Redirecting e-mail to non-local addresses on qmail

Edited by Vacilando. Last updated 25. July, 2015.

Accumulated, I've spent days trying to solve this problem, so now that I've found a solution I am posting it to help others.

I was setting up Drupal multisites on a CentOS 5 system under Plesk 8.2 (update: 8.6), and the only practical way to do that in such configuration is to use Plesk's excellent system of domain aliases. The only problem was in current Plesk there is no way of assigning e-mail addresses to alias domains. And I needed them badly, for some of them.

The mail server is qmail, so I studied its manual, and read hundreds of Internet posts related to redirects and aliases in qmail.

This is the solution:

  1. Say we are need a mail for where is set up as a domain alias in Plesk.
  2. Make sure the Mail function for is switched on in your Plesk.
  3. Connect to your server's terminal, e.g. using Putty and log in as root and type: nano /var/qmail/control/virtualdomains
  4. You will see there is a line similar to where 'X' is some number.
  5. Change that line to: where 'domainorg' uniquely characterizes this virtual domain.
  6. Restart qmail by e.g.: service qmail restart
  7. cd /var/qmail/alias/
  8. Now you need to create the following redirect file: nano .qmail-domainorg-blue:dot (Note that the full stop between 'blue' and 'dot' has become a colon here!)

Note that this is a generic solution valid for qmail redirects to non-local users whether or not one deals with domain aliases.

This solution was inspired by the old but wonderful article and also; less so by the otherwise obvious

Update: This method stopped working for me in Plesk 9.0.1 and it looked hopeless for a week of searching, but then I found this post, and that was the solution!


Sunday 20. April, 2008, Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Brussel, Belgium

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