Do Email DNS records have to be in Cloudfare?

First time setting up anything in the world of networking, still new to DNS.

I’m setting up a forum for the nonprofit i just joined. They’ve been using Brevo for their newsletter.

I got a DigitalOcean droplet, installed and upgraded Ubuntu on it.
Created a Cloudfare account linked it to their DNS zone.

Do I need to have the mail DNS records from Breve be added to Cloudfare’s DNS zone for Discourse to install properly?

Thanks for your time and feel free to correct me on my terminology/syntax.

Not sure which records you mean, but either way, no.


  • MX records tell other entities on the Internet “these are the servers you contact to send mail to this domain
  • TXT records are used for many purposes and the ones you’re talking about are likely either SPF or DKIM, both of which inform other entities “this is how you authenticate mail claiming to be from my domain
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So cloudflare is now in charge of your DNS? Not sure what “linked it to their DNS zone” means, but I think you mean that your DNS records are now at cloudflare. You can check at Free Whois Lookup - Whois IP Search & Whois Domain Lookup | and if the Name servers are cloudflare, then your DNS is at cloudflare.

If cloudflare is where your DNS records are, you need to have all DNS records there. It is pretty good at copying all of your records if/when you change to having it be your DNS service. If Breve needs any DNS records set, you need to see that they are set wherever your DNS is.

Thanks for your reply. So yes Cloudflare is now in charge of their DNS. Breve is the transactional email service the non-profit uses and all I needed to do to install properly was to feed the installer the SMTP information. So forum is up and running but Breve is still in charge of the rtansactional email’s DNS. You’re telling me it should be Cloudflare? What do I risk by keeping the email’s DNS with Breve?

On a similar note, I couldn’t get the setup to work (because ports 433 and 80 failed) until i deselected the proxy button in CloudFlare. Don’t really know if I should reactivate it now that the forum is up and running.

It sounds like Discourse domain and the mail domain are different?

It’s kind of hard to tell how to answer your question since you’re not being specific or using the usual terminology.

Since you’re not familiar with DNS, I strongly recommend reading a DNS primer, for example:


thanks for your answer and the resource you shared I’ll start reading up about it.
yes, the discourse domain and mail domain are indeed different.

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In the case there’s no risk of having different parties being the nameservers for the domains, it’s just more work to manage rather than having everything in one place.

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Thanks a lot :two_hearts: