SMTP Settings in a phpBB Forum

Website: https://forum.skeletons.ml

Problem:

I want to allow users to register, but only have their accounts activated by an email confirmation. Thus, I went into the Admin Control Panel (ACP), went to the section titled Client Communication on the left-hand column, and clicked on Email settings.

ACP > Client Communication > Email settings

After that, I went to the SMTP portion of the settings. Below are what I filled out there.

Use SMTP server for email: Yes

SMTP Server Address: smtp-mail.outlook.com

SMTP Server Port: 587

Authentication Method for SMTP: PLAIN

SMTP Username: skeletonsforum@outlook.com

SMTP Password: [THE OUTLOOK PASSWORD]

Verify SSL Certificate: No

Verify SMTP Peer Name: No

Allow Self-Signed SSL Certificate: No

However, that does not work. When I try to register a test user and have the forum send an authentication email, I get the below error in the error log located at ACP > Maintenance > Forum Logs > Error Logs

Email error
» EMAIL/SMTP
/ucp.php

Could not get mail server response codes.
Backtrace
Connecting to smtp-mail.outlook.com:587
LINE: 1204 <- 220 LO2P265CA0012.outlook.office365.com Microsoft ESMTP MAIL Service ready at Sun, 25 Sep 2022 01:25:47 +0000 

# EHLO freeweb29.byetcluster.com
LINE: 1551 <- 250-LO2P265CA0012.outlook.office365.com Hello [185.27.134.5] 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-SIZE 157286400 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-PIPELINING 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-DSN 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-ENHANCEDSTATUSCODES 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-STARTTLS 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-8BITMIME 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-BINARYMIME 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-CHUNKING 

LINE: 1551 <- 250 SMTPUTF8 

# STARTTLS
LINE: 1604 <- 220 2.0.0 SMTP server ready 

# EHLO freeweb29.byetcluster.com
LINE: 1551 <- 250-LO2P265CA0012.outlook.office365.com Hello [185.27.134.5] 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-SIZE 157286400 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-PIPELINING 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-DSN 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-ENHANCEDSTATUSCODES 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-AUTH LOGIN XOAUTH2 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-8BITMIME 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-BINARYMIME 

LINE: 1551 <- 250-CHUNKING 

LINE: 1551 <- 250 SMTPUTF8 

# AUTH LOGIN
LINE: 1685 <- 334 VXNlcm5hbWU6 

# Omitting sensitive information
LINE: 1691 <- 334 UGFzc3dvcmQ6 

# Omitting sensitive information

Other Information

As you may be able to gather from my posts, I am using Outlook.com as the SMTP service. I have managed to make it (SMTP) work on different forum software, but relaying the same information into phpBB has, for some reason, not been as successful. I want to try to use phpBB for my forum software instead of the other options available as it has more features than the others mentioned, but not being able to send emails through the website has been a huge deterrent.

Also, I have installed phpBB 3.3.8 manually after Softaculous installed phpBB 3.3.7 and the forum asked me to update it.

This should probably by TLS or STARTTLS.

3 Likes

The only options are:

PLAIN

LOGIN

CRAM-MDS

DIGEST-MDS

POP-BEFORE-SMTP

I have tried the other options, but they result in the same error.

I tried LOGIN once again, after clearing my cache, and it managed to send an email. However, should I continue using it?

Just to keep updating, I will edit this one message with my finds.

1). I have had using CRAM-MDS work twice, but never again.

2). LOGIN does not work anymore. Out of multiple attempts, it has worked once

This may help

https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=2528026

https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=2541881

3 Likes

You’ll probably want these to be set to yes. It will work fine with the options turned off, but it won’t be as secure.

Yes, that’s it!

In the SMTP output log, you can see this line:

LINE: 1551 <- 250-AUTH LOGIN XOAUTH2 

I think this line means that SMTP servers supports the LOGIN and XOAUTH2 authentication methods. phpBB probably doesn’t support XOAUTH2, so LOGIN is the method to use. PLAIN is not in the list, so I think that’s why it doesn’t work

6 Likes

I decided to switch over from a Outlook to an SMTP relay from https://www.mailjet.com and that worked well for me. I kept LOGIN, inputted the API keys into the username and password fields, and everything worked out. It has been working well.

The reason I switched over from Outlook is because, for some reason, after sending one email correctly… it wouldn’t work again for hours on end. I decided to just go search for some free SMTP providers, and came across MailJet. Since then, the emails get sent correctly.

Thank you for the support. Have a great day!

This sounds like rate limit in place

1 Like

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