Problems with system email: Errors with feedback form, password resets, or sending email notifications when creating users

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Problems with system email: Errors with feedback form, password resets, or sending email notifications when creating users

Tom Caswell
Here is an error I was recently asked about:

Proxy Error
The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server. The proxy server could not handle the request POST /feedback/feedback_view.
Reason: Error reading from remote server

I think I understand the source of this error. I believe the SMTP server is not working or not set up, which explains not being able to send anything via the feedback form or other system messages. You would probably notice a similar problem if you tried to reset user passwords via the system, since it uses the SMTP server for that as well. Fortunately, you can solve the problem by setting up a different SMTP server to send system emails such as feedback and password resets. Here are some instructions for using a free Gmail account as an SMTP server in eduCommons, originally written by Brent Lambert:

Setting up Email in eduCommons
-------------------------------------
In this example let's assume that you have the following Gmail account:

username: bob@gmail.com
password: hello

Google's SMTP server is located at smtp.gmail.com and running on port 465.

To use eduCommons with Bob's Gmail account you would use the following settings. First you will need administrator access to the eduCommons site, so make sure you sign in with that account. Now navigate to Site Setup, then Mail. In the Mail Server tab, you would fill in the following information. This is just an example, of course, so use your own Gmail account information for the username and password:

SMTP server: smtp.gmail.com
SMTP Port: 465
ESMTP username: bob@gmail.com
ESMTP password: hello

Save those settings. Next, click on the Mail Sender tab, fill in the Site 'From' address, and click Save. eduCommons will store these values and use them to send feedback and password reset emails using your Gmail account.

Further resources:
Here is a website with the list of popular email providers and the SMTP servers you can connect to:
http://www.emailaddressmanager.com/tips/mail-settings.html
Here is a post describing how to set up email in Plone:
https://help.webfaction.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=82&nav=0,14

Cheers,

Tom
Tom Caswell
http://tomcaswell.com
Open Education Consultant
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Re: Problems with system email: Errors with feedback form, password resets, or sending email notifications when creating users

Tom Caswell
You may need to enable IMAP in Gmail first. (Mine was already enabled, so I didn't catch this.) To do this, sign into your Gmail, select Settings (top, right corner), then select the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab and select the option to "Enable IMAP."
Tom Caswell
http://tomcaswell.com
Open Education Consultant
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Re: Problems with system email: Errors with feedback form, password resets, or sending email notifications when creating users

Shaun@UMB-2
In reply to this post by Tom Caswell
Tom Caswell wrote
Fortunately, you can solve the problem by setting up a different SMTP server to send system emails such as feedback and password resets. Here are some instructions for using a free Gmail account as an SMTP server in eduCommons, originally written by Brent Lambert:

Setting up Email in eduCommons
-------------------------------------
In this example let's assume that you have the following Gmail account:
...

SMTP server: smtp.gmail.com
SMTP Port: 465
ESMTP username: bob@gmail.com
ESMTP password: hello

Save those settings. Next, click on the Mail Sender tab, fill in the Site 'From' address, and click Save. eduCommons will store these values and use them to send feedback and password reset emails using your Gmail account...

Cheers,

Tom
Hi Tom,

This suggestion, using Gmail, does not work for us. It seems that it just doesn't save the password (but saves everything else. Is there another setting that needs to be changed? I have made sure to enable our Gmail IMAP, as per your comment.

Thanks!
Shaun
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Re: Problems with system email: Errors with feedback form, password resets, or sending email notifications when creating users

blambert
It sounds as though you are not getting a response from the SMTP server. Have you checked to see if your server has outgoing email access?
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Re: Problems with system email: Errors with feedback form, password resets, or sending email notifications when creating users

Shaun@UMB-2
Thanks for your response. I'm actually trying to use the Gmail workaround- that way I don't have to worry about our local server.
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Re: Problems with system email: Errors with feedback form, password resets, or sending email notifications when creating users

blambert
Yes but are you sure that your server is able to make an outward going connection to Gmail's IMAP port (465)? It may be blocked at the firewall. Worth checking.

From your description it sounds like your request packets are being dropped silently.

The password field does get set when you type it in. It does not appear when you access the form again but the password is still there.
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Re: Problems with system email: Errors with feedback form, password resets, or sending email notifications when creating users

Shaun@UMB-2
I think you're right- I can't telnet or ping the smtp servers- but I can get their IP with a nslookup.

Do you know of a way to work around the email problem? I want to add a new user- I used to be able to do this without the email needing to go through...




now that no longer appears to be the case :/ We really need to be able to add users so that they can see certain unpublished parts of our site.

Thanks!

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Re: Problems with system email: Errors with feedback form, password resets, or sending email notifications when creating users

blambert
You can add user accounts by using the admin login. Simply go to "Site Setup" and then "Users and Groups." Use the "Add new user" button to create new accounts. You can then search for the user and assign whatever roles necessary.
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Re: Problems with system email: Errors with feedback form, password resets, or sending email notifications when creating users

David Ray
Administrator
In reply to this post by Shaun@UMB-2
In addition to what Brent stated, you'll also need to change the Security Settings for the site.

Site Setup --> Security --> Check 'Let users select their own passwords'

From what I recall, that administrative Add User Form is the same as an end user Add User Form, so unless that setting is checked, you'll have the same issue adding users as an administrator.

Of course, this means you'll be setting passwords for users, so the first thing you'll want to do is tell them to log in and change their passwords.
---------------------
David Ray
Applications Analyst
Lineberger Comprehsensive Cancer Center
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Re: Problems with system email: Errors with feedback form, password resets, or sending email notifications when creating users

OCW@UMB
"Site Setup --> Security --> Check 'Let users select their own passwords' "

That was exactly what I was looking for- thanks David!