I’d like to use Discourse in a special Setup: The webserver will only be accessible for a number of privately known users inside a VPN. The servers IP will be something like 10.0.0.1, so it is clear that I cannot have a valid public domain name for that.
I’ve read that it’s strongly recommended to setup mail transmission correctly. I’ve also read that you can at least finish the admin account generation with some hacks without email.
I am wondering, what is the best way to go?
a) Setup discourse completely without email. Will that work? I guess, I need to follow at least some sketchy manual procedure to get each account activated, but thats okay for the limited number of users I expect. Would that work? What would be the limitations not having email transmissions working? Of course, I cannot send email notifications (rather small downside for me) - is that all?
b) While the server is using a private IP, I might somehow also have a public address just for email. I expect everything to be optimized (as good as possible) for easy setup, so following some install howtos, I’d enter the server address only once which is then probably used for HTTP redirects etc as well as for SMTP. Is this easy to differentiate? Can I easily setup a server with a private IP address, and a non-matching domain which is only used for mail?
I should state that I haven’t yet acquired any experience with Discourse. I am prepared to look up stuff on my own when I face actual issues. But I see a fundamental choice to be taken here which path to go (a or b) and it would be great to get some advice, to advoid going the wrong path first.