HOWTO qmail Store and Forward Backup Mailserver (backup MX)

This quick guide will explain how to setup qmail as a backup (store & forward) mailserver for a specific domain. In the instance of the primary mailserver going down, the source mailserver should failover to your next MX record, depending on it's priority. In this case, the next MX record will be this mailserver that we are configuring.

The backup mailserver will then store the mail received and will attempt to forward it on to the primary mailserver until it is accepting mail again..


First, we need to tell the backup mailserver to accept mail for the domain we are adding. We add this domain to /var/qmail/control/rcpthosts:

# vim /var/qmail/control/rcpthosts


Next, we need to tell qMail who the primary MX record is for this domain that we're storing & forwarding mail for. We add this information to /var/qmail/control/smtproutes:

# vim /var/qmail/control/smtproutes


And this information is added in the following format:


Once your configuration is complete, you need to reload qMail's configuration:

# /etc/init.d/qmail reload


Don't forget to add your new backup server's MX record to your DNS, with a higher number (lower priority) than your primary mailserver, for example: MX 10 MX 50


And you're done!

The Discussion

see what everyone is saying

  • [...] to use sendmail as a backup MX server. If you want to use qmail as a backup MX/backup mail server, please see our Qmail as backup MX guide here. 1. Installing sendmailIf you do not have sendmail installed, you can install it using your OS [...]


get in on the action.

* Required

Random Posts Recent Comments

  • Tony Says:

    Thanks it works! Just close the cmd windows and open a new one...

  • greenhart Says:

    I found another way around it. For the /format switch I used: /format:"%WINDIR%\system32\wbem\en-...

  • Jari Aalto Says:

    To determine OS, you can also use command lsb_release(1). See the options how to extract only part o...

  • shadovice Says:

    thanks! it worked like a charm, although there is still minor typo remained: rpm -Uvh http://downlo...

  • Joh Says:

    Great, thank you. Also works with the new version and Centos 6.3 without test repo, just install ...

  • sierprinsky Says:

    Muchas gracias por tu aporte :)...

  • kilby Says:

    The listed solution worked fine for me under Win7 64bit Though I had to run the copy as Asministr...

  • Viper5112 Says:

    The files are already in the C:\Windows\SysWOW64\wbem\en-US and they need to be in the system32 fold...

  • slowmOoh Says:


  • Jørgen Says:

    @Jordan, I had the same problem also on Windows 7 64 bits. It worked for my user account and Admini...

Tag Cloud

backup mail backup mail server backup mailserver backup mx cd burner control multiple computers with one keyboard and mouse control panel DAG disk benchmark disk performance test DNS DNS check enable dag repo free cd burner free DNS check hdd benchmark http proxy install keyboard over network kloxo kloxo 64-bit kvm lxadmin lxadmin-master lxlabs mouse over network mtr ping plotter proxy proxy hide IP qmail repo RPM rpmforge share keyboard and mouse over network share keyboard over network share mouse and keyboard share mouse over network software kvm squid squid hide IP squid proxy trace traceroute tracert