Configuring the email address validation

FreshRSS can verify that users give a valid email address. It is not configured by default so you’ll have to follow these few steps to verify email addresses.

It is intended to administrators who host users and want to be sure to be able to contact them.

Force email validation

In your data/config.php file, you’ll find a force_email_validation item: set it to true. An email field now appears on the registration page and emails are sent when users change their email.

You can also enable this feature directly in FreshRSS: Administration > System configuration > check Force email addresses validation.

Configure the SMTP server

By default, FreshRSS will attempt to send emails with the mail function of PHP. It is the simpler solution but it might not work as expected. For example, we don’t support (yet?) sending emails from inside our official Docker images. We recommend to use a proper SMTP server.

To configure a SMTP server, you’ll have to modify the data/config.php file.

First, change the mailer item to smtp (instead of the default mail).

Then, you should change the smtp options like you would do with a regular email client. You can find the full list of options in the config.default.php file. If you’re not sure to what each item is corresponding, you may find useful the PHPMailer documentation (which is used by FreshRSS under the hood).

Example code to configure SMTP server

	'mailer' => 'smtp', // instead of 'mail'
	'smtp' => array(
		'hostname' => '',
		'host' => '', // URL to your smtp server
		'port' => 465,
		'auth' => true,
		'auth_type' => '',
		'username' => 'alice', // or maybe
		'password' => 'yoursecretpassword',
		'secure' => 'ssl', // '', 'ssl' or 'tls'
		'from' => '',

Check your SMTP server is correctly configured

To do so, once you’ve enabled the force_email_validation option, you only need to change your email address on the profile page and check that an email arrives on the new address.

If it fails, you can change the environment (in data/config.php file, change production to development). PHPMailer will become more verbose and you’ll be able to see what happens in the PHP logs. If something’s wrong here, you’ll probably better served by asking to your favorite search engine than asking us. If you think that something’s wrong in FreshRSS code, don’t hesitate to open a ticket though.

Also, make sure the email didn’t arrive in your spam.

Once you’re done, don’t forget to reconfigure your environment to production.

Access the validation URL during development

You might find painful to configure a SMTP server when you’re developping and mail function will not work on your local machine. For the moment, there is no easy way to access the validation URL unless forging it. You’ll need to information:

$ # For instance, for a user called `alice`
$ grep email_validation_token data/users/alice/config.php | cut -d \' -f 4 -

Then, the validation URL should be http://localhost:8080/i/?c=user&a=validateEmail&username=alice&token=3d75042a4471994a0346e18ae87602f19220a795

Don’t forget to adapt this URL with the correct port, username and token.