unknown RCPT TO response: 451 <postmaster@domain.tld>: Relay access denied]
in1.smtp.messagingengine.com. - 66.111.4.72 [Could not connect: Got an unknown RCPT TO response: 451 <postmaster@domain.tld>: Relay access denied]
in1.smtp.messagingengine.com. - 66.111.4.73 [Could not connect: Got an unknown RCPT TO response: 451 <postmaster@domain.tld>: Relay access denied]
in2.smtp.messagingengine.com. - 66.139.75.100 [Could not connect: Could not receive data: Operation timed out.]
[Note that if your mailserver takes over 30 seconds to respond, our test will timeout, even though real mailservers will wait longer]

NOTE: This tool does NOT attempt to determine if an E-mail address exists!
You better contact FM support
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Old 12 Jan 2007, 09:06 AM   #8
Berenburger
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Re: I have the same issue

Quote:
Originally posted by louisw
I tried the "Standard Method"

HOw long should it take. It has been almost 6 hours.
Yesterday I've waited more than 24 hours with a domain. I've sent a support ticket to FM and after that it was fixed in a few hours.
Another domain I did today and it succeeded in a few hours automatically. It looks to me that the new virtual domain set up doesn't run smoothly yet.
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Old 12 Jan 2007, 09:22 AM   #9
louisw
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I submitted the ticket request
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Old 12 Jan 2007, 09:42 AM   #10
robmueller
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Did you get any email saying the domain had been activated automatically? If not, email at robm AT fastmail DOT fm with your domain and account details and I'll check it out ASAP.

Rob
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Old 12 Jan 2007, 09:52 AM   #11
louisw
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Quote:
Originally posted by robmueller
Did you get any email saying the domain had been activated automatically? If not, email at robm AT fastmail DOT fm with your domain and account details and I'll check it out ASAP.

Rob
I did not get an email saying as such. I sent you a note from my FM account.
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Old 12 Jan 2007, 12:28 PM   #12
robmueller
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louisw: Your domain has been automatically activated now, seems it was just a matter of time waiting for DNS to propagate.

Berenburger: Contact me if your details and I'll check for you.

n5bb: Thanks for the detailed instructions, I'll add a "step by step" guide to the FAQ. One thing though:

Quote:
Click on Update at the lower right of the screen. When Fastmail sees that the change from your registrar has propogated to Fastmail, then the Active column for your domain should change to Email & Web. You might need to wait a few minutes for this to update, but in extreme cases it might take up to a couple of hours to see this change. You will have to click Update to redraw the screen to make it visible
We now send an email to people when their domain activates (this is new, previously we didn't, it just activated silently and you had to go to the screen to check). It's easier these days just to wait for the email.

Rob
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Old 12 Jan 2007, 06:23 PM   #13
Berenburger
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Quote:
Originally posted by robmueller
Berenburger: Contact me if your details and I'll check for you.
I have no problems (anymore). The first domain was fixed by Vinodh Kumar, I assume, after a support request. The second went automatically and, yes, I got the e-mail that the domain was activated.

But, a little bit confusing is the the first e-mail you get, already after a few minutes, when you activate a domain. It is titled 'Invalid virtual domain'. I think, that it means that the domain isn't fully propagated yet and you have to wait, but a lot of users can think that they did something wrong and are going to mess around with the setup.

BTW, this piece of text in the e-mail isn't valid anymore with the new screen setup.
Quote:
You can tell when your domain has become active by going to the 'Options' screen and then the 'Virtual domains' Screen. The domain, and each of the domain aliases will have the 'Active' column set to[*].
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Old 12 Jan 2007, 10:22 PM   #14
robmueller
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I've changed the wording to make it correct now.

I've also changed the subject of the email to:

Virtual domain setup action required

Also I've set things up so that just before it runs, it clears the local DNS cache. This should make activation of domains that have a long TTL by default quicker.

Rob
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Old 17 Jan 2007, 09:47 AM   #15
JasonWard
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As general advice, if you are thinking about changing any DNS entries or are about to change them, change the TTL (time to live) down to something like 60 seconds.

Remember, it will take perhaps a couple of days for this change to roll out to the world at large, but it does mean you can change your DNS entries quite rapidly, normally 5 to 10 minutes when your TTL is set to 60 seconds.

Once you've got settled in, are happy with your settings you can change the TTL back to a larger number, probably a good thing to do to be a good netizen, however I will admit several domains I manage are set to 60 seconds TTL all the time.

Jason
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