Hi there, forgive the noob question, but before I install MiaB I want to better understand what I’m going to be doing.
So I already have a well-established webserver (on Linode) hosting about 20 domains. It seems it would be pretty simple to spin a new server and install MiaB, which is great.
The thing I’m unclear about from looking at the docs is how I would then wire all of those domains to use the MiaB sever for email. The documents are pretty clear that MiaB works best if it can control the DNS, email@example.com, but is that the case for any address that wants to use it eg firstname.lastname@example.org?
I understand that each domain will require some attention to the records to use a new email server rather than the original webserver. However, I don’t think I can let MiaB control DNS for every domain and I’m not keen on a complicated setup X 20+
Does that make sense, is it easier than I’m imaging it will be? What are my options?
You are correct that in the “recommended” configuration, MIAB would control the DNS for each domain you set up. But I would say it’s the opposite of ‘complicated’ (in fact, it can often be too simplistic), and you’d really just pointing the A records for ‘www’ and the root domain to whichever IP your actual websites live.
If you wanted to keep your existing DNS servers, you’d just have to add the A and MX records for mail to point to the MIAB box.
Regardless, each domain will have to be registered in MIAB, along with the mailboxes. I don’t know your full use case, but just a note that I don’t believe there’s any support for domain administrators (i.e. accounts that can only manage the domain it’s assigned to); if these are all your domains, this isn’t an issue, but wouldn’t work if you’re hosting clients who might want to manage their own user mailboxes.
At a minimum. There are other records required if you want to successfully deliver email to other domains Note, that in this scenario there is no A record to be added as it is assumed that the websites are already existing.
There is a script available on GitHub developed by @murgero which handles this perfectly.
Adding A and MX records to each domain wouldn’t be problematic at all, of course.
Linode is also holding my DNS records.
Yes, that’s the bit that concerns me, will I have to do a lot of extra config for each domain?
I’ll explain where I’m coming from: Formerly I always used a cpanel type webhost which “just worked” in terms of adding new emal addresses to many/any domains. (Though not very good in terms of being marked as spam.) Email is much more intimidating now I’m moving into my own server instances.
You’ll be doing a LOT of copy/pasting for each domain. There are 5 ABSOLUTE must have records and up to 12 records for each domain. More if there are any subdomains involved. All the necessary information is provided within the admin area on the ‘External DNS’ page, so there is no guess work, just as I mentioned a lot of copy/pasting.
If you meant ‘whichever email solution …’ then yes. Any ESP or mail server will require the same or similar. I will note that MiaB goes to the extreme to cover all situations carefully. You have 5 absolutely required records. They are MX SPF DKIM DMARC and the A record for your web site (which should already be in place, so 4 new entries, at a minimum).
The process isn’t bad … just going to be an hour or so of very repititive, boring updating of DNS.
May I ask, what is your use case? For what reasons are you considering Mail-in-a-Box?
Sure. I guess the ‘problem’ is I’m between two stools here; I’ve outgrown a cpanel shared hosting where things “just almost work”, but I’m not going to have the resources for multiple “email as service” Google Business type of approach. I have a few of my own projects but have to take care of a number of others for small entities like local charities, that don’t have sophisticated requirements but really need to do things super cheap.
I’ve been looking at various ways to get a new email server running, much of it over my head, but Linode strongly recommends MiaB and I can certainly see why.
MiaB is an amazing product for what it is! I discovered in 6 years ago and to say the least, I am a fan.
It is not the perfect product for all use cases. Yours is one that I think you can do much better than MiaB for similar money if you wish to handle all email management for your clients, or about 5x the money if you want the clients to have their own admin panel per domain. If you’d like to explore other options, feel free to PM me.