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[HOWTO] Gmail with phpBB3 - how to find out the setup-methods

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hello dear experts on the php-Freaks-forum,



this is a phpBB3 question i have set up a phpBB3

i ve seen laments about this in various posts, but nowhere a good description of how to make it work. It actually is quite easy to set up.

the needed REQUIREMENTS:
OpenSSL support compiled in php. we can check if our php installation has OpenSSL support by viewing the phpinfo page on
our control panel, or creating a page with the following code and viewing it from your browser.


Here are the settings you need to use:

Use SMTP server for e-mail: Yes
SMTP server address: tls://smtp.gmail.com
SMTP server port: 465
Authentication method for SMTP: PLAIN
SMTP username: example@gmail.com
SMTP password: Your Password

The quesstion is: which is the correct SMTP-passwd!? is it the actual passwd that i use for my GMail - Account itself!?

No mod.
But its wery important that SSL support is installed with PHP

I du use:
OpenSuse Server - running somewhat 13xy
MySQL 4.1.11i
PHP 7.2.7 (hmm - does it  not support SSL)
phpBB 3.3.0 (gold)

ACP -> Quick access -> PHP Information
OpenSSL support  enabled  
OpenSSL Version  OpenSSL 0.9.8e 23 Feb 2007  
	Create a Gmail account and do the set this:
www-gmail.com -> Settings - > Forwarding and POP/IMAP -> Enable POP for all mail
Enable IMAP (not sure if this is needed)
	In phpBB
ACP -> Client communication -> E-Mail settings
	User SMTP server for email: YES
SMTP server address: ssl://smtp.gmail.com
SMTP server port:465
Authentication method for SMTP:LOGIN
SMTP username:username@gmail.com (need to be the same as "Contact e-mail address:")
SMTP password:gmailpassword


well - it seems to be a bug with the password. I tried to use 20 character long password with brackets and it did not work. Shorter password did work, so I do not know if it's a limit on number of characters or type of characters.

by the way - i have read this:https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=616835&start=120

i heard the following  methods to check the setup: :  well a  domain email acounts scripts can run, but the server can limit or disable the function ''phpmail()'', and block dispatch, would indicate an external SMTP server, probably need to need authentication to carry out uploads external, good luck. not sure what that means.


the best way to run the board is exactly what he said. create a email address at your domain.
use your host control panel, create a you@yourdomain.com email address. use that for your board.

many hosts do not allow you to relay email through their servers to some other server like gmail.

when you use gmail for smtp that is what you are doing.

one of the benefits of having your own domain name and hosting account is that you can have your own email accounts.

use it and you will solve many of your email problems.

if you just have to use gmail( don't know why people with their own domain name use any of the web based email accounts ) then you can forward your own domain name email address to your gmail account and then you don't have to do anything different to check your email from the board.


well at the moment i struggle with the setup

Love to hear from you

Edited by dil_bert

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hi there - i found more good HowTos

df https://www.phpbb.com/support/docs/en/3.3/ug/adminguide/general_client/

phpBB3 is capable of sending out emails to your users. Here, you can configure the information that is used when your board sends out these emails. phpBB3 can send out emails by using either the native, PHP-based email service, or a specified SMTP server. If you are not sure if you have an SMTP server available, use the native email service. You will have to ask your hoster for further details. Once you are done configuring the email settings, click SUBMIT.
Note. Please ensure the email address you specify is valid, as any bounced or undeliverable messages will likely be sent to that address.


General Settings

ENABLE BOARD-WIDE EMAILS: If this is set to disabled, no emails will be sent by the board at all.
USERS SEND EMAIL VIA BOARD:: If this is set to enabled, a form allowing users to send emails to each other via the board will be displayed, rather than an email address.
EMAIL FUNCTION NAME: If you are using the native, PHP-based email service, this should be the name of the email function. This is most likely going to be "mail".
EMAIL PACKAGE SIZE: This is the number of emails that can be sent in one package. This is useful for when you want to send mass emails, and you have a large amount of users.
CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS: This is the address that your board's email feedback will be sent to. This is also the address that will populate the "From" and "Reply-to" addresses in all emails sent by your board.
RETURN EMAIL ADDRESS: This is the return address that will be put on all emails as the technical contact email address. It will always populate the "Return-Path" and "Sender" addresses in all emails sent by your board.
EMAIL SIGNATURE: This text will be attached at the end of all emails sent by your board.
HIDE EMAIL ADDRESSES: If you want to keep email addresses completely private, set this value to YES.

SMTP Settings
USE SMTP SERVER FOR EMAIL: Select YES if you want your board to send emails via an SMTP server. If you are not sure that you have an SMTP server available for use, set this to NO; this will make your board use the native, PHP-based email service, which in most cases is the safest available option.
SMTP SERVER ADDRESS: The address of the SMTP server.
SMTP SERVER PORT: The port that the SMTP server is located on. In most cases, SMTP servers are located on port 25; do not change this value if you are unsure about this.
AUTHENTICATION METHOD FOR SMTP: This is the authentication method that your board will use when connecting to the specified SMTP server. This only applies if an SMTP username and password are set, and required by the server. The available methods are PLAIN, LOGIN, CRAM-MD5, DIGEST-MD5, and POP-BEFORE-SMTP. If you are unsure about which authentication method you must use, ask your hoster for more information.
SMTP USERNAME: The username that phpBB will use when connecting to the specified SMTP server. You should only fill this in if the SMTP server requires it.
SMTP PASSWORD: The password for the above specified username that phpBB will use when connecting to the specified SMTP server. You should only fill this in if the SMTP server requires it


SMTP Server Username/Password?

i have set up a phpBB and now i need to know the date for the e-mail-setup

to Email from phpBB is sometimes problematic.  there are several ways to make sending email from phpBB:
the native php mail() functions 

the native php mail() function vs. use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) 

how to configure phpBB to use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) to send emails. 

we can change these settings in ACP > General > Client communications > Email settings, which can be set halfway down the page.
in general phpBB hands off email to PHP using the general (native) PHP’s mail function. 


the methods /& was and processes: 

general (native) PHP’s mail function: if mail function returns FALSE, the email should not have gone out. 
in general the sending failures appear in phpBB’s error log: ACP > Maintenance > Error log.
that said - we can say that even the PHP mail function returns TRUE, it may be a false report. 
besides that there are some cases where TRUE is given back: But the True is more or less the sign that only means that the mail was accepted. 

in other words: Whether TRUE means “accepted” or “successfully sent” depends on how our host’s email server has been set up and configured.
how to set the email account - it can be done phpBB: ACP > General > Client communications > Email settings. Set this email address for Contact email address and From email address. By default on Linux web servers (most typical kind of hosting), PHP’s mail function sends outgoing email to a sendmail process. 
sendmail will be configured on Linux machines generically. 

Alternative way: SMTP to send email instead:

doing so we have to authenticate yourself with the SMTP mail server. 
the authenticating process has to be done propperly - if all was done so the emails are likelier to go out. 
The downside is that it’s a bit of a hassle to set up SMTP. 

-  external SMTP server like GMail.
-  be carefully: Many web hosts will block outgoing SMTP email. 

There are essentially three different ways in which sending mail from phpBB could be configured:
taken from here - from EA 117: https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=2492771

"Use SMTP server for email" set to "No", which means phpBB will invoke the PHP mail() function. 
Which in turn, your hosting provider has configured the PHP mail() function invoke a local application (typically "sendmail") 
to take the message information supplied (to address, subject, message, requested headers) and create the actual SMTP-format message using this information.

The default "From:" to be used in this configuration is also configured by the hosting provider, although phpBB offers the "Force from email address" setting. If enabled, this option will attempt to invoke the "sendmail" command line option "-f address" to request that your board's "from" email address be used instead, if that's different than what your host was already defaulting to.

The "sendmail" application (the native mail-function) then connects to an SMTP server of the hosting provider's choosing, 
which is typically an SMTP server owned by the hosting provider. 

"Use SMTP server for email" set to "Yes", but "SMTP server address and protocol" is set to "localhost". 
In this configuration, phpBB is constructing all of the SMTP message headers and content itself. 
And is connecting to the SMTP server itself, and handling both the commands and errors returned by the SMTP server itself. 
There is no PHP mail() or sendmail layer handing any of these, and its all directly performed by phpBB code.

But, because the SMTP server specified to connect to is "localhost", phpBB is ultimately providing this SMTP message to the mail 
handler running on the server where phpBB is running. Which is an SMTP server/forwarder controlled by the hosting provider, 
and would ultimately go through the same hosting provider-controlled spam filters and outbound mail abuse protections.

"Use SMTP server for email" set to "Yes", but "SMTP server address and protocol" is set to an external SMTP server. 
In this configuration, now phpBB is sending the SMTP message it constructed to some "outside" SMTP server, 
which you are authorized to use and authenticate to using the other SMTP-related settings in "SMTP settings" 
(port, username, password, etc.).

some additional help would be great.

see the thread about the correct settings of _GMAIL-SMTP-server


the Mail-Tester:  https://www.unlocktheinbox.com/mail-tester/


Mail Tester:
- Authentication and Configuration eMail Tester
- If your email is not configured correctly:
 - Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc might be sending it to spam
 - It's likely some of your customers don't even receive your emails
 - Highly possibile you will be listed on different blacklists
 - You will be losing sales and customers
 - Customers will get angry from not getting information from you
 - Your IT costs will increase to clean your IP's and reputation

All you have to do is send an email to "mailtest@unlocktheinbox.com" and it will autorespond within minutes with a complete email analysis.
Note: If "mailtest@unlocktheinbox.com" does not auto respond within 5 minutes, you might be on our internal blacklist. If you find your email addresses listed, simply remove yourself and repeat the test. If you still don't get a response, please contact us using the button on the top of the website.
All of our mail tests performed are based on email (RFC Standards), Security Standards, and Postmaster guidelines from large ESP (Email Service Providers).
For a step by step guide to the different sections of the Mail Tester Pro Report. Please read our Mail Tester Guide starting with Email Headers.
The Mail Tester Pro Report

the test-things

Publication: RFC 822
Header Information

Publication: RFC 5322
Header Counts
MX Records
rDNS PTR Records
Last Sending Domain Name - A Record Test
Mail Flow
Client EHLO Split IP Test
ISIPP Email Certification and Accreditation
MIME-Version - Syntax Check - RFC2045 - Message Header
Email Port Checks for: mail.unlocktheinbox.com


i still have questions regarding the finding the correct data - but  the gathering of the infos helps here.  i will test run the settings and will come back here

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