How do Google Apps and external DNS work?

I have been reading topics here about using Google Apps with Virtualmin for email but not sure how this actually works.

The same goes for external DNS, such as or

My questions:

Virtualmin Question:

Is it possible to use Google Apps for each individual domain hosted on Virtualmin? If so, how would the user of the domain use/(send/receive) email if that is the case? What application and/or settings on their email client entail? What web client would they use, if possible? Would each domain created automatically receive DNS entries pointing to Google’s mail servers?

DNS Questions:

If I go with the paid service from to manage my DNS rather than using BIND on the local Virtualmin server, how does Virtualmin update DNS records changes to DynDNS? Does the DynDNS module in Virtualmin connect to your DynDNS account automatically and make the changes?


You can setup google for an existing domain. For example

It is not really clear what you want to achieve. Do you have your own website already? Do you want to receive email on your own server (nothing to do, virtualmin set it up for you already) or within gmail (then you need to change mx records in virtualmin)?

In any case why pay for dynds? You have already a DNS service either with your domain registrar or with Virtualmin.

Hi HeIpmin,

In regards to dyndns, lets leave that one out of the picture since I am still debating if I should go third party or not (redundancy that I don’t have ;))

As for google, it’s not a matter of what I want to achieve. It’s about knowing how it works with virtualmin so that I know what options I have. For example, I have a virtualmin server up and running. Let’s say that I don’t want to serve email myself, either on the virtualmin system or a separate email server because I don’t want to deal with an email server at all. Can I have virtualmin create new domain/hosting accounts via a template with the gmail dns settings?

If so, users/customers wouldn’t have email coming into any of my systems, only through gmail so what email settings would they use on their email client? If that is the case, do they have to now go setup their own gmail accounts to receive that email or is virtualmin just simply routing the traffic via gmail systems back to my email server, if I had one?

I am not clear on how to offer gmail/google apps to the customer via virtualmin. Do they already have to know that they want this so that I can enable the dns per account because they have already set up their google apps account or is this something virtualmin can handle for them? In other words, if a customer wants to use google apps, do they already need to have an existing google apps account? If so, I already know how to do this. I am just not sure if all the talk on these forums pertain to using a complete alternative solution to customers while we do all the management of the email or if they already have to have a google apps account.

I’m doing as you are suggesting for a handful of my clients. A Google Apps account would need to be setup for the domain(s). Keep in mind that the Standard (free) version, now only supports up to 10 mail boxes. The mx records would need to point to Google and users would need to access their Google Apps control panel to setup their email accounts.

So this is not simply something you offer right out of the box. The clients would typically request this type of function from you for whatever reason and you would then set up the particular domain(s) accordingly, right? This is in no way a complete replacement to the standard email setup virtualmin offers right out of the box, correct?

I guess that is the clarification I needed. I was under the impression that admins for virtualmin were offering this as a complete solution instead of using their own email systems. Instead, this is just a special request type of deal/setup for the customers in case they don’t want to use your email system.



So this is not simply something you offer right out of the box. The clients would typically request this type of function from you for whatever reason and you would then set up the particular domain(s) accordingly, right?

Depending on how often this comes up – you could always create a Server Template for users who wish to use Google Apps.

In that server template. you could set the MX records to point to Google Apps, and you’d also want to make sure that the “Mail for Domain” option has been disabled.

And then, whenever creating a new user – just set that user to use the Google Apps Server Template that you’ve created.

So what you’d have then is a website, database, and DNS hosted on Virtualmin – and your email over at Google.

Would that do what you’re after?


Oh, and if you plan to use external DNS – you could always just disable the “BIND DNS Domain” feature, and manually configure your DNS at the third party.


Hello Eric,

I wasn’t necessarily looking for a way to do this. I was just looking to see if admins using virtualmin were completely eliminating their own mail systems to exclusively offer google apps for their clients. I wasn’t sure if this was what they were doing or if they were just offering google apps per customer request and relying on the customer to have google apps enabled/configured on their end.

I was confused because I was asking myself: “Well, if admins using virtualmin are offering google apps instead of their own email service, how are they providing the users/clients with email settings to get their email?”

I thought there was some google apps API that virtualmin was allowing to interface with google email servers (that would be sweet)

However, since this is an explicit request from the users/clients, they would already have their google apps setup and just want us to direct mail to their google apps instead of our servers.

I was aware of the template setup and how to setup the mail records…just not clear on what virtualmin admins were really offering :wink:

Thanks for your response though :slight_smile: