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Setting Up Email (Read 237 times)
Captain John

Setting Up Email
Dec 26th, 2007 at 4:30am
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Sending out emails with YaBB seems to be one of the problems new admins might encounter during setup and tuning of their newly installed YaBB.
That is why I will try to explain what mechanisms are on board in YaBB's code and what settings are relevant to each of the engines we have.
To be platform transparent YaBB features three different ways of sending out emails to users, of which each of the manners has it's pro's and con's, depending on which server platform your YaBB is installed.

The most used platform for webservers still is Linux/FreeBSD or any of the other Unix compliant server operating systems in combination with Apache as the webserver part.
Most of the time we (the support and developers) will refer to these OS's as *nix or Nix as all of them support the same command set.

Sending out mail from any script on a Nix based server is usually based on a shell command program within the OS called sendmail.
Sendmail is a separate MTA (Mail Transfer Agent) built into Nix and will send out mail based on a set of parameters that are passed to it by the sending script.
The security settings of sendmail are set by the server admin and allthough we pass all parameters required to send out a mail using sendmail it could be that the server admin has set further restrictions which we cannot bypass or deliver to this program.

Unlike Nix based hosts there are also Windows based servers that either run Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 server as their OS and which do not have a mail sending routine on board like sendmail.
In that case we have two more mail engines available which could do the mail sending for you and where the choice of either one of them depends on restrictions in either the Perl installation or on the SMTP server you are planning to use.

2. Net::SMTP
This is a Perl module which is present in most standard Perl installations on a server and which allows YaBB to use this Perl module as a MTA to directly deliver emails to receiving SMTP servers.
Here also the restrictions that the server admin has set on the usage of mail sending are beyond our control and allthough we do supply all neccesary parameters to the module it could be that sending mail fails or is disabled by the admin.

3. YaBB SMTP Engine
This leaves us with the third and most versatile mail engine on board of YaBB which makes the script almost behave like an ordinary mail client like Outlook for sending mail.

This means that in order to use this engine to send mail you need an accesible SMTP server (from your ISP or elsewhere) where you have a valid login account for sending/receiving mail.
Most modern SMTP servers are getting better protected against spam abuse and most of them require the SMTP user to actually authenticate him/herself by a user ID and password (encrypted in a few different forms or plain text).
As YaBB will behave like a wannabee mailserver now it needs a mail domain name too (keep in mind that this must be a fully qualified domainname which should be tracable using reverse DNS, so if you have your own domain name you use that one or the one from your ISP).
If you do not know what encryption method the SMTP server of your choice accepts the best setting will be AUTO, where the script will try to figure out itsself which encryption it may use (from MD5 back to PLAIN).
If the server does not require AUTH you can select it to be OFF.
If for some reason this engine fails to send mail it will generate a comprehensive Fatal Error report which is helpfull in debugging the correct settings (so be sure to keep it handy when we ask you for it).

The Settings
For all three engines the webmaster email address is neccesary as it will be used both as sender address but in some cases will also be used by the server to identify if you are allowed to send mail from that address.

The only setting relevant is the path to sendmail (usually the default is the correct one for a standard Nix server)
All other settings are irrelevant and allthough saved and changeable they do not have any effect on sendmail sending.

No additional settings are required other then the webmaster email address to be valid.

YaBB SMTP Engine
This needs a fully qualified domain name or the IP address for the SMTP server where YaBB needs to deliver the mail to.
It also needs a mail domain name (see above)
It needs a valid user ID and password (only if AUTH is set to anything other then OFF)

Closing Arguments
With the current three engines on board we experience that in about 99% of all installations there is at least one manner where sending out an email from within YaBB will work, however..... ISP's are getting more desparate and determined to block anything related to SPAM so what works now is no guarantee to still work tomorrow and new protocols, handshakes and sender verification schemes are implemented as we write this.

We will try to keep up with new developments on mail sending and protections by ISP's as best as we can, but as this is a spare time hobby for most of us we cannot promise on the spot solutions for any problem new schemes might pose.
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Captain John

Email Graphical
Reply #1 - Sep 24th, 2007 at 11:16pm
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#1  This is the NORMAL location of the Mailing Program (Check with your Host).
#2  This is the Location of the SMTP Server (some Hosts have a seperate server to handle mail) Check with your Host.
#3  This is the username you Host provides to you to access the Mail Server (Check with your Host).
#4  A Valid email address that can recieve and send mail from your site.

If your Host uses sendmail, most of the SMTP settings are NOT needed .... Check with your Host.

If you're on a Unix host, #1  the path would more than l likely be:
/usr/sbin/sendmail or /usr/bin/sendmail

« Last Edit: Apr 1st, 2008 at 4:52pm by »  

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