Email Notification of Ticket Changes

Trac supports notification of ticket changes via email.

Email notification is useful to keep users up-to-date on tickets of interest, and also provides a convenient way to post all ticket changes to a dedicated mailing list.

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 or your Trac username in the reporter, assigned to/owner or cc field. Trac may send you an email when changes are made to the ticket, depending on how your notification preferences are configured.

Permission groups can also be entered in the CC field, to notify all members of the group.

How to use your username to receive notification mails

To receive notification mails, you can either enter a full email address or your Trac username. To get notified with a simple username or login, you need to specify a valid email address in your preferences.

Alternatively, a default domain name (smtp_default_domain) can be set in the TracIni file, see Configuration Options below. In this case, the default domain will be appended to the username, which can be useful for an "Intranet" kind of installation.

When using apache and mod_kerb for authentication against Kerberos / Active Directory, usernames take the form (username@EXAMPLE.LOCAL). To avoid this being interpreted as an email address, add the Kerberos domain to (ignore_domains).

Ticket attachment notifications

Since 1.0.3 Trac will send notifications when a ticket attachment is added or deleted. Usually attachment notifications will be enabled in an environment by default. To disable the attachment notifications for an environment the TicketAttachmentNotifier component must be disabled:

trac.ticket.notification.TicketAttachmentNotifier = disabled

Configuring SMTP Notification

Important: The [trac] base_url option must be configured for links in the notification message to be correctly generated.

Configuration Options

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



Comma-separated list of domains that should be considered as valid for email addresses (such as localdomain).

(no default)

Width of ambiguous characters that should be used in the table of the notification mail.

If single, the same width as characters in US-ASCII. This is expected by most users. If double, twice the width of US-ASCII characters. This is expected by CJK users.


Like ticket_subject_template but for batch modifications. (since 1.0)

${prefix} Batch modify: ${tickets_descr}

Default format to distribute email notifications.


Comma separated list of email resolver components in the order they will be called. If an email address is resolved, the remaining resolvers will not be called.


Name of the component implementing IEmailSender.

This component is used by the notification system to send emails. Trac currently provides SmtpEmailSender for connecting to an SMTP server, and SendmailEmailSender for running a sendmail-compatible executable.


Comma-separated list of domains that should not be considered part of email addresses (for usernames with Kerberos domains).

(no default)

Hash algorithm to create unique Message-ID header. (since 1.0.13)


Specifies the MIME encoding scheme for emails.

Supported values are: none, the default value which uses 7-bit encoding if the text is plain ASCII or 8-bit otherwise. base64, which works with any kind of content but may cause some issues with touchy anti-spam/anti-virus engine. qp or quoted-printable, which works best for european languages (more compact than base64) if 8-bit encoding cannot be used.


Path to the sendmail executable.

The sendmail program must accept the -i and -f options.


Comma-separated list of email addresses to always send notifications to. Addresses are not public (Bcc:).

(no default)

Comma-separated list of email addresses to always send notifications to. Addresses can be seen by all recipients (Cc:).

(no default)

Default host/domain to append to addresses that do not specify one. Fully qualified addresses are not modified. The default domain is appended to all username/login for which an email address cannot be found in the user settings.

(no default)

Enable email notification.


Sender address to use in notification emails.

At least one of smtp_from and smtp_replyto must be set, otherwise Trac refuses to send notification mails.


Use the author of the change as the sender in notification emails (e.g. reporter of a new ticket, author of a comment). If the author hasn't set an email address, smtp_from and smtp_from_name are used instead. (since 1.0)


Sender name to use in notification emails.

(no default)

Password for authenticating with SMTP server.

(no default)

SMTP server port to use for email notification.


Reply-To address to use in notification emails.

At least one of smtp_from and smtp_replyto must be set, otherwise Trac refuses to send notification mails.


SMTP server hostname to use for email notifications.


Text to prepend to subject line of notification emails.

If the setting is not defined, then [$project_name] is used as the prefix. If no prefix is desired, then specifying an empty option will disable it.


Username for authenticating with SMTP server.

(no default)

A Jinja2 text template snippet used to get the notification subject.

The template variables are documented on the TracNotification page.

${prefix} #${}: ${summary}

Addresses in the To and Cc fields are visible to all recipients.

If this option is disabled, recipients are put in the Bcc list.


Permit email address without a host/domain (i.e. username only).

The SMTP server should accept those addresses, and either append a FQDN or use local delivery. See also smtp_default_domain. Do not use this option with a public SMTP server.


Use SSL/TLS to send notifications over SMTP.


Example Configuration (SMTP)

smtp_enabled = true
smtp_server =
smtp_from =
smtp_replyto =
smtp_always_cc =,

Example Configuration (sendmail)

smtp_enabled = true
email_sender = SendmailEmailSender
sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/sendmail
smtp_from =
smtp_replyto =
smtp_always_cc =,

Subscriber Configuration

The default subscriptions are configured in the [notification-subscriber] section.


The notifications subscriptions are controlled by plugins. All INotificationSubscriber components are in charge. These components may allow to be configured via this section in the trac.ini file.

See TracNotification for more details.

Available subscribers:

CarbonCopySubscriberTicket that I'm listed in the CC field is modified
NewTicketSubscriberAny ticket is created
TicketOwnerSubscriberTicket that I own is created or modified
TicketPreviousUpdatersSubscriberTicket that I previously updated is modified
TicketReporterSubscriberTicket that I reported is modified
TicketUpdaterSubscriberI update a ticket

Each user can override these defaults in their Notifications preferences.

For example to unsubscribe from notifications for one's own changes and comments, the rule "Never notify: I update a ticket" should be added above other subscription rules.

The subscription rule name on the left side of the = can be anything, it has no meaning outside this configuration file. The subscriber name on the right side of the = must be one of the subscribers listed in the above table.

The following attributes of default subscriptions can be configured:

  • .distributor (Default: email)
    • Other values require plugins. For example on-site requires th:OnSiteNotificationsPlugin.
  • .priority (Default: 100)
    • Smaller values override larger values.
    • If you use 0, then users will not be able to override this rule.
  • .adverb (Default: always)
    • never can be used to silence other subscription rules with higher values.
  • .format (Default: text/plain)
    • Other values require plugins. For example text/html requires th:TracHtmlNotificationPlugin.

Example Configuration (default subscriptions)

always_notify_owner = TicketOwnerSubscriber
always_notify_owner.distributor = email
always_notify_owner.priority = 100
always_notify_owner.adverb = always
always_notify_owner.format = text/plain

always_notify_previous_updater = TicketPreviousUpdatersSubscriber

never_notify_updater = TicketUpdaterSubscriber
never_notify_updater.adverb = never
never_notify_updater.priority = 0

notify_cc_html = CarbonCopySubscriber
notify_cc_html.format = text/html

Customizing the email subject

The email subject can be customized with the ticket_subject_template option, which contains a Genshi text template snippet. The default value is:

${prefix} #${}: ${summary}

The following variables are available in the template:

  • changes: The ticket changes (prepared by Ticket.get_change).
  • env: The project environment (see
  • prefix: The prefix defined in smtp_subject_prefix.
  • summary: The ticket summary, with the old value if the summary was edited.
  • ticket: The ticket model object (see Individual ticket fields can be addressed by appending the field name separated by a dot, eg ${ticket.milestone}.

Customizing the email content

The notification email content is generated based on ticket_notify_email.txt in trac/ticket/templates. You can add your own version of this template by adding a ticket_notify_email.txt to the templates directory of your environment. The default is:

# if
# else:
#   if changes_body:
${_('Changes (by %(author)s):',}

#   endif
#   if changes_descr:
#     if not changes_body and not change.comment and
${_('Description changed by %(author)s:',}
#     endif
#   endif
#   if change.comment:

${_('Comment:') if changes_body else
  _('Comment (by %(author)s):',}

#   endif
# endif
${'-- '}
${_('Ticket URL: <%(link)s>',}
${} <${project.url or abs_href()}>

See the cookbook for additional template customization recipes.

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:
  * component:  changeset view => search system
  * priority:  low => highest
  * owner:  jonas => anonymous
  * cc: =>,
  * 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, ie the ones you use to log in on

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


If notifications are not working, inspect the log for error messages.

Notification errors are not always reported through the web interface, so the user who submits a change or creates a ticket may not get notified about a notification failure. The Trac administrator needs to look at the log to find the error message and traceback.

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 allow the web server (Apache, ...) to post email messages to the local SMTP server.

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

telnet localhost 25

This is because 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 authorized to post to the SMTP server. The actual settings depend on your Linux distribution and current security policy. You may find help in the Trac MailingList archive.

Relevant ML threads:

For SELinux in Fedora 10:

$ setsebool -P httpd_can_sendmail 1

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, 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, stick with the Base64 encoding.

See also: TracTickets, TracIni, TracGuide, TracDev/NotificationApi

Last modified 2 years ago Last modified on May 8, 2022, 3:11:36 PM
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