How to manage multiple email domains on a droplet

Posted September 21, 2014 5.6k views

Hey guys,

I’m in the process of migrating my websites to DigitalOcean and I am kind of confused as to how I would set up multiple emails and forward them to different accounts.

I’m going to have about 3 very low traffic websites on my droplet and they all have different domain names. What exactly would I need to do in order to have,, and to forward to 3 different emails?


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2 answers

You can either learn the ins and outs of postfix, dovecot, etc., or set up something like iRedMail, ISPConfig 3, etc. that will install and manage those things for you with a nice web interface. I’m currently using Virtualmin to manage the domains on my mail server. It is overkill for that job for sure, but that server originally started out as more than just a mail server. If I were to do it again (which is not likely), I would probably go the barebones route and manage all of the components manually.

I am currently in the process of evaluating a couple of third party options for hosting e-mail. They probably have better spam filtering and somebody else can deal with the headaches and ensuring the uptime.

  • Larry, did you decide on a good 3rd party email provider? I’m going through the same process - kinda tired of the email admin headaches…

  • I think I have found a solution.

    I was looking for something that used something other than SpamAssassin for spam filtering, because that’s what I’ve been using, and that’s a major part of the reason I’m looking to move. In the process, I learned that it’s possible to make SpamAssassin work a lot better than it does for me which, again, is a good reason to move. I could spend days upon days installing and tweaking this and that, and every time I do, I would risk making a major mess because I’m no expert on this stuff.

    I tried Runbox for a short time - they use SpamAssassin and Dspam - but the spam filtering didn’t seem to be any better than what I was getting on my own. It’s possible that was due to me forwarding mail from my current server to that account. I decided to rule them out anyway because I didn’t care for their web mail interface, and that seems to be the only way to train the spam filter. If it’s possible to train the spam filter using a mail client, I didn’t see it documented anywhere. I would seriously consider Runbox again if I found I could set up spam training via e-mail client just because their service is very affordable and it seems like a good service otherwise.

    For my personal e-mail, I’m probably going with Fastmail. It sounds like they’ve had problems in the past, but there have been a number of positive reviews of their service in the past year. They use SpamAssassin - but much better tuned than my own installation - with some SMTP filtering, and they have a documented method for training the filter via e-mail client. It’s also not too expensive, and their web mail interface at least looks usable. If it turns out their filtering isn’t any better, I may try something like SpamHero in front of their server.

    For the company e-mail I manage, I am probably going to move them to Rackspace. I haven’t tried their service yet, but it looks good, and they have an uptime guarantee. I’d do that for my personal e-mail as well, but their minimum is 5 mailboxes at $2 each per month, and I currently only need 3 for the family. If Rackspace works well for the company, I will likely move the family there if Fastmail doesn’t work out well, or when my two kids start needing their own e-mail accounts.

Today I use an email server in a separate droplet in digitalocean. Use this tutorial to create the server:
After his execution, create an alias (A) in the DNS configuration of that server pointing to the same IP, for example: (mx IN A that will:, - (this alias will be used in the fields that will need to email) - and the other fields you want to create e-mails put this address as MX and priority of your choice, in my case use 10.
Example: Within the domain place the (type) MX (priority) 10 (domain) in place the domain (type) MX (priority) 10 (domain) mx.. too.
After that, wait propagate these settings and access the admin iredmail, the possible address: Register your domain accounts and e-mail the same.
Then just test.