Creating MX records for Rackspace Email & Apps

You have now worked your way through the signup process and should have access to your account, and the ability to create mailboxes as needed.

Once you've created mailboxes for your domain, the last step is to setup the Mail Exchange (MX) records to route incoming email to your new Rackspace Email accounts.

For further help with account setup prior to this step, please refer to Rackspace Email & Apps official documentation.


For the sake of this article, when configuring MX records in the SliceManager, I'll be using "" as an example domain.

In all, you need to create two distinct records for your domain. Each record needs to be entered precisely as shown in this article, including the "Auxiliary Info".

NOTE: If you have API access enabled for your account, you can use this handy DNS Zone creator that is compatible with the SliceManager. It will create the 5 basic DNS records as well as the MX records discussed in this article. Please keep in mind this application is not sponsored by Slicehost, but it can prove very useful.

DNS Panel

Log into the SliceManager and navigate to the DNS Panel:

As you can see, a DNS zone is setup for "", and I've already populated it with 5 basic DNS records.

Primary MX Record

As mentioned previously, you'll create two distinct MX records for your domain.

To create the first one, click "Records" and then "new record".

Next you'll select "MX" from the "Type" dropdown menu and enter the values:

In the fields I've entered the following:



Auxillary Info:   10

Note the ending periods '.' for the Name and Data values.

Secondary MX Record

After creating the first MX record — your primary record —you're taken back to the records page for your domain.

Click "new record'" again, and complete the form as before to create your secondary MX record.



Auxillary Info:   20


Once you've created the primary and secondary MX records for your domain, the SliceManager should display a list similar to this one:

[For clarity's sake in this tutorial, I removed the zone's A and NS records before taking the screenshot.]


Whenever you create or modify DNS records, it's a good idea to check whether they're working properly. You can do that easily with the 'dig' command:

dig MX

The QUESTION and ANSWER sections of its output should look like this:

;                  IN      MX

;; ANSWER SECTION:           86400   IN      MX      10           86400   IN      MX      20

All looks good there.

Final Test

Now let's test your ability to send and receive email.

Login to our Rackspace Email & Apps account and send an email to an address in another domain — a personal Gmail or Yahoo address makes for a good test.

If it goes through, great, you can send email!

Now let's reply to that message. Did the reply come through? If so, you're all set.

All seems to be working: you can now send and receive emails for your domain using Rackspace Email & Apps.


Once you've purchased an account with Rackspace Email & Apps and created the necessary mailboxes, setting up MX records is very easy.

Rackspace Email & Apps is a nice way of implementing commercial-grade email for your domains without the added hassle of configuring and running your own mail server.

You'll also benefit from other features of the service, such as virus protection and spam filtering for your domains.

Article Comments:

Ben commented Thu Nov 12 12:18:28 UTC 2009:

Thanks for your articles. What's the situation for reverse dns -

jGc commented Thu Nov 12 20:42:30 UTC 2009:

After a few days of futile attempt to set up Mail server on my slice, I gave up. It partially worked but... I was thinking even if it did work, what would I do if something goes wrong. There are million things that could go wrong. There is no way I can fix it in time at the same time coding, tending to Apahch, PHP, SVN, Java, etc

So I signed up with Rackspace following the steps. (Worked as stated.) One thing I will add here. When you try to send email from PHP or Java, replace with

Here is more info:

Hope this helps.

Mark commented Fri Nov 13 06:36:29 UTC 2009:


You don't need to setup reverse DNS as you are not sending email from your slice, but rather through Rackspace's mail servers.

IV commented Tue Nov 17 12:53:12 UTC 2009:

Works perfectly, what's the cleanest way to remove postfix, etc from the server?

Domeinnamen commented Tue Nov 17 14:54:52 UTC 2009:

Very nice article, thanks for the help!

neridaj commented Wed Nov 18 20:41:30 UTC 2009:

How do I remove postfix and mysql?

bd_dino commented Sun Dec 13 17:08:48 UTC 2009:

if you installed postfix or mysql using yum, you can just run:

sudo yum erase postfix mysql

robert commented Tue Feb 02 03:30:13 UTC 2010:

ya i need help u people didnt even give me my vps and i spent good money now i want my vps please!

error 0x80070052 commented Tue Feb 23 01:26:34 UTC 2010:

Thanks alot! Rackspace is great! Really appreciate the step by step...

Dee commented Sun Apr 18 22:09:53 UTC 2010:

For those getting "command not found" when trying to run dig, the install/setup details can be found here:

emailer commented Thu Apr 29 20:00:17 UTC 2010:

hello but i don't know how many emails can send using this? can i send 1 000 000 per day?

thank you for the support

Jered commented Fri Apr 30 15:05:33 UTC 2010:

Rackspace Email does not permit bulk emailing. For details, you can see their acceptable use policy here.

Jaclyn commented Wed Jun 30 20:55:02 UTC 2010:

under settings you can add an external email address to be able to check in rackspace, what port and server do you enter to add a yahoo address to rackspace?

Jered commented Wed Jun 30 21:46:55 UTC 2010:

You would need to get POP or IMAP information from Yahoo, and then put those settings into the Rackspace Email interface. A warning, though, I believe Yahoo requires that you upgrade your email account to get POP or IMAP access (it's something like $20 a year).

sdebaun commented Wed Nov 17 11:40:59 UTC 2010:

I had a working mail server but soon became amazed at all the spammer (Chinese, Ukrainian, Dutch, Spanish, Brazilian and others...) bots constantly trying to get in through my mail ports.

Wow, I felt like blocking entire continents with ip deny rules.

Fail2ban did a great job at blocking ip's but seemed to fail at one point, maybe something I did. ???

In any case, who needs the hassle of fighting with those jerks. I don't really need a full blown email server anyways so I think I'll give Rackspace a try. It's worth the peace of mind.

sdebaun commented Thu Nov 18 00:59:51 UTC 2010:

OK, just set up Rackspace email account and it's working great.

I have it sending email from my CMS (php page) using smtp and it works great.

No need to hassle with spambots anymore...

To clarify jGc's post above, use as the smtp host. (You want secure email right?)

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