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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Default Moodle Email Problems

    I've seen several messages on this topic. Each time users are asked to create a ticket, but I cannot even see what category ticket to make.
    I run several Moodle accounts on Siteground. In each, with smtp setting blank, to use 'native php method', I can send direct mail from the Participants screen, but no other mail works: Not forums, not assignments. These are activated by cron.php. Whenever there is such mail, cron.php reports: Could not instantiate mail function.
    I've tried filling in the smtp server setting in Moodle, with authentication. In that case, nothing at all works - not even the direct mail.
    I have been working on this for over a week and am at a complete loss.
    This is seriously impinging on my ability to manage clients' Moodle sites and I may have to start looking for another server.
    I hope that someone out there can help me. At least tell me via what category I can submit a ticket.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    i have encountered similar issues with Moodle installations before. The problem is that the PHP mail function as defined in the Moodle mailer class uses the root user for outgoing messages, which is not allowed. The SMTP settings should work, but you would need to make sure that the support e-mail you have set is existing in your cPanel. Still, if you continue to experience issues, you may use the Other cPanel/Fantastico issues category for posting a new ticket. We will gladly investigate the issue further, as we would have the necessary information for your account and would be able to check the mail server logs.
    Best Regards,
    SiteGround Technical Support Team
    Siteground Web Hosting

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Default Follow Up: Solution Found!

    I have found the solution, with a little help from the Siteground technical support. It is not all that obvious at first, but makes sense in the end.

    One must set up at least one bonafide email account on the site, so as to be able to authenticate with Siteground's SMTP. (The native php method does not work, as cron.php does not have a sufficient level of permission to run it).

    Assume a domain abc.com
    an email account xx@abc.com
    with password yyy

    Here are the Email settings that matter:
    SMTP hosts: abc.com
    SMTP Username: xx@abc.com
    SMTP password: yyy

    (Now here's the tricky part!)
    No-reply address: xx@abc.com ( I am not certain it must be the same, but it must be a bonafide email address on your domain.)
    Support name: xx@abc.com ( I am not certain this field figures in the outcome)
    Support email: xx@abc.com

    Why these two other fields? Apparently the info from these fields (Default being: no-reply@domain.com and admin@admin.com) finds its way into the FROM: field of the mailer. But Siteground does not allow its SMTP to send out mail whose FROM: address is not a bonafide Siteground email address (I am not 100% certain it has to be from the same domain, but I would guess so.). Such a policy probably prevents people from using their SMTP to spoof other people's email.

    This policy may have been somewhat recent. I seem to recall my Moodle on Siteground could and did sent out forum mail in the past. I did a workshop for beginners and came home to find tons of email messages from their forums. My support email address was one not on siteground. That is probably what killed it.

    I hope this will help others.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    I read your post....Moodle uses SMTP protocol for email and a technique known as Variable Envelope Return Path (VERP).

    * Works on most modern MTAs (at least on Unix systems).
    * All processing of bounces and replies is secured using HMAC-MD5-8.
    * Bounces are handled correctly and increase a "bad email" score for the user.
    * noreply@host address is now on Reply-to field, avoiding accidental pollution of users address books.
    * noreply@host has an autorresponder
    * Makes it easy for modules to send emails with a signed VERP reply-to.
    * Handles receiving of VERP replies: Validates the HMAC-MD5-8 signature and Dispatches the encoded request data to the relevant module

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012


    one little thing - SMTP hosts should be mail.abc.com

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