Did one-click install on Digital Ocean. Set up SMTP using SparkPost. Not receiving Discourse activation email


I created a droplet on Digital Ocean with the Discourse installer. I created an account on SparkPost, created an API key and verified a sending domain forum.mydomain.org

I logged into the droplet using Putty and inputted the following details:

Host: smtp.sparkpostmail.com
Port: 587
Username: SMTP_Injection
Discourse API Key: ******************************************

I logged into the new Discourse install via the IP address, inputted my admin email admin@mydomain.org and username admin. It said that an activation email was sent but I haven’t received anything. I’ve tried multiple times and checked the spam folder.

The only thing I can think of is that I don’t currently have forum.mydomain.org pointed to the Discourse instance in my DNS settings (I’m using AWS Route 53) as I haven’t received a welcome email from Discourse with hosted-by-discourse.com as per the instructions here: Configure your domain name for hosted Discourse

Can somebody please help?

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You’re going to want to go through the email troubleshooting #howto.

If your issue is not resolved after going through the topic, please post the results of each section in the second post here so we can assist further.

“Double check the settings in your containers/app.yml file.”

Sorry, but how do I do this? I don’t know how to find this file.

It should be in /var/discourse/containers/app.yml.

If it’s not there: Can you post a link to the instructions you used for installing Discourse?

As in, I don’t know how to access any files at all. After I log into my Digital Ocean droplet using Putty, I am shown this, with seemingly no other option to access files etc.

I followed this: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-use-the-discourse-one-click-application-on-digitalocean

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These instructions have been updated recently, but the image used is still terribly out of date :cry:

Please create a new droplet using these instructions:

That screen shot says that you have not yet configured discourse. So discourse doesn’t know anything about you or your email, how should it send you a welcome message?

Im not sure what is keeping you from following the instructions that you see when you login so I suggest you try doing that.

Once you completed the setup, you will have to update your discourse so you might as well follow @fefrei’s suggestion and setup a droplet with the latest version right away. But either way should work.

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Thank you, but I have configured Discourse, multiple times. And then I visit the IP address where my Discourse is hosted, register my admin email, username and password and then it says that an activation email has been sent. I have tried this multiple times and have not received the activation email.

Every time I log into the droplet via Putty, I see those same instructions to configure Discourse, and each time I go through and put in the username, API key etc. and it says that Discourse is now configured.

Anyway, I am going to try deleting the droplet on Digital Ocean and creating a new one, as per Felix’s recommendation.


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Something’s off then. I’ve used those one-click installs a handful of times with no issues. After going through the prompts you should be done. If they come up again, I’d kill it and try again.

It might be a good idea to inform Digital Ocean of the issue as well.

I had the same issue with SparkPost. I contacted SparkPost about the issue and they advised me to use an email address that is not role based. I was able to resolve it by changing my email address to something like firstname@domain.tld. In case you still weren’t able to receive Discourse activation email, here is a link to my solution post below.


The Digital Ocean One-Click Install definitely doesn’t configure everything the same as the Discourse installation instructions.

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