Domain practical usage tips

From SME Server
Jump to navigationJump to search

Domain practical usage tips


This howto is not meant to be the absolute answer to all situations, but an example of how to setup domain names that are free using services, and in conjunction with registered paid for domains eg

It also covers how to configure external dynamic services and DNS services using popular free services ie &

It is primarily meant to apply to situations where the user has a dynamic IP from their ISP and wishes to run a web & email server (where no ports are blocked by the ISP).

Please note if you use an ISP who blocks ports & you wish to run a web & email server, you will need to use other techniques, see

Please thoroughly read the Manual and Appendices and fully understand the sections on Domains and DNS, especially the section titled Dynamic DNS Services



You have a dynamic IP from say and that ISP does not block any ports.

Go to

and create a new user account.

Then create a new host selecting the dynamic service


Add other config options here eg usually you would enable the www wildcard option, but you would NOT nominate any mail server details.

Important.png Note:
You can select a different domain from a long list of possibilities when creating your domain

Then login to the Console of sme server using either the keyboard and monitor attached to the server, or via a ssh (Putty) session from a locally connected or remote workstation. Login as the user admin (not as root) and select Configure this server from the menu choices. (Note you do not use server-manager for this).

When asked enter the domain details for your new domain ie

Step through the screens and select the option for dynamic dns service from

Enter the details for your dyndns account name eg myname

Enter the dyndns account password eg mypassword

Finish the configuration and restart your server when asked to do so.

When your server boots back up, it should now automatically & periodically update the IP issued by dyndns in the local server configuration.

Therefore the domain name will now follow the server no matter what IP is issued to it dynamically.

External requests for will always be directed to your server.

Fowarding a real domain to your dynamic domain

Go to a Domain name Registrar eg and register the required domain eg

When the domain has been allocated to you (usually after a few days) do the following.

Go to and create a new user account.

Then login to zonedit and create a new domain DNS record ie the domain you registered eg

You will be allocated Nameserver names/IP numbers, make a note of these.

Log in to your Domain Registrar with your user account eg myname account, and change the Nameserver details to those issued by Usually there are two Nameservers to enter.

In the zoneedit configuration screens for your domain, select WebForward and enter details of your real domain and your dyndns domain.

Also select MX record and enter the mail server for your domain as

Alternatively you can configure a CName record for your new domain pointing to, in that case you do not need to create seperate WebForward and MX records.

Now you will need to wait 24 to 72 hours for Internet DNS records to propagate, so your new zoneedit DNS records are accessed when requests are entered for your domain in end users web browsers and mail servers.

Configuring the Domains panel of your sme server

Open server manager and select Domains panel. Add your real domain name ie

If you only have the one "real" domain on your server, then select the content location as the Primary ibay.

If you wish to have multiple domain names hosted on the same sme server, then you need to have first created ibays for each domain, and then select the applicable ibay name as the web content location.

Web requests and mail will be handled for all valid domains by the sme server.

For further information re configuring and isolating email addresses for users and each domain, see the Pseudonyms chapter of the manual.

Reference links

Bugzilla:2314 (signal-event ip-change)