Email Notification of Ticket Changes

Trac supports notification about ticket changes via email.

Email notification is useful to keep users up-to-date on tickets/issues of interest, and also provides a convenient way to post all ticket changes to a dedicated mailing list. For example, this is how the Trac-tickets mailing list is set up.

Disabled by default, notification can be activated and configured in trac.ini.

Receiving Notification Mails

When reporting a new ticket or adding a comment, enter a valid email address in the reporter, assigned to/owner or cc field. Trac will automatically send you an email when changes are made to the ticket (depending on how notification is configured).

This is useful to keep up-to-date on an issue or enhancement request that interests you.

Configuring SMTP Notification

Configuration Options

These are the available options for the [notification] section in trac.ini.

  • smtp_enabled: Enable email notification.
  • smtp_server: SMTP server used for notification messages.
  • smtp_port: (since 0.9) Port used to contact the SMTP server.
  • smtp_user: (since 0.9) User name for authentication SMTP account.
  • smtp_password: (since 0.9) Password for authentication SMTP account.
  • smtp_from: Email address to use for Sender-headers in notification emails.
  • smtp_from_name: Sender name to use for Sender-headers in notification emails.
  • smtp_replyto: Email address to use for Reply-To-headers in notification emails.
  • smtp_default_domain: (since 0.10) Append the specified domain to addresses that do not contain one. Fully qualified addresses are not modified. The default domain is appended to all username/login for which an email address cannot be found from the user settings.
  • smtp_always_cc: List of email addresses to always send notifications to. Typically used to post ticket changes to a dedicated mailing list.
  • smtp_always_bcc: (since 0.10) List of email addresses to always send notifications to, but keeps addresses not visible from other recipients of the notification email
  • smtp_subject_prefix: (since 0.10.1) Text that is inserted before the subject of the email. Set to “__default__” by default.
  • always_notify_reporter: Always send notifications to any address in the reporter field (default: false).
  • always_notify_owner: (since 0.9) Always send notifications to the address in the owner field (default: false).
  • always_notify_updater: (since 0.10) Always send a notification to the updater of a ticket (default: true).
  • use_public_cc: (since 0.10) Addresses in To: (owner, reporter) and Cc: lists are visible by all recipients (default is Bcc: – hidden copy).
  • use_short_addr: (since 0.10) Enable delivery of notifications to addresses that do not contain a domain (i.e. do not end with @<>).This option is useful for intranets, where the SMTP server can handle local addresses and map the username/login to a local mailbox. See also smtp_default_domain. Do not use this option with a public SMTP server.
  • use_tls: (since 0.10) Toggle to send notifications via a SMTP server using TLS, such as GMail.
  • mime_encoding: (since 0.10) E-mail notifications are always sent in 7-bit mode. This option allows to select the MIME encoding scheme. Supported values:
    • base64: default value, works with any kind of content. May cause some issues with touchy anti-spam/anti-virus engines.
    • qp or quoted-printable: best for european languages (more compact than base64), not recommended for non-ASCII text (less compact than base64)
    • none: no encoding. Use with plain english only (ASCII). E-mails with non-ASCII chars won’t be delivered.

Either smtp_from or smtp_replyto (or both) must be set, otherwise Trac refuses to send notification mails.

Example Configuration

smtp_enabled = true
smtp_server =
smtp_from = [email protected]
smtp_replyto = [email protected]
smtp_always_cc = [email protected], [email protected]

Sample Email

#42: testing
       Id:  42             |      Status:  assigned                
Component:  report system  |    Modified:  Fri Apr  9 00:04:31 2004
 Severity:  major          |   Milestone:  0.9                     
 Priority:  lowest         |     Version:  0.6                     
    Owner:  anonymous      |    Reporter:  [email protected]               
  * component:  changset view => search system
  * priority:  low => highest
  * owner:  jonas => anonymous
  * cc:  [email protected] =>
         [email protected], [email protected]
  * status:  new => assigned
I'm interested too!
Ticket URL: <>
My Project <>

Using GMail as the SMTP relay host

Use the following configuration snippet

smtp_enabled = true
use_tls = true
mime_encoding = base64
smtp_server =
smtp_port = 587
smtp_user = user
smtp_password = password

where user and password match an existing GMail account, i.e. the ones you use to log in on

Alternatively, you can use smtp_port = 25.
You should not use smtp_port = 465. It will not work and your ticket submission may deadlock. Port 465 is reserved for the SMTPS protocol, which is not supported by Trac. See #7107 for details.

Filtering notifications for one’s own changes

In Gmail, use the filter:

from:(<smtp_from>) (("Reporter: <username>" -Changes) OR "Changes (by <username>)")

to delete these notifications.


If you cannot get the notification working, first make sure the log is activated and have a look at the log to find if an error message has been logged. See TracLogging for help about the log feature.

Notification errors are not reported through the web interface, so the user who submit a change or a new ticket never gets notified about a notification failure. The Trac administrator needs to look at the log to find the error trace.

Permission denied error

Typical error message:

  File ".../", line 303, in connect
    raise socket.error, msg
  error: (13, 'Permission denied')

This error usually comes from a security settings on the server: many Linux distributions do not let the web server (Apache, …) to post email message to the local SMTP server.

Many users get confused when their manual attempts to contact the SMTP server succeed:

telnet localhost 25

The trouble is that a regular user may connect to the SMTP server, but the web server cannot:

sudo -u www-data telnet localhost 25

In such a case, you need to configure your server so that the web server is authorize to post to the SMTP server. The actual settings depend on your Linux distribution and current security policy. You may find help browsing the Trac MailingList? archive.

Relevant ML threads:

  • SELinux:

Suspected spam error

Some SMTP servers may reject the notification email sent by Trac.

The default Trac configuration uses Base64 encoding to send emails to the recipients. The whole body of the email is encoded, which sometimes trigger false positive SPAM detection on sensitive email servers. In such an event, it is recommended to change the default encoding to “quoted-printable” using the mime_encoding option.

Quoted printable encoding works better with languages that use one of the Latin charsets. For Asian charsets, it is recommended to stick with the Base64 encoding.

See also: TracTickets, TracIni, TracGuide