View Full Version : CNAME Help

03-06-2004, 11:02 PM
I'm trying to create a CNAME entry so that when I access... HOME.MYWESTHOSTDOMAIN.COM from work, it will redirect me to myhomepc.dyndns.org which is my PC at home. I've been able to submit this request to three of my previous webhost providers I've used in the past and now that I've moved onto WestHost, I was told that this cannot be done. Could anyone explain why? It seems that I'm only limited to entering IP addressES for the cname record instead of myhomepc.dyndns.org. I'm on a DSL connection at home and constantly change IP's.

03-07-2004, 08:12 AM
I haven't tried doing what you say, so I don't know if it works or not. But, if it doesn't, what you could do is direct home.mywesthostdomain.com to a directory on your WestHost account (e.g. /var/www/html/forward) that has in it index.html (or .php) with a meta (refresh/redirect) tag (in the case of .html) or a header("Location: http://myhomepc.dyndns.org"); (in the case of a .php) to redirect visitors to your dyndns.org address.

To do the above, log in to your Site Manager, click Domain Management, then click on your domain name, and then "New".

05-03-2004, 10:38 PM
thanks but that's the primitive method.
What I really want to achieve is technically possible but needs to be done by a UNIX admin on WestHost's end but I/we are limited due to the lack of this particular control in the westhost manager program.

05-04-2004, 11:30 AM
No problem. If you do figure something out, please share the solution with the rest of us :)

WestHost - MMellor
05-06-2004, 12:09 PM
Hello Pip,

Can you PM me get the details, domain, and exact CNAMEs. I'll get that setup for you as soon as possible. Let us know if there is anything else we can help with.

07-06-2004, 09:50 PM
Hello I've been through this a zillion ways. You do not have full rights to edit zone records using the WH manager. the best solution I found is to edit your DNS servers at your registar and point your domains to a DNS provider such as zoneedit.com (first 5 domains are free) You will have total control over your zone records A, NS, CNAME (even PRT if your skillful) be carerful especially with your A records for your domain. Jot down the IPs before you leave WH DNS.

Good Luck

WestHost - RSimpkins
07-07-2004, 10:52 AM
We are more than willing to setup custom entries in zone files if needed. We don't offer write access to the full zone file because the file is updated using a series of scripts through the site manager. Keeping the script writable by WestHost admins ensures that the DNS record and/or domain management in site manager is not broken.

I have setup CNAMEs for several clients in the past -- including custom TXT records and other unique DNS entries. Please feel free to PM me with any ticket numbers with your request. We have also sent requests to our software developers to increase the capability of the DNS management portions of the site manager. It should only become more flexible.

I looked into who might have told you this wasn't possible. Apparently there was some internal miscommunication that has been cleared up now.

07-07-2004, 02:09 PM

Thanks for your offer to assist, I was not aware that was available. What is the typical turn around for a DNS record change such as this.
(excuse syntax, going by memory)

mail A
office.com MX 10 office.com

office.com MX10 inbound.office.com.mailservice.com.
mail.office.com. CNAME mail.office.com.mailservice.com.
smtp.office.com. CNAME smtp.office.com.mailservice.com.

Also glad to hear that there are plans to beefup funcationality to WH manager DNS records. Basically we need to write to both left and right side of records

[nnnnnn] CNAME [nnnnnnnn]
[nnnnnn] MX 0 [nnnnnnnnn]


I do however appreciate WH very consertative user access to vital server configs so as to make it more difficult to mess up!!


WestHost - RSimpkins
07-07-2004, 02:24 PM

The turn around time for DNS changes is usually one business day. The actual editing of the file takes just a few minutes, but several factors can delay the process. I have noticed the process is much smoother (and shorter) when clients provide as accurate details as possible. We want to ensure that we aren't creating problems for clients, so with critical DNS entries we like to be 100% sure that the changes requested are clear. If there are any questions we would rather delay any edits and get it right the first time than edit the zone on a guess.

A hint -- it helps if you attempt to setup the records as far as possible using the site manager. When I edit the zone file I can see where the records were created and simply add on/change the required data. It's not necessary, but it makes what needs to be done just that much more clear.

07-07-2004, 10:23 PM
Ryan, Hey thats my slogan spend the extra time and get it right the first time! If I may continue the dialog, I appreciate your response and hope you will reply to this also.

Perhaps I'm getting off topic here but as you may have guessed these discussions all spin around solving the multiple mailboxes with multiple domain under one VPS. (sales@domain1.com, sales@domain2.com being the same mailbox) By editing the DNS records I assume we have the ability to split out emails by domains and send it to another server. My present solution is to outsource the email hosting. While robust offerings are out there. After hosting with you for over 5 years now, I rather not do this due to the additional expense, and also I'd rather stay inhouse as you folks still offer the best price, tech support, control and stability over 100's of other providers I've looked at. Presently the only viable solution offered is manually editing the /etc/mail/virtusertable. Or install a third part mail server such as atmail. Quite good performance in my tests but way too expensive for my projected use ($3-4000).

I have come across another GNU General Public License (GPL) mail server and was wondering if you know of it and it's usefulness. If not perhaps you could look into it as is seems it may benefit many of your clients. Here is the description.

vm-pop3d is a POP3 server. It supports alternative password files and mail spool directories; it can be used for setting up virtual email accounts -- mailboxes without real Unix owners for each. This will allow you to have
multiple email accounts with the same name on one system. More info here:


I'd gladly offer up one of my beta site (officehosts.com) for testing. the installation looks a tad above my skills and perhaps need root permissions.

Hope this helps all.

WestHost - RSimpkins
07-08-2004, 09:56 AM

I have actually done quite a bit with vm-pop3d in years past. I think it's a great solution to solving the virtual e-mail problem (I actually got it working with TLS(SSL) encryption).

Unfortunately using something like vm-pop3d in our system wide environment just wouldn't be possible at this time. It may be possible for you to get it working on a VPS level using a dedicated IP and an alternate port. The problem you will more than likley run into is with the MTA - not the pop server.

For right now I think editing the virtusertable file remains the simplest option. It would be trivial to write a script to help make editing that file easier. At one point I wrote a perl script that used DB_File to write directly to virtusertable.db with a CGI interface. I think it took about 150 lines.

Of course, all of this is outside normal support for our clients. We are aware of the interest in supporting true virtual e-mail addresses, and have passed it on to our developers. I appreciate you taking the time to comment on this.

07-08-2004, 10:24 AM
Hey Ryan

Thats very interesting, you've take the discussions two steps forward by supplying your hands experiences with vm-pop3d. So that solution is not totally viable within this enviroment.

Yes a script to edit virtusertable would be very nice, perhaps someday we may even see it in some script libraries or appear in WH manager...........

Thanks so much for you useful info.