Developer Area/Specifications in Development/VERP Mail Bounces

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This feature allows administrators to set up an email system to detect bounced emails and disable outgoing emails for accounts that get large numbers of bounces.

The feature was introduced in commit id 9b9b2a5c25a078d0c6aab0e4fb6bed1c5eb112d2. This has been present since Mahara 1.3.

Some users may need the bug patch in review 1184

There is also a new addition to this feature in gerrit as change 1181 to allow polling of imap mailboxes for the returned bounces.

This feature requires setting up some config.php settings and some settings in the mail server. The examples below are based on a postfix and procmail installation on the server.

Standard setup

config.php settings

$cfg->bounces_handle  = true;
$cfg->bounceprefix    = 'AAA+';  // config-defaults has 'AAA-'
$cfg->bouncedomain    = '';

Postfix setup


Need the following in addition to any setup, note that if these lines exist, the values need to be added to existing lines

mydestination =
mailbox_command = /usr/bin/procmail RECIPIENT=$ORIGINAL_RECIPIENT

Then run the following as root

postfix reload


AAA: www-data

Then run the following as root



* ^TO_AAA+.*
|"/usr/bin/php /var/www/mahara/lib/processemail.php"

IMAP Setup

This setup requires the setup of an imap server as well. The setup of that is out of scope of this document.

It is assumed that your mail server or the delivery filter puts the bounce emails into a seperate IMAP mailbox (POP3 can also be used).

config.php settings

$cfg->bounces_handle  = true;
$cfg->bounceprefix    = 'AAA+';  // config-defaults has 'AAA-'
$cfg->bouncedomain    = '';
$cfg->imapserver      = '';
$cfg->imapuser        = 'bouncechecker';
$cfg->imappass        = 'supersecret';

For more settings, like using mailboxes other than INBOX, or using POP3, see lib/config-defaults.php