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Why are my emails not being sent?

This can come from a variety of reasons, here are the most common ones.

Reason 1: Configuration issues

There may be an issue with some of the SMTP configuration items, such as credentials, or the hostname, or the port for the selected protocol.

By default passbolt is quite discrete on why a given configuration is not working. You can use the following command to send a test email and get more debug information:

$ ./bin/cake passbolt send_test_email --recipient=[email protected]

Notice: This command is run either from /var/www/passbolt or, if you installed passbolt using the Debian package or are using the passbolt VM (OVA): /usr/share/php/passbolt.

If this fails you should double check what is the recommended configuration in your email provider documentation. You can also ask on the community forum in case another user have a working configuration for the same provider.

Reason 2: Email notifications are disabled in the config

Another reason could be because email notifications are disabled in you configuration. You can review such settings in the administration panel, when you are logged in as an administrator in passbolt.

Email Notification Settings - Email Delivery fig. Email Notification Settings - Email Delivery

To find the specific mail-related configurations set during setup, you will need to look in /var/www/passbolt/config/passbolt.php. If you used the debian package to install passbolt look in /etc/passbolt/passbolt.php. If you are using the Docker version, you’ll need to review your environment variables in env/passbolt.env.

Reason 3: The cron job to send email is missing

Passbolt uses a system of email queue to send email notifications. In practice this means there is a dedicated job that runs to go through the queue and send emails at the interval of your choice.

So if you manage to send the test email but are not receiving notifications (such as registration emails), one of the reason may be that the cron job required to send the emails is missing. Depending on the method you used to install, it may have not be set, or failed to set.

In order to find out you should check if you have the following cron for the web server user (www-data on Debian/Ubuntu, nginx on Centos), running where you passbolt was installed (/var/www/passbolt by default).

$ crontab -u www-data -e
* * * * * /var/www/passbolt/bin/cron >> /var/log/passbolt.log

Notice: For installs from the Debian package or if you are using the passbolt VM (OVA), the cron job is automatically installed at /etc/cron.d/passbolt-{ce|pro}-server

If the cron is present, you should check if there are more data in the /var/log/passbolt.log log file, it may give you more information about the issue.

Reason 4: The webserver user is not allowed to run cron jobs

On some system, like RHEL or Centos, thenginx user may not have the right to run the cron job to send emails, because of your PAM configuration. In this case you may want to add nginx to the PAM config to have cron and crond:local permissions.

If after an update you are getting error messages such as:

Exception: SQLSTATE[42S22]: Column not found: 1054 Unknown column ‘’ in ‘field list’ ...

It is possible that the wrong version of the data model is stored in the cache. This can happen if the cache is not cleared after an install or an update. You can try clearing out the cache to solve this.

./bin/cake cache clear_all

Reason 6: You can manually send emails but cron job is not sending them

You may have a file permissions issue - for example, maybe you are running commands as root or files became owned only by root. You can reference this page and look for the section named “Make sure the permissions are right for your current user”. The commands found in that section are useful for when you are updating your passbolt, and may also be helpful to resolve your mail issues.

Not finding what you are looking for? You can also ask the community on the forum.

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