Straightforward direct-delivery incoming mail

Yes, sorry, the OP on this page suggests once the test email is received, then continue to the POP3 thread to finish off. I then read the POP3 header, thought ‘this sounds complicated’, and sure enough in the comments somebody asked about the POP3 instructions. And the answer was effectively ‘don’t bother, just return to this topic’.

So I think, yes, the instructions should be more clear with ‘if you are familiar with POP3…’. To be honest I don’t really know what polling is. So I guessed to set ‘manual polling’, gave it a whirl and it worked. The gmail references especially are confusing.

Ok, re-reading this:

I guess I misinterpreted the POP3 link as extra instructions rather than a link to further information. Could be easier just to say something along the lines:

Now email is being received set ‘manual polling’ and set ‘reply by email’ in Settings and newbies you are away (PS here is some POP3 info if interested–>)

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Maybe experts know it is easier but we beginners think it looks more complicated :slight_smile:

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Oh. That may be true, but if you’re trying to do POP3 to, say, gmail, to me, it’s easier to set this up than POP3. And the likelihood that gmail will break something that is working is greater than zero. I think I remember only one time that the mail container has even needed rebuilding.

And though I taught novices computer stuff for many years, I might still lose sight of exactly what’s “easy” and DNS and MX records certainly are not easy for people to wrap their heads around.

(And for me, I have the entire configuration, from creating the api key, configuring the mail receiver to use the SSL certs from let’s encrypt, to setting the SiteSettings with the api all scripted, so I haven’t done this by hand in some time…)

Yeah. I think that’s right.

Perhaps so, but at this point it would be like choosing a different word for, say, “banana”. And to me, this has always seemed very much like a straightforward solution (at least once it’s set up). Being able to just start using an address for a group or category is, indeed, fantastically straightforward. It’s a huge pain to accomplish that with POP3 (unless you know how to configure something to accept *@example.com and forward it to that one POP3 mailbox; I"m sure I’ve done that before, but I no idea how I’d do it today.

tl;dr

So maybe what is needed is just a bigger/better disclaimer about what “straightforward” means, and both this and the pop3 topic should have a few sentences about for whom and for what conditions each solution is “easier”.

If you just want reply-by-email, POP3 is just good enough if you have a working mailbox somewhere (there’s currently a very long topic about just how to set up a mailbox). But if you want to be able to email support@example.com to a support group or myneighborhood@example.com to get posted to a category, then this really is a straightforward solution.

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FWIW, I’m considering switching from the mail-receiver to POP3/Gmail just because of all the email spam we get. (Or putting a Gmail forwarder in front of the mail-receiver.)

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I’ve once had a problem with spam. If it’s from a single source then there are some ways to deal with it, but it’s definitely something to mention in the OP.

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Oh yeah, good point re spam. Spam handling is much better with gmail and is definitely one reason direct delivery is less straightforward than just setting up POP3 with gmail.

That said, it does depend on how you want to use your site. If you are using it primarily to allow posting to categories, by existing users, then you can rely on built in spam handling for discourse which is quite good, esp with akismet enabled and default trust level permissions. You’re just not going to see much spam.

However, if you want to enable posting by non-users, and allow emailing in to groups by non-users, then you are in for a world of pain unless you know how to set up postfix to prevent email from reaching your discourse. There are no bulk actions for messages and users to e.g. select lots of messages at once and mark as spam and delete spammer, or on the user list to delete a selection of users at once. You end up with lots of spam topics and spam users that you have to delete one by one.

I did this for a while and got hammered by emails from qq.com and 163.com. Setting up postfix to block unwanted domains from sending to you works - see the instructions in the OP. But the trouble is that you are then playing whack a mole as spammers move from domain to domain.

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5 posts were split to a new topic: Configuring both direct delivery email and a forwarding rule

I’m using the mail-receiver container so that users can reply and create new topics via email. I noticed that Discourse has a setting for checking DMARC authentication, but the postfix configured by mail-receiver doesn’t do DMARC.

I propose that the mail-receiver container adds an option for authenticating emails via DMARC, possibly as described in [3].

By the way, this is my first Discourse installation, and I’m very impressed with its capabilities. Thank you for your hard work on this important software!

[2] Configuring authentication checks on incoming email

[3] Set Up OpenDMARC with Postfix on Ubuntu to Block Email Spoofing/Spam

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