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dashmug at gmail

Apr 7, 2012, 10:19 PM

Post #1 of 13 (801 views)
Permalink
help in setting up filters

Hi,

I am a newbie at administering our company's mail server which is hosted at
GoDaddy. The cPanel says we're running Exim on a CentOS server.

My problem is this:

1. My boss wants to set up our email system such that all outgoing
emails coming from our agents to our clients will pass through a
"moderation queue" before being actually sent to the client.
2. The "moderator" should be able read, review, edit, and send the
messages from the "moderation queue" to the client.
3. The client should see the email as coming from the original sender
(the agent) NOT the moderator.

I have been reading the docs from Exim.org and searched for "Exim filters
tutorial" from Google but still I can't make it do what I want. I am a
developer with no experience with administering mail servers.

Right now, I'm thinking of using a filter that will forward all outgoing
emails to a moderator account instead of the client's account. After the
moderator is finished editing, he can then send it to the client but the
"From:" header should still read as the original sender.

Is my plan even possible in Exim? Are there other better ways?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Noel Martin L.
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sven at svenhartge

Apr 8, 2012, 7:45 PM

Post #2 of 13 (787 views)
Permalink
Re: help in setting up filters [In reply to]

Noel Martin Llevares <dashmug [at] gmail> wrote:

> I am a newbie at administering our company's mail server which is
> hosted at GoDaddy. The cPanel says we're running Exim on a CentOS
> server.

> My problem is this:

> 1. My boss wants to set up our email system such that all outgoing
> emails coming from our agents to our clients will pass through a
> "moderation queue" before being actually sent to the client.
> 2. The "moderator" should be able read, review, edit, and send the
> messages from the "moderation queue" to the client.
> 3. The client should see the email as coming from the original sender
> (the agent) NOT the moderator.

> I have been reading the docs from Exim.org and searched for "Exim
> filters tutorial" from Google but still I can't make it do what I
> want. I am a developer with no experience with administering mail
> servers.

> Right now, I'm thinking of using a filter that will forward all
> outgoing emails to a moderator account instead of the client's
> account. After the moderator is finished editing, he can then send it
> to the client but the "From:" header should still read as the original
> sender.

> Is my plan even possible in Exim? Are there other better ways?

This has nothing to do with Exim (or any other MTA) per se. Exim can
play a role in this setup (as can any other MTA), but the main
moderation feature is something which has to be implemented using a
separate software solution.

Exim is just a MTA, moving and delivering mails, nothing more, nothing
less.

What you want is outside the scope of Exim (or any other MTA), as far as
I am concerned.

Your project is certainly doable with enough knowlege, but nothing
someone implements by fiddling with a few knobs in cPanel.

Maybe a ticket system like OTRS or RT is a better solution for your and
your bosses needs?

Grüße,
Sven.


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Sigmentation fault. Core dumped.


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andrew at topdog

Apr 9, 2012, 1:29 AM

Post #3 of 13 (789 views)
Permalink
Re: help in setting up filters [In reply to]

On 08 Apr 2012, at 7:19 AM, Noel Martin Llevares wrote:

> I am a newbie at administering our company's mail server which is hosted at
> GoDaddy. The cPanel says we're running Exim on a CentOS server.
>
> My problem is this:
>
> 1. My boss wants to set up our email system such that all outgoing
> emails coming from our agents to our clients will pass through a
> "moderation queue" before being actually sent to the client.
> 2. The "moderator" should be able read, review, edit, and send the
> messages from the "moderation queue" to the client.
> 3. The client should see the email as coming from the original sender
> (the agent) NOT the moderator.
>
> I have been reading the docs from Exim.org and searched for "Exim filters
> tutorial" from Google but still I can't make it do what I want. I am a
> developer with no experience with administering mail servers.
>
> Right now, I'm thinking of using a filter that will forward all outgoing
> emails to a moderator account instead of the client's account. After the
> moderator is finished editing, he can then send it to the client but the
> "From:" header should still read as the original sender.
>
> Is my plan even possible in Exim? Are there other better ways?

This is plain insane, what kind of corporate clone are you to even
consider this, are there no privacy laws where you come from ?

Are the people you are spying on even aware that they are being
spied on ? What happens when the client replies to the message
with the edited content included ?



--
www.baruwa.org




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pdp at exim

Apr 9, 2012, 3:06 AM

Post #4 of 13 (788 views)
Permalink
Re: help in setting up filters [In reply to]

On 2012-04-09 at 10:29 +0200, Andrew Colin Kissa wrote:
> This is plain insane, what kind of corporate clone are you to even
> consider this, are there no privacy laws where you come from ?

Please do attempt to remain civil when replying to a request for help.
If civility is not attainable, silence remains a good option.

-Phil

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pdp at exim

Apr 9, 2012, 3:36 AM

Post #5 of 13 (788 views)
Permalink
Re: help in setting up filters [In reply to]

On 2012-04-08 at 13:19 +0800, Noel Martin Llevares wrote:
> 1. My boss wants to set up our email system such that all outgoing
> emails coming from our agents to our clients will pass through a
> "moderation queue" before being actually sent to the client.
> 2. The "moderator" should be able read, review, edit, and send the
> messages from the "moderation queue" to the client.
> 3. The client should see the email as coming from the original sender
> (the agent) NOT the moderator.
>
> I have been reading the docs from Exim.org and searched for "Exim filters
> tutorial" from Google but still I can't make it do what I want. I am a
> developer with no experience with administering mail servers.

To do this, you'd need to:
* come up with criteria to identify the mails in question;
* write a Router which accepts mails for the recipients but, when not
coming from the approval queue, instead delivers the mails to the
holding system;
* write the holding system, which includes ability to edit, and to
re-inject the mail;
* make sure that these re-injected mails do not match the rules needed
for the Router mentioned above; eg, source IP for mail-server
connection, or added message-header (which you can strip off again
before delivery).

Each Router is tried in turn.

Using an email client with an IMAP/POP store for the holding system is
going to create many problems, because email clients add trace
information. You'd be better off writing your own web-based dispatch
software.

There are a number of pre-built solutions for this sort of helpdesk
ticketing system, including roles, rules matching people in various
roles, etc, so that you have have senior staff approve the responses of
junior staff for a trial period, etc. I've never run such a system
myself, so can't *recommend* one in particular. I can mention names and
point for further investigation, including whether they actually support
post-editing.

You don't say if these clients are external customers or internal folks
for whom you're a helpdesk.

The "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" solution is probably Remedy.
I believe (but am not certain) that it's Windows software.

The classic IT helpdesk software is Request Tracker, RT, written in
Perl. It's geared for email-based management. The other main open
source solution I see mentioned is OTRS.

Beyond those three, there are many helpdesk ticketing solutions
available, including cloud-based, internally hosted, and more. The
"Cerberus" one ... I think the name is familiar, don't recall who I know
that was using it.

Beware that there's "Issue Tracking" and "Helpdesk software" and there's
some overlap between the two; if you're dealing mostly with internal
customers, then the benefits of using one system for both may outweigh
the slight ugliness of systems designed mostly around web UIs which
expect accounts for each person accessing them. Take a look at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_issue-tracking_systems

On the more commercial side, I know folks who swear by Atlassian
products (Jira for issue tracking) and the integration (Crowd) and how
wonderful they are; I know people who swear *at* those products instead.
They're Java based. The Apache project uses Jira (it's free for
non-commercial use).

-Phil

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## Exim details at http://www.exim.org/
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dashmug at gmail

Apr 9, 2012, 4:11 AM

Post #6 of 13 (785 views)
Permalink
Re: help in setting up filters [In reply to]

Actually, this is part of their workflow. The agents are aware of this and
the email that they are using is only for client correspondence. They will
use their own personal accounts for private matters. Their personal
accounts, of course, are not being monitored. This is just similar to the
workflow of many organizations where the output is inspected first by a QA
person before releasing it to the public.

Noel

On Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 4:29 PM, Andrew Colin Kissa <andrew [at] topdog>wrote:

>
> On 08 Apr 2012, at 7:19 AM, Noel Martin Llevares wrote:
>
> > I am a newbie at administering our company's mail server which is hosted
> at
> > GoDaddy. The cPanel says we're running Exim on a CentOS server.
> >
> > My problem is this:
> >
> > 1. My boss wants to set up our email system such that all outgoing
> > emails coming from our agents to our clients will pass through a
> > "moderation queue" before being actually sent to the client.
> > 2. The "moderator" should be able read, review, edit, and send the
> > messages from the "moderation queue" to the client.
> > 3. The client should see the email as coming from the original sender
> > (the agent) NOT the moderator.
> >
> > I have been reading the docs from Exim.org and searched for "Exim filters
> > tutorial" from Google but still I can't make it do what I want. I am a
> > developer with no experience with administering mail servers.
> >
> > Right now, I'm thinking of using a filter that will forward all outgoing
> > emails to a moderator account instead of the client's account. After the
> > moderator is finished editing, he can then send it to the client but the
> > "From:" header should still read as the original sender.
> >
> > Is my plan even possible in Exim? Are there other better ways?
>
> This is plain insane, what kind of corporate clone are you to even
> consider this, are there no privacy laws where you come from ?
>
> Are the people you are spying on even aware that they are being
> spied on ? What happens when the client replies to the message
> with the edited content included ?
>
>
>
> --
> www.baruwa.org
>
>
>
>
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## Exim details at http://www.exim.org/
## Please use the Wiki with this list - http://wiki.exim.org/


dashmug at gmail

Apr 9, 2012, 4:22 AM

Post #7 of 13 (794 views)
Permalink
Re: help in setting up filters [In reply to]

Thanks for the support, Phil.

Regarding your suggestions, it seems to be an overkill for us to do that. I
have used a helpdesk/ticketing system before (OTRS) and it doesn't really
fit what we want to be done.

Right now, I'm simply thinking of doing the following:

- Create user filter for each agent.
- Each outgoing email will be FORWARDED to a QA account. => This is
easy in cPanel, I think.
- This email should NOT be delivered to the client yet. => This part,
I don't know how to make the filter yet.
- QA staff needs to review the email (make corrections,edits,etc.).
- QA staff should be able to send the email to the client *on behalf *of
the original sender. => This part I also don't know how to do.
Gmail can do
this. Many email servers also allow this. What do I need to do
with Exim so
that the QA account can send an email as *someone else*? Or, is this
simply a matter of the changing the "From:" and "Reply-To:" headers?

Thanks for the responses so far.

Noel Martin L.

On Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM, Phil Pennock <pdp [at] exim> wrote:

> On 2012-04-08 at 13:19 +0800, Noel Martin Llevares wrote:
> > 1. My boss wants to set up our email system such that all outgoing
> > emails coming from our agents to our clients will pass through a
> > "moderation queue" before being actually sent to the client.
> > 2. The "moderator" should be able read, review, edit, and send the
> > messages from the "moderation queue" to the client.
> > 3. The client should see the email as coming from the original sender
> > (the agent) NOT the moderator.
> >
> > I have been reading the docs from Exim.org and searched for "Exim filters
> > tutorial" from Google but still I can't make it do what I want. I am a
> > developer with no experience with administering mail servers.
>
> To do this, you'd need to:
> * come up with criteria to identify the mails in question;
> * write a Router which accepts mails for the recipients but, when not
> coming from the approval queue, instead delivers the mails to the
> holding system;
> * write the holding system, which includes ability to edit, and to
> re-inject the mail;
> * make sure that these re-injected mails do not match the rules needed
> for the Router mentioned above; eg, source IP for mail-server
> connection, or added message-header (which you can strip off again
> before delivery).
>
> Each Router is tried in turn.
>
> Using an email client with an IMAP/POP store for the holding system is
> going to create many problems, because email clients add trace
> information. You'd be better off writing your own web-based dispatch
> software.
>
> There are a number of pre-built solutions for this sort of helpdesk
> ticketing system, including roles, rules matching people in various
> roles, etc, so that you have have senior staff approve the responses of
> junior staff for a trial period, etc. I've never run such a system
> myself, so can't *recommend* one in particular. I can mention names and
> point for further investigation, including whether they actually support
> post-editing.
>
> You don't say if these clients are external customers or internal folks
> for whom you're a helpdesk.
>
> The "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" solution is probably Remedy.
> I believe (but am not certain) that it's Windows software.
>
> The classic IT helpdesk software is Request Tracker, RT, written in
> Perl. It's geared for email-based management. The other main open
> source solution I see mentioned is OTRS.
>
> Beyond those three, there are many helpdesk ticketing solutions
> available, including cloud-based, internally hosted, and more. The
> "Cerberus" one ... I think the name is familiar, don't recall who I know
> that was using it.
>
> Beware that there's "Issue Tracking" and "Helpdesk software" and there's
> some overlap between the two; if you're dealing mostly with internal
> customers, then the benefits of using one system for both may outweigh
> the slight ugliness of systems designed mostly around web UIs which
> expect accounts for each person accessing them. Take a look at:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_issue-tracking_systems
>
> On the more commercial side, I know folks who swear by Atlassian
> products (Jira for issue tracking) and the integration (Crowd) and how
> wonderful they are; I know people who swear *at* those products instead.
> They're Java based. The Apache project uses Jira (it's free for
> non-commercial use).
>
> -Phil
>
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## Exim details at http://www.exim.org/
## Please use the Wiki with this list - http://wiki.exim.org/


andrew at topdog

Apr 9, 2012, 1:23 PM

Post #8 of 13 (785 views)
Permalink
Re: help in setting up filters [In reply to]

On 09 Apr 2012, at 1:11 PM, Noel Martin Llevares wrote:

> Actually, this is part of their workflow. The agents are aware of this and the email that they are using is only for client correspondence. They will use their own personal accounts for private matters. Their personal accounts, of course, are not being monitored. This is just similar to the workflow of many organizations where the output is inspected first by a QA person before releasing it to the public.

In that case it may be simpler to just setup exim to deliver those outbound messages into imap or pop on the server, you moderators have access to the messages
in a normal mail client they can edit and then hit redirect message from within the mail client, off to the client.

--
www.baruwa.org




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pdp at exim

Apr 9, 2012, 5:38 PM

Post #9 of 13 (788 views)
Permalink
Re: help in setting up filters [In reply to]

On 2012-04-09 at 19:22 +0800, Noel Martin Llevares wrote:
> Right now, I'm simply thinking of doing the following:
>
> - Create user filter for each agent.
> - Each outgoing email will be FORWARDED to a QA account. => This is
> easy in cPanel, I think.
> - This email should NOT be delivered to the client yet. => This part,
> I don't know how to make the filter yet.

So really, you want to have the message "accepted" by the system which
quarantines outbound mails, rather than by something which does DNS
lookup or smarthost delivery. You can do this with a Router (as
suggested).

> - QA staff needs to review the email (make corrections,edits,etc.).
> - QA staff should be able to send the email to the client *on behalf *of
> the original sender. => This part I also don't know how to do.
> Gmail can do
> this. Many email servers also allow this. What do I need to do
> with Exim so
> that the QA account can send an email as *someone else*? Or, is this
> simply a matter of the changing the "From:" and "Reply-To:" headers?

Gmail will put in Sender: information. Loosely, if you configure your
MTA to trust the sender, then the MTA won't fix up the message with that
information and will trust whatever it's told -- this is part of why the
spam problem is so prevalent in email. So yes, you can change the From:
header.

Just be careful to not create a loop where the released mail might go
back into quarantine.

Also: if the QA staff are making corrections/edits, you probably want to
have those changes go back to the original replier, to create a training
feedback loop. I'll just reiterate my suggestion to consider proper
helpdesk software and leave it at that.

-Phil

--
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## Exim details at http://www.exim.org/
## Please use the Wiki with this list - http://wiki.exim.org/


dashmug at gmail

Apr 9, 2012, 8:12 PM

Post #10 of 13 (785 views)
Permalink
Re: help in setting up filters [In reply to]

Thanks for the suggestions. I'l' start implementing something and then come
back to this email when I found something or if I get stuck.

Noel

On Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 8:38 AM, Phil Pennock <pdp [at] exim> wrote:

> On 2012-04-09 at 19:22 +0800, Noel Martin Llevares wrote:
> > Right now, I'm simply thinking of doing the following:
> >
> > - Create user filter for each agent.
> > - Each outgoing email will be FORWARDED to a QA account. => This is
> > easy in cPanel, I think.
> > - This email should NOT be delivered to the client yet. => This
> part,
> > I don't know how to make the filter yet.
>
> So really, you want to have the message "accepted" by the system which
> quarantines outbound mails, rather than by something which does DNS
> lookup or smarthost delivery. You can do this with a Router (as
> suggested).
>
> > - QA staff needs to review the email (make corrections,edits,etc.).
> > - QA staff should be able to send the email to the client *on
> behalf *of
> > the original sender. => This part I also don't know how to do.
> > Gmail can do
> > this. Many email servers also allow this. What do I need to do
> > with Exim so
> > that the QA account can send an email as *someone else*? Or, is
> this
> > simply a matter of the changing the "From:" and "Reply-To:"
> headers?
>
> Gmail will put in Sender: information. Loosely, if you configure your
> MTA to trust the sender, then the MTA won't fix up the message with that
> information and will trust whatever it's told -- this is part of why the
> spam problem is so prevalent in email. So yes, you can change the From:
> header.
>
> Just be careful to not create a loop where the released mail might go
> back into quarantine.
>
> Also: if the QA staff are making corrections/edits, you probably want to
> have those changes go back to the original replier, to create a training
> feedback loop. I'll just reiterate my suggestion to consider proper
> helpdesk software and leave it at that.
>
> -Phil
>
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## Exim details at http://www.exim.org/
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dashmug at gmail

Apr 16, 2012, 11:43 AM

Post #11 of 13 (748 views)
Permalink
Re: help in setting up filters [In reply to]

I'm back to this thread because something is not working.

I setup the filters in cPanel for the domain that I am referring to. This
is how the filter looks like from /etc/mydomain.com/noel.agent01/filter:

if
> foranyaddress $h_to:,$h_cc:,$h_bcc: ( $thisaddress does not contain "
> mydomain.com" )
> then
> deliver "noel.admin [at] mydomain"
> save "/dev/null" 660
> endif


in cPanel, the rule was like:

- For any recipient that does NOT contain mydomain.com

The actions were:

1. Redirect to email - noel.admin [at] mydomain
2. Discard the message

The filter looks good so far, but unfortunately, when I send from that
email account "noel.agent01" to my gmail.com account, I can still receive
it in my Gmail! And noel.admin [at] mydomain does not receive it!

There must be something wrong somewhere else, because I really think the
filters are already okay. My webhost is HostGator, by the way. And the
account I'm using is on a dedicated server account.

My questions:

1. Could it be that conditions are not correct?
2. Could it be that Exim filters are disabled for that server? If so,
how can I enable it?
3. Maybe I'm doing it all wrong? If I am, could anyone tell me how to
forward all outgoing emails to another account without letting those emails
reach their intended recipients?

Noel Martin

On Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 11:12 AM, Noel Martin Llevares <dashmug [at] gmail>wrote:

> Thanks for the suggestions. I'l' start implementing something and then
> come back to this email when I found something or if I get stuck.
>
> Noel
>
>
> On Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 8:38 AM, Phil Pennock <pdp [at] exim> wrote:
>
>> On 2012-04-09 at 19:22 +0800, Noel Martin Llevares wrote:
>> > Right now, I'm simply thinking of doing the following:
>> >
>> > - Create user filter for each agent.
>> > - Each outgoing email will be FORWARDED to a QA account. => This
>> is
>> > easy in cPanel, I think.
>> > - This email should NOT be delivered to the client yet. => This
>> part,
>> > I don't know how to make the filter yet.
>>
>> So really, you want to have the message "accepted" by the system which
>> quarantines outbound mails, rather than by something which does DNS
>> lookup or smarthost delivery. You can do this with a Router (as
>> suggested).
>>
>> > - QA staff needs to review the email (make corrections,edits,etc.).
>> > - QA staff should be able to send the email to the client *on
>> behalf *of
>> > the original sender. => This part I also don't know how to do.
>> > Gmail can do
>> > this. Many email servers also allow this. What do I need to do
>> > with Exim so
>> > that the QA account can send an email as *someone else*? Or, is
>> this
>> > simply a matter of the changing the "From:" and "Reply-To:"
>> headers?
>>
>> Gmail will put in Sender: information. Loosely, if you configure your
>> MTA to trust the sender, then the MTA won't fix up the message with that
>> information and will trust whatever it's told -- this is part of why the
>> spam problem is so prevalent in email. So yes, you can change the From:
>> header.
>>
>> Just be careful to not create a loop where the released mail might go
>> back into quarantine.
>>
>> Also: if the QA staff are making corrections/edits, you probably want to
>> have those changes go back to the original replier, to create a training
>> feedback loop. I'll just reiterate my suggestion to consider proper
>> helpdesk software and leave it at that.
>>
>> -Phil
>>
>
>
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dean at iglou

Apr 16, 2012, 1:15 PM

Post #12 of 13 (736 views)
Permalink
Re: help in setting up filters [In reply to]

On Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 02:43:11AM +0800, Noel Martin Llevares wrote:
> I setup the filters in cPanel for the domain that I am referring to. This
> is how the filter looks like from /etc/mydomain.com/noel.agent01/filter:
>
> if
> > foranyaddress $h_to:,$h_cc:,$h_bcc: ( $thisaddress does not contain "
> > mydomain.com" )
> > then
> > deliver "noel.admin [at] mydomain"
> > save "/dev/null" 660
> > endif
>
> The filter looks good so far, but unfortunately, when I send from that
> email account "noel.agent01" to my gmail.com account, I can still receive
> it in my Gmail! And noel.admin [at] mydomain does not receive it!

I'm going out on a limb here, but have you checked to be sure your
email client is using your cpanel server as it's outgoing server?
Perhaps your email client is using gmail's server for outbound email
without you realizing it?

It's usually recommended that you not obfuscate your domain name as it
prevents anyone from checking your MX records for you. It may also
be helpful to show the full headers of an email message that was
delivered incorrectly (again, without any obfuscation).

I'd also call Hostgator for tech support, they should be able to help
you with this, or at least provide you with the relevant log entries.

--
Dean Brooks
dean [at] iglou


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dashmug at gmail

Apr 16, 2012, 11:54 PM

Post #13 of 13 (744 views)
Permalink
Re: help in setting up filters [In reply to]

On Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 4:15 AM, Dean Brooks <dean [at] iglou> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 02:43:11AM +0800, Noel Martin Llevares wrote:
> > I setup the filters in cPanel for the domain that I am referring to. This
> > is how the filter looks like from /etc/mydomain.com/noel.agent01/filter:
> >
> > if
> > > foranyaddress $h_to:,$h_cc:,$h_bcc: ( $thisaddress does not contain "
> > > mydomain.com" )
> > > then
> > > deliver "noel.admin [at] mydomain"
> > > save "/dev/null" 660
> > > endif
> >
> > The filter looks good so far, but unfortunately, when I send from that
> > email account "noel.agent01" to my gmail.com account, I can still
> receive
> > it in my Gmail! And noel.admin [at] mydomain does not receive it!
>
> I'm going out on a limb here, but have you checked to be sure your
> email client is using your cpanel server as it's outgoing server?
> Perhaps your email client is using gmail's server for outbound email
> without you realizing it?
>
> It's usually recommended that you not obfuscate your domain name as it
> prevents anyone from checking your MX records for you. It may also
> be helpful to show the full headers of an email message that was
> delivered incorrectly (again, without any obfuscation).
>
> I'd also call Hostgator for tech support, they should be able to help
> you with this, or at least provide you with the relevant log entries.
>
> --
> Dean Brooks
> dean [at] iglou


Thanks, Dean.

To test the account, I used the builtin email clients in cPanel, (Horde,
SquirrelMail, etc.). They should be using that server and not other servers
like gmail.com.

I'm still trying my luck asking help from HostGator tech support.

Noel
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