Looking for a nOObs guide to keeping my separate webserver

Hi all! Very excited to get this working. I did not want to do all of this by hand and I very much appreciate this product.

I came in from Linode, where I have been serving mydomain.tld and www.mydomain.tld I created a brand new server and installed MIAB as per the instructions at linode. So far so good. I am using a domain that had no email capabilities and Dotster is my registrar.

What I need to do is keep miab separate from mydomain.tld. I’m happy to point users to box.mydomain.tld to get main and webmail or whatever I have to do. But I really don’t want the box machine to serve the website as well (as the webserver is going to get more complex soon).

I believe this is all about my DNS settings so I will show you what I have here. The only records I put in here are the nameservers and the A records that correspond to box.

If there is a guide, please point me to it. If not I can help create one from what I learn here.




DNS Records
Record  Name        Content                 Priority
A       @                    n/a
A       ftp                  n/a
A       mx                   n/a
A       mx                   n/a
A       pop                  n/a
A       imap                 n/a
A       smtp                 n/a
A       mail                 n/a
A       webmail               n/a
A       email                 n/a
A       *                    n/a
A       ns1.box                n/a
A       ns2.box                n/a
CNAME   dkim._domainkey     cur.dkim.v.eigmail.net  n/a
MX      @                   mx.ross-optimal.com     30
MX      *                   mx.ross-optimal.com     30
MX      @                   mx.ross-optimal.com     30
MX      *                   mx.ross-optimal.com     30
NS      @                   ns1.dotster.com         n/a
NS      @                   ns2.dotster.com         n/a
SOA     @                   ns1.dotster.com. dnsadmin.dotster.com. 2017012561 10800 3600 604800 3600        n/a
TXT     @                   v=spf1 ip4: ?all              n/a

Ok, well sorry to say but everything is wrong there… but I think you already knew that some of it is incorrect.

There is a question that needs to be answered before anything else … where do you intend to host your DNS?

You have two choices.

  1. On the MiaB server - recommended if mail is the only service on the domain.
  2. Externally - recommended by most if other services are going to be run on the domain.

So before that question even … do you have a domain that will/can be used just for email hosting? Probably not, since you are asking these questions - but personally I find that very best way to handle this situation is to have a domain that the email service runs on by itself rather than having mail and web on the same domain. This is probably just a me thing but …

So since you likely are going to run MiaB and your website on the same domain (which is fine really, just not my preferred way of doing things) and you are going to take my suggestion to use External DNS, you need to nuke most of those A records that you have now.

Wait! Where did those entries come from? It looks like you are using shared hosting or something? I thought you said that you are using Linode???

I am sorry but you have 3 different DNS networks at play here. So let’s start at the beginning.

A whois on your domain ross-optimal.com shows you using 7 name servers. This is a problem for 2 reasons. … 1) RFC calls for 3-5 and having more name servers extends the record length to a point that DNS has to use UDP rather than TCP which causes a ton of other issues. and 2) You have 2 different DNS zone files. This is creating differences between the zone and the registry.

So, full stop. You need to completely redo your DNS.

Let me CLARIFY this … I am NOT saying to have email addresses on a different domain. I am saying to have the email server on a different domain. The email server can host email from any domain that is assigned to it.

You could start reading the official and maintenace guides.

1 Like

I have been… I promise.

As per your first post looks it’s imposible you have read it carefully. Do it and post here the puntual doubts you may still have

Ok! Quick start Here you have it (hope will help other newbies in the future, too) :

Setup/ prepare your domains:

You main MiaB one as (example): box.yourdomain.tld

  • Go to your registar and setup yourdomain.tld glue (vanity) records as ns1.box.yourdomain.tld and ns2.box.yourdomain.tld both pointing to your BOX IP address.

  • At your registar, too and setup yourdomain.tld nameservers as ns1.box.yourdomain.tld and ns2.box.yourdomain.tld.

  • Allow up to 48 hours to the new yourdomain.tld DNS to propagate worldwide.

Your additional domains:

One you decided to use your MiaB server to manage your other domains you are accepting to use your MiaB server as your new DNS manager for them (unless you may need/ wish to copy all the new DNS entries created by your BOX for your webdomain.tld to any other external DNS manager), then:

  • Go to your registar and setup your webdomain.tld nameservers as ns1.box.yourdomain.tld and ns2.box.yourdomain.tld.

  • Allow up to 48 hours to the new webdomain.tld DNS to propagate worldwide.

To add your webdomain.tld domain to your MiaB server but pointed to your external WEB server:

  • Create your fist email address for webdomain.tld (aka sys@webdomain.tld ) and your BOX DNS manager will create automatically all your DNS records that are needed for it.

  • Finally, add custom A records by setting, at least, your webdomain.tld and www.webdomain.tld pointing to your external WEB server IP address.

  • Allow up to 48 hours to the new webdomain.tld and www.webdomain.tld DNS to propagate worldwide.

Note: You can check your DNS propagation status by using this web service: https://dnschecker.org/

Firstly … thanks… I know noobs are a PITA and I very much appreciate your efforts.

The first case is what I tried but I think Dotster has just polluted all my DNS. I will scrub it and reinstall miab. I think that solution insists on serving the web pages from the miab box, but if I am following properly then I just need to re-point my A records for www.webdomain.tld and webdomain.tld to the external web server.

After that I follow the second two sections to add additional domains, each using miab for email and my external web server for webpages.

Happily, I’m planing in a domain that no one depends on. I will take careful notes.

I could… I just didn’t really wanna


“Everything is wrong here…”
Yeah… I suspected. I am going to clean everything DNS and Linode/miab out and reinstall.

Thanks… I’ll keep updating here. Maybe I’m the start of a noob guide.

Noobs are fine when they listen and follow instructions. You have NOT completed the first step properly …

IPv4 Glue records for ross-optimal.com
ns1.linode.com. 172800 IN A
ns2.linode.com. 172800 IN A
ns3.linode.com. 172800 IN A
ns4.linode.com. 172800 IN A
ns5.linode.com. 172800 IN A

IPv6 Glue records for ross-optimal.com
ns1.linode.com. 172800 IN AAAA 2400:cb00:2049:1::a29f:1a63
ns2.linode.com. 172800 IN AAAA 2400:cb00:2049:1::a29f:1827
ns3.linode.com. 172800 IN AAAA 2400:cb00:2049:1::a29f:1981
ns4.linode.com. 172800 IN AAAA 2400:cb00:2049:1::a29f:1b48
ns5.linode.com. 172800 IN AAAA 2400:cb00:2049:1::a29f:1819

What I think I did was put them in the wrong place (or get them wrong). I subsequently cleaned dotster of all the crud they crammed in and any BOX entries so that I could take a fresh start.

Which I will do tonight.

@Dilapidus You have still not answered my original question, which makes a HUGE difference!

Start at the beginning … not somewhere in the middle. If the answer is on the MiaB server itself, then you need to follow the first step that @just4t outlined. If not, then you will need to take some other action that depends upon them answer to next question - Where do you plan to host your DNS information if not on the MiaB server?

I apologize. What I need to do is keep my mail server separate from my webserver. For that reason I believe that I must host DNS separately. In that case, I think that using Linode’s DNS management makes the most sense (my other option is at the registrar, which is Dotster). I was going to double check that with a coworker later today (I live in PST) and start redoing it all

I did set with the Linode settings, as shown below, as a bit of test, but to be honest I’m just feeling my way around here :

The webserver is and the Box box, as it were is

    ; ross-optimal.com [948567]
    $TTL 86400
    @	IN	SOA	ns1.linode.com. ross-optimal\.com.lefts.org. 2019090301 14400 14400    1209600 86400
    @		NS	ns1.linode.com.
    @		NS	ns2.linode.com.
    @		NS	ns3.linode.com.
    @		NS	ns4.linode.com.
    @		NS	ns5.linode.com.
    ns1.box	NS	ross-optimal.com.
    ns2.box	NS	ross-optimal.com.
    @		MX	10	mail.ross-optimal.com.
    @			        A
    ns1.box		300	A
    ns2.box		300	A
    www		       	        A
    @			AAAA	2600:3c01::f03c:91ff:fe24:948d
    www			AAAA	2600:3c01::f03c:91ff:fe24:948d

You use EITHER Linode or MiaB as the DNS — NOT BOTH!!!

If they are on the same domain, your belief is incorrect.

This I absolutely agree with … NOW, let’s make it happen.

You need to remove the 2 NS entries and A records for ns1.box and ns2.box for ross-optimal.com. Once you do this your 5 nameservers will be ns1 through ns5.linode.com. You also need to remove the MX record pointing to mail.ross-optimal.com and replace it with one pointing to box.ross-optical.com (assuming that the hostname of the mail server is going to be ‘box’. Lastly, you need to add an A record for ‘box’ pointing to the IP of the MiaB server.

Once the MiaB is up and functioning and you have added the first mailbox for your domain, you will then need to view the “External DNS” page in the admin area and copy most of the records there to the Linode DNS manager. I say most because not all are required - for instance it will show your www as having the IP of the MiaB server, which is not the case, so you will ignore it There will also be records for caldav and carddav which you may not even use – if you don’t I would ignore these as well. The same is true of autodiscover … these are all personal preference.

Thank you very much. I will be trying tonight but I will tweak the DNS now to give it time to propogate.

I just made another edit … you need to remove the 2 A records for ns1.box and ns2.box as well …

There is also some additional maintenance that needs to be done. This time with the domain registrar … you have entries in the Glue records pointing to Linode. These 10 entries should be removed completely. You should have NO glue record entries when you are done as glue is not required on this domain for the reason that you will not be running name servers on the domain.

I think I did that and it hasn’t propogated. Now my registrar has nothing but the ns1.linode.com, ns2…

Will do on the other A records.

Correct as far as name servers are concerned … but you also have ‘glue’ records pointing to Linode that need to be removed - these are completely different.

This is what I see on Dotster:

And this is Linode

Note that I have cleaned only. Not begun adding the records you advised.