SMTP usernames with backslash?


Dear all,

I’m trying to set up Discourse on a virtual server. I can use the organisation’s SMTP-server for mail, so that is fine and I got everything set-up, except for one proplem: no emails are being sent. I then created an admin account with

./launcher enter app
rake admin:create

which nicely worked, and then looked at the mail setting. There I found the likely reason that no emails are being sent: my SMTP username is of the form “foo\bar”, where “foo” is a given prefix for a subgroup of users on that system, and “bar” is my account name. Then there is the backslash in between.

When I look at the /admin/email page in my Discourse installation, what I get shown as user_name is “foobar” without the backslash. I then tried escaping in app.yml, after looking up YAML syntax.

I tried:


All give the same result (after rebuilding Discourse every time): user_name: foobar

I don’t know where the backslash might get stripped. I saw no warning on special characters but the escaping I tried did not result in a change at Discourse installation level. I tried sending an email every time after rebuild (from the /admin/email page) but I always receive an error when sending.

Can someone help, please?

(Wes Osborn) #2

If you’re authenticating against a modern windows domain infrastructure, you can probably use the bar@foo format.

Otherwise it looks like quotes (double quotes) is the proper method:

If neither work, your organisation might be blocking the ports you need to SMTP from your Discourse box.

(Mittineague) #3

I’m wondering if escaping the backslash once is enough.

In my limited experience with JavaScript, it depends on how many times the string is passed around. eg.

step one -> step two -> step three
foo\\bar -> foo\bar -> foobar

Maybe try foo\\\\bar ?

step one -> step two -> step three
foo\\\\bar -> foo\\bar -> foo\bar


Thank you for the hints. Whether they will work I don’t know because some additional issues with the SMTP account came up. But, that said, bar@foo.local is at least parsed properly in the /admin/mail tab. However, also only if enclosed in double quotes "bar@foo.local". Else only bar@foo arrives.

@Mittineague: Inside double quotes I’ll need to escape a backslash likely twice, but I’ll test that later.

Currently I’m battling that I did some configuration as admin and for the second time only get a blank screen. 1st time this happened I could not get Discourse back and had to do a complete reinstall… Different topic.


So 4 backslashes were needed. Thanks again. Still have email issues, but not because of the backslash :wink: