Creating a Custom Office 365 SPF Record when using Office 365 to host your Domains DNS

Using the DNS Management serviceĀ that Microsoft provide for free as part of Office 365 is really convenient. It automatically manages all DNS records related to the 365 services and makes setup a breeze.

But, there is a problem with it. If you want to edit the default Office 365 SPF Record it does not allow you to do so because this is automatically managed by them. It is not an uncommon requirement to allow additional authorized SMTP servers so this is a bit of a weakness in the service. If you try to add your own TXT record itĀ generates an error:

Unable to save custom SPF record on Office 365

According to the forum posts I have seen, Microsoft recommend moving the DNS service back to a 3rd party and creating the required records there. Not a very convenient solution, in my opinion.

However, there is a work around, probably not supported by Microsoft, but it does work.

How to add a custom SPF record to an Office 365 DNS managed domain

So, first things first, generate your new SPF record. My custom record looks like this:

v=spf1 ip4: -all

Now, modify the record to remove the first couple of characters (i.e. “v=”). So it looks like this:

spf1 ip4: -all

The add the record as normal:

Adding a deliberately invalid SPF record on Office 365


Of course adding this record won’t help, but you should now be able to edit the record and add the “v=” back into the TXT value field and it will work as expected.

So that is all there is to it, if you want for the TTL of the previous DNS record to expire then the new SPF record should work as expected.

Pretty easy really, it is a shame that Microsoft don’t let you edit it by default.

Correct putty settings for use with SCO Openserver 5.0.7

After so long since it was it was in mainstream use I am still doing regular work for customers with SCO Openserver, gradually they are all coming off the platform, but while it is still in use it’s nice to have the best possible experience.

A lot of the time if I am in a rush I will just use the Windows telnet client to connect to SCO Servers but really putty is so much nicer and you only need to change a few settings to get great compatibility with SCO.

Improve general putty settings first

If you haven’t already taken the time to improve upon the general defaults in putty, you might as well do that now, makes it a much nicer client to use in my opinion:

Specific settings for using Putty as a Telnet client with SCO

Keyboard settings

Change your keyboard settings to:

Backspace Key sends Control-H
The Function keys and keypad set to SCO

Correct keyboard settings for using putty with SCO

Window Settings

Change the remote character set to ISO-8859-2: 1999 (Latin-4, North Europe).

Terminal Type

Set your TERM environment variable to xterm and you should have a decent looking display and emulation when using SCO.

SCOadmin with correct terminal settings


Personally I sometimes like to have a 132 column width display which you can easily do by setting the terminal type to ansi-w in SCO and then changing the number of columns in putty to match.