[[email protected]:~]$

spf=neutral google neither permitted nor denied email header error


I have been using a free tier slack instance for our family. Once we started running out of space, I started migrating to Rocket.Chat. As part of this I had to set up an email server, which gave me a bit of trouble. When sending an email I would get a message like the following in the headers:

 spf=neutral (google.com: 192.168.1.1 is neither permitted nor denied by best guess record for domain of [email protected]) [email protected] 

This led to the email getting flagged as spam since google was unable to determine if my host was actually allowed to send email from my domain.

Admittedly, I haven’t had much a chance to play around with email and DNS records for it, so a lot of this was a fun learning experience. In any case, my problem was SPF records were deprecated in 2014. Turns out you just had to create them as SPF in TXT. This is what my records ended up looking like:

;; A Records
mydomain.com.	1	IN	A	192.168.1.1
postfix-01.mydomain.com.	1	IN	A	172.168.1.1

;; MX Records
mydomain.com.	120	IN	MX	10 postfix-01.mydomain.com.

;; TXT Records
mydomain.com.	1	IN	TXT	"v=spf1 mx -all"

After I switched the SPF to SPF in TXT, the error went away and it was verified that my host could send mail. The error was very vague and generic so I thought I would post about it in case anyone else runs into the same issue as me. I configured opendkim, and TLS later for further verification of my host to avoid getting tagged as spam. I may come out with a guide on that later. Thanks for reading!