1&1 tightens up Email spam rules

I use 1and1 for my personal and business websites as well as for our clients. We’ve had a client recently that was not receiving emails from one of their colleagues and of course the other company’s IT person said it was our problem. Having been an email administrator for many years I always like to look into the bounced back messages, smtp connection info, email headers, and more to track down a problem. This particular issue was perplexing because there where not many posts on the net about it. When someone was trying to send an email to a domain hosted at 1and1 it sent this error after the RCPT TO line:

421 invalid sender domain, possibly misconfigured

I tested at http://www.wormly.com/test_smtp_server (which is a great site btw) to get test the error.

So I sent an email to 1and1 support to see if they could help. This was the very speedy response:

The circumstances you have just described is caused by a RFC-non-compliant configuration of the despatcher-domain. The MX-Server
of the domain has no registered A-record, but merely a CNAME-record this is why the e-mail is rejected by our e-mail servers.

You can find some general information about this topic here:


To provide the e-mail delivery as fast as possible again, we kindly advise you to inscribe the target domain of the CNAME-record as MX-record. For further information, please contact the provider of the despatcher-domain.

Looks like the 1and1 is blocking any non RFC compliant domains. In the rfc spec above it says:

10.3. MX and NS records

The domain name used as the value of a NS resource record, or part of
the value of a MX resource record must not be an alias.

Additional section processing does not include CNAME records, let alone the address records that may be associated with the canonical name derived from the alias.

So if you are a DNS admin or setup DNS for clients make sure to have the MX record for your domains be A records (they directly resolve to an ip) not CNAME records. So far I have had to email a couple of hosting companies related to this issue. I applaud 1and1 for locking down their email servers even more to thwart spam, but it would have been nice to have had a link or faq on their site explaining what was going on. Thus the reason for this lengthy blog post.

Some other posts on the web about this issues:

Useful links to test out DNS and MX records:

Why do I use linux? Top 5 Reasons.

Linux TuxI was inspired by a blog post about “Why Do You Use Linux” to post why I use Linux and I wanted to post how I use one of the best operating systems out there as well. First off if you are not familiar of what Linux is you can read up about it at wikipedia, but basically it is an operating system like Windows and Mac OSX that allows you to interface with the hardware and software on your computer system. Each operating system has its pluses and minuses. I’ll give you my take on what those are bust first I’ll give you some background.

I’ve been using Linux since around 1999 for both personal and professional reasons. I’ve always liked to tinker with computers as it is more than just a job for me. It’s fun. What isn’t fun is having to reboot every 10 minutes and having no clue why something like that is happening. It’s like having a car that is sputtering smoke and your not allowed to look under the hood. Fortunately in Linux everything is available under the hood. File locked? check it with lsof, network slow? view all the traffic with wireshark, running out of memory? use free or a large amount of other free and open source software that is at your disposal. So here are the main reasons why I use Linux:

  1. Freedom: no vendor lock-in, open source code
  2. Stability: I have client servers that have been running for over a year. ’nuff said
  3. Security: never have to worry about virus’ again, plus built from the ground up to be a secure OS
  4. Efficiency: Can run on small devices (Kindle anyone?) as well as a full desktop PC or server
  5. Choice: I’m not forced into candy XP, glassy Vista or keechy OSX I have a multitude of choices from KDE, Gnome, XFCE, e17 and more great desktop environments. Not to mention the thousands of other programs I can use.
  6. And those are just 5 of the reasons of why I use Linux. If you want to try this out you can download a “Live CD” that allows you to boot from a CD to run Linux and not touch mess with the system you are on right now, but I must warn you you might be tempted to click on the install now button because it is nice!

    I’ll write another post on How I use Linux, but this should get anyone who has not heard of Linux interested.

    Until next time. Linux on!


Setting up Azureus and SafePeer in Linux

azureus_splash.png So there are tons of utilities to keep the SafePeer plugin up-to-date in Windows (like BlueTack’s Blocklist Manager), but Linux and the Mac have been left out in the cold. We’ll I found a way to get those 190k+ ips blocked in azureus without having to use Peerguardian or MoBlock (MoBlock is still safer in my mind) in Linux. First we need to download the lists like we would for MoBlock. Here is the script I use:
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SuSE SLES 10 Migrating from NIS using MigrationTools

So we were moving a NIS database to LDAP under SUSE SLES 10 using the MigrationTools-47 scripts. It generated the ldif file, but would not import because it was failing on adding groups. This was the error we were getting:

(65) no structural object class provided

All we had to do is change this:

objectClass: posixGroup
objectClass: top

to this:

objectClass: posixGroup
objectClass: namedObject
objectClass: top

for each group in the ldif file. Then we redid slapadd -l file.ldif and everything worked.
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DTV released as Democracy (Linux Preview)

The long awaited, open-source Democracy platform is a project of the Participatory Culture Foundation allowing you to subscribe to video RSS feeds (including podcasts, video blogs, and BitTorrent feeds), watch fullscreen and share with friends.

So I checked out Democracy and was impressed at the layout and that I was actually able to download content right away from the predefined feeds. I started watching a recent rocketboom without a hitch. That isn’t to say that there are no bugs. Full screen works, but with multiple monitors it scretches across both screen thus not supporting xinerama. The channel menu does not work for me and when I went to the channel guide and clicked on “more…” for a channel it bombs out. I later found out that I needed to make sure you add the mozilla prefs as specified on the DemoTV wiki. There are alot of options for IPTV and I’m sure it will only grow. Democracy allows one to view all of these options easily and subscribing to feeds is straight forward and the interface seems intuative. It looks very promising and I look forward to a stable build soon. See screenshots inside….

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mtink: Status Monitor for EPSON inkjet printers

mtinkI found a great little print monitor for linux called mtink. It works great for my Epson Stylus Photo 825 printer when hooked up via usb and I can reset, clean, and nozzle check the printer all from this little program. If using my particular printer you will need to select the Stylus Photo printer as the option because the 825 is not specifically handled, but most other models are.

My Next Laptop: IBM ThinkPad X41 Tablet

I was looking over the KDE Look feed in akregator (a RSS feed tool in KDE) and opened up a splash screen that I thought looked good in Get Firefox!. I clicked on a google ad, to help support sites I like, and came upon a site called eLucis which sells linux distros on cd and dvd. I thought that site was decent so I then processed to click on another google ad that took me to the EmperorLinux, Inc. website where they are selling the IBM thinkpad X41 tablet. This laptop looks so sweeeeet! It could be used as a mobile digi-pad to work in gimp/photoshop as well as your normal tablet pc for writing notes etc. It’s thin enough that it is not a pain and EmperorLinux goes through all the pain of customizing the kernel so that all functions of the laptop work great when you get it, even the fingerprinting login system works! So with all that said. This is my next laptop. When my business starts making a little bit more in the next month or so I will be ordering this badboy. Check it out for yourself.

VueScan 8.3.05

All I can say is wow. The latest VueScan takes advantage of GTK2 on linux and is an awesome app (also runs on Microsoft Windows and Mac OSX). It makes scanning as easy or advanced as you would like and helps turn old pictures and faded shots into photos like they had just been printed. I had been using the trial version for some time and decided to step up to the Pro version to take advantage of it’s profiling capabilities. It’s a bargain at $49.95 for Standard and $89.95 for Pro and works great on my Epson Perfection 3170 Photo scanner (400 scanners and 185 digital camera raw files. VueScan 8.3.05 was released on October 21, 2005, and you can read about what’s new in this version.