Setup instructions say one thing, real life requires something else

I have a box that’s been in use for about a week on Digitalocean. I appear to have set it up correctly as

I use it to serve e-mail for three domains that were in existence previously, and I have been successful with getting email settings changed and all my emails now seem to go in and out of the box.numuzu setup. So far so good.
One of those domains is an active LAMP web site hosted on its own Digitalocean droplet with an IP that is different from the IP. The other two are static and relatively less important so I’ll limit my question here to a problem I’m having with the active domain.

I had to experiment a lot to get the various DNS settings working correctly so that e-mail moves in and out of box.numuzu.emal and the web site serves correctly from its own IP. I learned, after too many excruciating hours, that if I follow the Mail-In-A-Box setup instructions and pay attention to the box.numuzu admin panel’s “status update” diagnostics, the system fails.

I’m posting this here because I want to figure out what I’m doing wrong, and I’m hoping someone can help.

The story begins on (because the digitalocean instructions for setting glue records, no matter where those instructions are found, are gibberish).

It has a domain registered ( with its nameservers set to etc. It has glue records set to the IP of my digitalocean droplet where the MIAB setup lives. There are no other glue records. I believe this is the correct setup.

So much for Everything that follows refers to digitalocean’s zone records and to a different registrar (namecheap – world’s least-inspired name for a registrar).’s zone file has only an A record for the IP of the droplet where it lives. It has three NS records, all pointing to etc. It is otherwise bare. The domain has exactly the same zone file.

– The MAIB setup instructions tell me that if I want to host my site elsewhere (as I am doing), I need to go to my registrar and change the nameserver records for the active site. Where I would normally have them set to etc, I am now supposed to change them to etc. That’s all I’m supposed to do at the registrar. Everything else takes place in the zone file for my active web site (not the zone file for
– The instructions further state that I should set MX to, priority 10.
– The instructions further state that I should set the active web site’s zone file A record to the IP where the active site lives.
I did all that: MX set correctly, and an A pointing to the IP where the active site lives.
One of my zone records is a CNAME pointing to a secure server hosted by my shopping cart software vendor. I don’t think this is germane to the present problem, but it’s part of the picture so I’ll disclose it.
There are other instructions about setting various e-mail records, which I won’t discuss since there don’t seem to be any problems with those.

Now here is the issue:
If I do as instructed, the active web site always resolves to the IP. I get the index.html page from that IP, not from my web site’s IP. shows that my site’s IP is being propagated as the IP, instead of the actual site IP.

When I go to the admin panel’s status updates page and I am told that everything for the active site is correct, no red paragraphs, but that clearly is not the case.

So I go back to the registrar and change the nameserver records back to digitalocean.
Once DNS propagation has taken place, I am now successful at (1) getting e-mail service via mail-in-a-box, and (2) serving my active web site from its own IP.

I go to the admin panel’s status updates page and am told that everything is wrong. I’m told the MX resolves to nothing (which clearly isn’t the case), and that my A records resolve to nothing (which also isn’t true).

So somehow I have set up my box so that the admin panel doesn’t work as intended, and I can’t find any config settings that make any positive difference. I’m concerned that I have a setup error somewhere that is going to come back and bite me some day.

Any help would be appreciated.

If you are using the box for DNS, you don’t need to input anything into the Network settings at DigitalOcean and you don’t need to bother with any zone settings. In the gandi admin panel, you simply create the glue records for and They would have the exact same IP as the droplet in DigitalOcean. Then you want to be sure in gandi’s panel that for your domain, you set the nameservers to and

If I understand what you’re trying to do, once you have done the above, you can go into Custom DNS on the mail-in-a-box admin panel and setup the A record for your LAMP website. This will propagate and then you’ll see the other droplet when you navigate to that url.

Thanks very much. The part about going to the admin panel for and setting up a custom DNS A record is what I had missed.

Please submit an edit to the setup guide to make it clearer!

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