phpBB Email Settings Help


Hi all, had a question about optimal email settings for phpBB running on dreamhost. Right now I have the following settings:

Users send email via board: Disabled
Email package size: 30
SMTP server address:  ssl://
SMTP server address: 465

In the phpforum_config table I have the following setting

queue_interval: 1800

Problem is, when I do a mass email (send immediately unchecked) I get a error and not all the emails go out.

Email error

Ran into problems sending email at Line 1175. Response: 554 5.7.1 : Recipient address rejected: Policy Rejection- 
Quota Exceeded. 

I also have a cron running every 10 minutes, because my website doesn’t get that much traffic regularly.

{SITENAME}/bin/phpbbcli.php cron:run

Any suggestions?


I haven’t used phpBB, but I gather the email-package-size parameter is defined as emails per 10 minutes, so you are trying to send 180 emails an hour, which is greater then the DH limit of 100/hour.

Have you tried an email-package-size of 15, which would result in 90/hour?


From my understanding (lol) the email packages are sent by the que ratio which is 1800 seconds or 30 mins. So in theory the cron runs every 10 minutes and every 30 minutes a package of 30 emails should be sent. But I’m still getting a quota met error. Cant seem to figure it out.


Could the “Email Chunk Size” parameter be involved? DH’s limit is 100 recipients/hour, so with an “Email Package Size” of 30 on a 30 minute interval, then the “Email Chunk Size” would need to be less then 2 (if I’m understanding correctly).


I found the email_max_chunk_size parameter but I’m not sure how it works. It was set at 50. I don’t know why theres so many moving parts to this.


I don’t understand the difference between email_max_chunk_size and email_package_size I have less than 500 users and I rarely send out mass emails. So sending 15 users a email every 15 minutes would work. But I don’t understand how to interpret that.


My understanding is that email_package_size controls the number of email messages sent, and email_max_chunk_size controls the number of recipients per email. For example, sending a mass email to 500 users with package at 15 and chunk at 50, would result in the phpBB sending 10 email messages, each with 50 recipients. Each of the 10 emails would look like this:

Subject: Mass email
BCC: user1, user2, user3, ..., user50

Of course, the first 2 emails would have a total of 100 recipients, so the 3rd email will hit the DH hourly limit.


It makes so much sense when you say it :joy:

So in theory id be safe setting:

email_max_chunk_size: 4
email_package_size: 4
queue_interval: 900

And that would send 16 emails every 15 minutes? Which is 64 a hour?


I think that’s right for mass-emails. Non-mass emailing (i.e. individual notifications, etc) would be limited to 16/hr.


Well that wouldn’t work out too well lol. Between registration emails and notifications, more than 16 are going out a hour.


Yea, so maybe chunk size should be 1, so there is a 1-1 correspondence between message and recipient? So the following settings would yield 64/hour for both notifications and mass-emails.

email_max_chunk_size: 1
email_package_size: 16
queue_interval: 900


I would advice using a dedicated SMTP service like Mailgun or Elastic Email instead. Both will give you less headache than DreamHost SMTP server which is not optimized for bulk mailing. Those services have clean SMTP interfaces so connecting them to legacy systems is easy. Plus, they have good tools to help you identify issues with delivery, like searchable logs, with nice dashboards. They also offer a healthy chunk of free emails per month.


Ok, ill give the @habilis solution a shot. If not ill look into dedicated SMTP services. Like I said my board isn’t that big, so I only send mass emails (more than 50 recipients) maybe once a month.

It would be nice if phpbb could have an extension that caps emails at 100 and ques them until you’re out of the quota restriction range. Then again depending on the traffic and notifications I can see the que getting pretty backed up.

Thanks everyone!


This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.