Wanted: Simple mail server solution for category-specific "email in" functionality

(Brian) #1

Thanks for providing this such awesome open source software. I’ve set up an instance and gone to work at customizing it for the needs to my community. There’s one last thing I haven’t yet solved.

GMail is an adequate solution for “reply-by-email” functionality, but AFAIK it doesn’t support category-specific “email-in” functionality.

Am I mistaken?

What simple mail server solutions are Discourse hosts using to get this functionality working?

(I’m using the standalone Docker installation ( on Google Compute Engine)

(Benjamin Kampmann) #2

it does. Via address-suffixes after an + gmail allows you to have multiple addresses going into the same inbox. For e.g. you could do: meta+support@discourse.org and meta+features@discourse.org and they’d both end up in the same inbox of meta while discourse would be totally able to figure out they are supposed to go into the corresponding categories (as it does a full match on the incoming email).

(Michael Downey) #3

If you’re using Google Apps account, you may also be able to add an alias to your account. For example:

You’d then provide somecategory@example.com in that category’s settings in Discourse.

Aliases in Google Apps accounts are managed in the domain admin control panel, under the settings for each user.

(Brian) #4

This worked. Creative solution. Thank you very much.

(Michael Downey) #5

BTW, this is how we’ve successfully† migrated some of our very-low-traffic mailing lists to Discourse already. Seems to work pretty well.

†Notwithstanding some weirdness about attachments and black hole issues when mails aren’t processed.

(Jeff Atwood) #6

Are you still seeing email black holes? We tried to improve email feedback a lot. Lack of feedback is one of the worst UI crimes there is, so I always like to patch those…

(Michael Downey) #7

All of our major lists have been moved to Discourse over the last couple
months. While traffic is down slightly, complaints are down as well, to the
point where the only big email-related issue is that people can’t send from
multiple addresses.

No black holes currently AFAIK, although last I looked some of the error
email replies could be improved. (Or better, templated for editing.)

(Jeff Atwood) #8

Ok, if it is a general copy improvement always open to that.

(system) #9

(Jay Pfaffman) #10

Best solution now is Straightforward direct-delivery incoming mail.