RedmineReceivingEmails » History » Version 5

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Jean-Philippe Lang, 2008-07-06 18:30

Receiving emails

As of r1572, Redmine can be configured to allow issue creation or comments via email.


You can configure Redmine to receive emails in one of the following ways.

Forwarding emails from your email server

A standalone script can be used to forward incoming emails from your mail server.
This script reads a raw email from the standard input and forward it to Redmine via a HTTP request.
It can be found in your redmine directory: extra/mail_handler/rdm-mailhandler.rb.

In order to use it, you have to enable the API that receive emails:
Go to Application settings -> Incoming emails, check Enable WS for incoming emails and enter or generate a secret key.

Copy rdm-mailhandler.rb to your mail server and configure your MTA.


rdm-mailhandler [options] --url=<Redmine URL> --key=<API key>

  -u, --url                      URL of the Redmine server
  -k, --key                      Redmine API key

General options:
  -h, --help                     show this help
  -v, --verbose                  show extra information
  -V, --version                  show version information and exit

Issue attributes control options:
  -p, --project=PROJECT          identifier of the target project
  -t, --tracker=TRACKER          name of the target tracker
      --category=CATEGORY        name of the target category
      --priority=PRIORITY        name of the target priority
  -o, --allow-override=ATTRS     allow email content to override attributes
                                 specified by previous options
                                 ATTRS is a comma separated list of attributes

  # No project specified. Emails MUST contain the 'Project' keyword:
  rdm-mailhandler --url --key secret

  # Fixed project and default tracker specified, but emails can override
  # both tracker and priority attributes:
  rdm-mailhandler --url --key secret \\
                  --project foo \\
                  --tracker bug \\
                  --allow-override tracker,priority

Here is an example for a Postfix alias:

foo: "|/path/to/rdm-mailhandler.rb --url http://redmine.domain --key secret --project foo" 

Fetching emails from an IMAP server

A rake task (redmine:email:receive_imap) can be used to fetch incoming emails from an IMAP server.

It accepts the following options:

  • host => IMAP server host (default:
  • port => IMAP server port (default: 143)
  • ssl => Set this option to 1 to enable SSL (default: false)
  • username => IMAP account
  • password => IMAP password
  • folder => IMAP folder to read (default: INBOX)

Other options:

  • project => identifier of the project the issue should be added to


rake redmine:email:receive_imap host=imap.domain \
                                username=redmine@domain \
                                password=xxx \
                                project=foo \              # => all issues will be added to project "foo" 

Emails that are ignored (unknown user, unknown project...) are marked as 'Seen' but are not deleted from the IMAP server.

Reading emails from standard input

A rake task (redmine:email:receive) can be used to read a single raw email from the standard input.


  • project => identifier of the project the issue should be added to

Postfix or Sendmail can be configured to forward incoming emails to this script.

Example of a Postfix alias:

redmine: "|(cd /path/to/redmine && rake redmine:email:receive RAILS_ENV=production)"

How it works

When receiving an email, Redmine uses the From address of the email to find the corresponding user. Emails received from unknow or locked users are ignored.

If the email subject contains something like "Re: [xxxxxxx #123]", the email is processed as a reply and a note is added to issue #123. Otherwise, a new issue is created.

If you don't use the project option when reading emails, users have to specify in the email body which project the issue should be added to. This can be done by inserting a line in the email body like this: "Project: foo".

Example (email body):

This is a new ticket that will be added to project foo.
Here we have the ticket description

Project: foo

Of course, user permissions are checked and this email would be ignored if the user who sent this email is not allowed to add issues to project foo.