WHM server root and SOA "hostmaster" email addresses


Active Member
Jul 19, 2005
I would like to leave server root and contact email addresses as they are ([email protected]), and have the DNS zone file SOA "hostmaster" email address as "[email protected]" for current and future hosted domains (as well as the server's nameserver (NS) zone files). Can this be done? Currently, it seems that the WHM root email address is being used in the zone file SOA configurations.

FYI - I must change the SOA hostmaster address because the synatx of the "[email protected]" email address is causing some problems. Further explanation is below, if you are interested. But here are the relevant questions:

The zone templates call a variable "%rpemail%", but it is not apparent to me where that variable is stored. How do I change the value of %rpemail% ?

Secondly, is there a way to update the SOA email address to the [email protected] address in the zone files for the server's NS and all of the hosted accounts that are currently configured? There are about 80 accounts - changing all of them manually would be a task.

Lastly, I would assume that changing the SOA email address in the existing zone files would not cause any problems, but I would appreciate verification of that. I am mostly worried about changing them in the two NS zone files.

Note: I suppose I "could" change the server root and contact addresses to the [email protected] address if necessary, but that would cause some problems on the receiving end. That's why I want to leave it. But even if I did change them, I would still like to know where the %rpemail% value comes from, and I will still need the answers to the other two questions.

Many thanks in advance for your help!


Here's an explanation of the reason for these questions for anyone who is interested or who may encounter this issue in the future. Why this has suddenly become an issue after 14 years of hosting is not important, but resolving the issue has suddenly become very important!

My server root email address is [email protected]
The address is also in the zone files for the server and all hosted domains. In SOA, this is the "hostmaster" address and is output as b.lastname.ix.domain.com (which is correct).

Some DNS checking services report, basically, that my hostmaster email address is illegal. One such test reports a failure like this, "No host servicing mail for domain lastname.ix.domain.com. That would lead me to think that the hostmaster address is being reconstructed with the @ in the wrong place, e.g. [email protected]

Sure enough, I have learned that there is a bit in RFC 2142:

In DNS (see [RFC1033], [RFC1034] and [RFC1035]), the Start Of
Authority record (SOA RR) has a field for specifying the mailbox name
of the zone's administrator.

This field must be a simple word without metacharacters (such as "%"
or "!" or "::"), and a mail alias should be used on the relevant mail
exchanger hosts to direct zone administration mail to the appropriate

For simplicity and regularity, it is strongly recommended that the
well known mailbox name HOSTMASTER always be used
<[email protected]>.
And I have verified that the @ is inserted at the point of the initial dot during address reconstruction.


Staff member
Apr 11, 2011
Hello :)

You can modify the zone templates via:

"WHM Home » DNS Functions » Edit Zone Templates"

Note that for existing zones, you may have to use a "replace" command to change the existing entries. A thread on this is available here:

Bulk DNS Zone Update

Thank you.