Posts Tagged ‘Emails’

Fixing QMAIL mail server SMTP auto-configure issues in Thunderbird and other mail IMAP / POP3 mobile clients

Friday, July 13th, 2012

One of the QMAIL mail servers, setup-uped on a Debian host has been creating some auto configuration issues. Every-time a new mail user tries to use the embedded Thunderbird client auto configuration, the auto config fails leaving the client unable to use his Mailbox through POP3 or IMAP protocols.

Since about 2 years Thunderbird and many other modern pop3 and imap mail desktop and mobile clients are by default using the auto configuration and hence it was unthinkable to manually change settings for new clients with the QMAIl install; Besides that most of the Office users are always confused, whether they have to manually change SMTP or POP3 host for a server.

Below is a screenshot displaying the warning during email auto-configuration:

Thunderbird new Mail account setup auto config warning SMTP not OKThe orange color in the button for the newly auto-detected smtp.mail-domain.com indicates, something is not right with the SMTP host.

Obviously, something was wrong with smtp.mail-domain.com, hence I checked where smtp.mail.domain.com resolves with host command. What I found was actually smtp.mail-domain.com Active ( A ) DNS records was pointing to an IP address, our company previously used for the mail server. At present time the correct mail server host name is mx.mail-domain.com and the QMAIL installation on mx.soccerfame.com is configured to be the actual SMTP server.

By default Thunderbird and many other POP3, IMAP mail clients, however automatically assume the default SMTP host for a mail server is to be configured under a host name smtp.mail-domain.com. This is really strange, especially when the primary MX record for mail-domain.com domain is pointing to mx.mail-domain.com, e.g.:

qmail:~# host -t MX mail-domain.com
soccerfame.com mail is handled by 10 mx.mail-domain.com.
soccerfame.com mail is handled by 20 mail.mail-domain.com.
soccerfame.com mail is handled by 30 mail-domain.com.

The whole warning was caused due to the fact mx.mail-domain.com was resolving to an IP like xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, whether smtp.mail-domain.com was resolving to yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy

Both xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx and yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy hosts were configured to have a different qmail SMTP host i.e.:

The server under IP xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx – (mx.mail-domain.com) was configured in /var/qmail/control/me to be mx.mail-domain.com and the other old one yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy – (mail.mail-domain.com) had (mail.mail-domain.com) in /var/qmail/control/me

As smtp.mail-domain.com was actually being still resolved to mail.mail-domain.com, the EMAILs were improperly trying to be sent with a configured DNS hostname of smtp.mail-domain.com, where the actual one on the server was mail.mail-domain

It took, me about an hour of pondering what is causing the oddities until I got the here explained issue. As the DNS recors for the domain the sample mail-domain.com were handled by Godaddy, to fix the mess, I logged in to Godaddy and;

a) deleted – DNS record for smtp.mail-domain.com.
b) Created new CNAME record for smtp.mail-domain.com to be a domain alias for mx.soccerfame.com

A few minutes, afterwards I tried configuring once again the same email account in Thunderbird and this time both imap.mail-domain.com and smtp.mail-domain.com turned green; indicating everything is configured fine.

To be 100% sure all is working fine I first fetched, all email via the IMAP protocol without hassles and onwards sent a test email to my Gmail account; thanksfully the sent email was delivered to Gmail indicating both Get Mail and Send Mail functions worked now fine.

Thunderbird icedove new mail account setup auto config Okay
 

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