How to setup email

General Discussion
  • I recently setup an instance of nodebb on an Ubuntu server following the install doc and I am still testing things out. I notice that by default email is not setup. For instance user can not reset password or receive email summary of posts. My guess was that I probably need to install a plugin, and when I search there are several email plugins available. There is the local SMTP plugin and there are a few other ones such as mandrill, postmark, and mailgun. But I have never used any of these services before and dont really know how to choose.

    I was wondering if someone with a bit of experience with nodebb mail server setup can help me do this. The community for my nodebb setup is a local makerspace. We have around 30 members now and we dont expect a sudden growth, if we are lucky we may have a few hundred people by next year this time. Right now I am running in a VM that is about the same size as the smallest digital ocean droplet. Based on these information and also your own experience, can anyone recommend one of these plugins?

  • If it's a VPS, you likely won't have an email server setup. This rules out being able to use the local emailer plugin. Mandrill, Postmark and Mailgun solve this by sending the emails for you from their servers. I personally use Mandrill, because they allow you to send 12,000 emails per month, for free. It's pretty easy to set up. Go to and create an account, follow the guides to get yourself an API key and enter them into your Admin Control Panel under the Mandrill Emailer plugin. This will then use Mandrill to send out the emails. That's pretty much all their is to it really, you may also need to follow the guides in the Mandrill pages to set up a record for the emailer on your domain so it looks legitimate and doesn't come across as a "scam email" in peoples email software. But again, it explains how to do that.

  • @arasbm +1 for using a third party emailed like Mandrill or Mailgun. They work great for us 🙂

  • I know people hate thread bumpers, but for anyone who wants to self host their own mail server you can try mail in a box. Its free and open source easy to setup mail server.once you get it setup then you can just connect your smtp credentials and start sending mail with it. It should run pretty comfortably on a $5 or $10 vps. the advantage is you also get a fully functional email server so you can have staff email addresses and stuff.

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