If FogBugz Email Notifications are configured correctly, but the notification emails are pending (or stuck) in the queue or not received by the user, use these troubleshooting steps for possible solutions.
These solutions vary from easy to complex, like checking the notification or the SMTP settings, verifying the Heartbeat Pinger, or updating DNS, Spam Filtering, or Antivirus settings.
Some of the troubleshooting steps below might require at least one of the following:
- Administrator role on FogBugz
- Administrator access to the IIS Server of FogBugz
- Administrator access to the SMTP server
The steps to diagnose email notification issues should be centered around the following basic steps:
- Should FogBugz be triggered to send emails?
- Can FogBugz send emails?
- Can the recipient (the user) receive emails from FogBugz?
Here is the oversimplified Notification Email Flow for FogBugz:
Check the possible root causes in the following order.
FogBugz is not triggered to send emails
FogBugz might not be triggered to send emails in the following cases:
- User settings are not configured correctly to send notifications
- Case assignment should be someone other than self
- Notification is not sent if the notification email address is the same as the one who created the case
- The same email address configured for several users might override each other's notification settings.
FogBugz is not able to send emails
FogBugz might not be able to send email in the following cases:
- Trial and free tier plans have a limitation on the number of emails that can be sent daily
- SMTP server settings might be incorrect
- SMTP server might be unreachable
- IDENT traffic might be blocked between the SMTP server and your FogBugz instance
- Reverse lookup for your FogBugz server might not be working (On-Premise)
- Your SMTP server might not be accepting emails
- Relay settings on the SMTP server might be incorrect
- FogBugz Heartbeat Pinger service might not be working correctly (On-Premise)
- Firewall settings might be preventing your FogBugz to connect to the Email Server
- Antivirus might be preventing your FogBugz to send emails (On-Premise)
The recipient (the user) is not able to receive emails from FogBugz
The recipient might not be able to receive emails from FogBugz in the following cases:
- The recipient might be disconnected from his own email server
- Spam filters on the recipient's side might be preventing the recipient to see the email
Should FogBugz be triggered to send emails?
Check Email Notifications settings
Check the Email Notifications settings. It should be set to Instantly or Periodically.
Check Case Assignment
When assigning a case, it should be assigned to someone other than yourself. If you assign a case to yourself you won’t receive a notification. Look in the bottom-left corner of the screen (Avatar) to see who you've logged on as.
Check whether the missing notification is for an email sent into FogBugz from your email address
Make sure the missing notification is not for a new email sent into FogBugz from your email address. The FogBugz will not notify you of a case assigned to you if you were the correspondent who emailed into FogBugz. Since you sent the email, FogBugz assumes you don’t need to know about the corresponding change to the case.
Check whether the same email address is configured for several FogBugz users
If the user's email address is configured for several FogBugz users (example: a Normal user and a Virtual user with the same email address), then the Notification settings of these users might override each other. For correct notification emails, it is recommended to have different email addresses for the different users.
Can FogBugz send emails?
Remove email sending limitation on trial and free tier plan (FogBugz On-Demand only)
If you haven’t added a credit card to your FogBugz On Demand account (even for free trials and accounts on free plans), the number of emails you can send per day will be extremely limited. You can add a credit card (which will not be charged on free plans) to verify your account.
Check SMTP server settings within FogBugz On-Premises
Check the SMTP server settings.
- It should contain the configuration for the email server that is configured to accept email from the FogBugz Server.
- If your SMTP server uses SSL, make sure it is set up correctly refer to Using an SMTP Server with SSL Guide.
Check that the SMTP server can be reached
- If the ping request is not able to transform the SMTP server's DNS into an IP address (Could not find host) then there might be an issue with your DNS provider.
- If DNS name is converted into IP address, but no reply, then there might be a connectivity problem.
Note: For some networks, if you do not get a ping reply, does not mean that the server is not available. It might also mean that a firewall is blocking (due to security policy) the ping requests or replies.
- If the server replies to the ping request, it means that most probably the server is available. However, this utility is not able to determine whether the SMTP service is working correctly on the given server.
A similar method, but a bit more sophisticated is to do a trace route towards the SMTP Server to detect possible connectivity issues at your ISP.
Check that you are not blocking IDENT traffic between SMTP server and FogBugz
Some mail servers will attempt to connect to the ident port (113) of the mail sender to see who the mail is coming from – refer to SMTP server using IDENT to authenticate you. If the mail server is outside a firewall and the FogBugz server is inside a firewall, the mail server attempts to connect to port 113 on the FogBugz computer. If these packets are dropped by the firewall, the mail server will stall for a minute or so before it can deliver the mail.
Check that the reverse lookup for your FogBugz server is working (On-Premises)
Most SMTP servers will try to reverse lookup the IP address of the FogBugz server when the FogBugz server connects to send an email. Using DNS, they will try to look up the numeric IP address of FogBugz to a name (such as FogBugzMachine.example.com). If this fails or takes too long, mail delivery will be impaired.
- From the computer where your SMTP server is running, open a command prompt.
- If this is a Unix host, simply log on.
- If this is an NT machine, choose Start > Run > type 'cmd' > OK.
- Using the numeric IP address (ex. 18.104.22.168) of the FogBugz machine, type nslookup 22.214.171.124. This is asking the name resolution system to find out what computer has that numeric IP address.
- If you see the domain name of your FogBugz machine on the Name line, everything is OK. However, if you see an error message like “Non-existent host/domain,” your FogBugz server is not reverse-DNSable. Contact the person who administers DNS on your network and makes sure there is a reverse mapping for the FogBugz machine. (This is sometimes called “the in-addr.arpa” address.)
- Many SMTP servers will not accept mail from machines that are not reverse-DNSable.
- If the nslookup command takes more than a second to execute and then fails, it is likely that there is a connectivity problem between the SMTP machine and the DNS server such as a firewall. This will cause a delay every time you try to send a mail with FogBugz. If you are experiencing 30 second – 1-minute delays every time you assign a case in FogBugz, this is probably the cause.
Check that your SMTP server accepts emails
Use Telnet to test SMTP communication with your server (the linked article is for Exchange Server, but the process is similar for other SMTP servers). If you see an error at any point, it will likely give you some clues as to what’s wrong with the SMTP server.
If your SMTP server is using SSL, refer to Using an SMTP Server with SSL Guide for debugging.
Check relay settings on the SMTP server
If email sending only fails when you send to a domain that is not your domain, then relaying is probably not allowed on your SMTP server. This is often done as a security precaution so that spammers don’t use your SMTP server to send out a million spam without you knowing. Contact your SMTP server admin to allow an exception for the (SMTP) user and server used with your FogBugz.
Check the FogBugz Heartbeat Pinger service (FogBugz On-Premise)
Follow the troubleshooting steps for Heartbeat Pinger service to ensure emails are not stuck or pending in the outgoing email queue.
Check Firewall Settings
Heartbeat Pinger service should be allowed to connect to the Email Server.
If you are using FogBugz On-Demand having Mailbox configured with an email account that is using your own on-premise email server then you need to whitelist FogBugz On-Demand IPs in your firewall.
Check Antivirus software settings on FogBugz IIS Server (On-Premises)
Some Antivirus or Firewall software have built-in mechanisms to prevent the sending of spam emails.
The following items need to be whitelisted in Antivirus or Firewall software running on the FogBugz IIS server:
- the SMTP port that is used to connect to the SMTP Server (see the configured value in Site Configuration -> Mail -> SMTP Port)
- the processes involved in sending the emails (w3wp.exe, DLLHost.exe)
Can the recipient (the user) receive emails from FogBugz?
Check that the recipient's email server is accessible
The recipient can use the ping utility as described previously, to check whether his email server is accessible from his computer.
Spam Filters on the Recipient side
On the recipient side, there can be Spam Filters enabled which might consider emails sent by FogBugz as spam. The policies of these Spam Filters need to be updated so they consider FogBugz as a safe sender.
These Spam Filters can be integrated either in the antivirus software installed on the recipient's computer, or either in the Server receiving the emails (corporate email servers). In the latter case, the emails might 2get filtered out before reaching the recipient's email box. In this case, the recipient might need to request the help of the administrator managing the given email server.
Before contacting the email server admin, the issue can be double-checked by temporarily setting up FogBugz to send the emails to another address for the given recipient, for example to an address at Gmail or Yahoo, etc.
If none of the solutions above helped, here are a few more information that could help you identify the root cause.
As a FogBugz On-Demand customer you do not have access to the backend services of FogBugz. Please contact us so we can help with your troubleshooting efforts.
Before contacting us, you might be able to do a few additional troubleshooting steps by enabling logging and checking the logs.
- Mail sending is initiated by the HeartBeat Pinger Service. Enable HeartBeat Pinger logging and check the logs for clues.
- Heartbeat Pinger initiates a call at regular time intervals to multiheartbeat.asp. You could enable logging for the FogBugz Web Site and check the logs for clues.
After finishing your troubleshooting, do not forget to disable the logging, or reduce the logging level, otherwise, the log files could increase quickly and you may run out of disk space.