email bounce error 'SPF Permanent Error: Too many DNS lookups'

Anyone experience this and have a solution? Thank you in advance.

3 Replies

An SPF record is mis-configured. See:

https://wordtothewise.com/2013/07/spf-fail-too-many-dns-lookups/

If the report was about your Linode, you need to fix this with the DNS Manager. My (working) SPF record looks like this:

v=spf1 a mx a -all

Here's how to decode it: https://www.zytrax.com/books/dns/ch9/spf.html

If the report is about another domain, all you can do is beg the sysadmin there to fix it.

-- sw

SPF records are limited to 10 DNS lookups - I've seen this same error from Gmail.

For example: "a:some.host.com" in an SPF record results in a lookup for the IP address of "some.host.com" - that's 1 DNS lookup.

Including other SPF records (include:some.domain.com) is another source of DNS lookups.

Check your SPF record and see how many parameters would result in DNS lookups, and substitute IP addresses where possible.

Great answer @andysh! I learned something new today.

-- sw

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