PostMaster Mail Accounts

Just as a company doesn’t just have one department which receives traditional mail, your service desk will also serve multiple teams. Each team can have its physical email mailbox.

OTRS eases setup for email mailboxes. OTRS manages polling one or multiple email mailboxes of any internet standard type.

Use this screen to add mail accounts to the system. The mail account management screen is available in the PostMaster Mail Accounts module of the Communication & Notifications group.

Mail Account Management Screen

Mail Account Management Screen


When fetching mail, OTRS deletes the mail from the POP or IMAP server. There is no option to also keep a copy on the server. If you want to retain a copy on the server, you should create forwarding rules on your mail server. Please consult your mail server documentation for details.


If you choose IMAP, you can specify a folder for collection. Selective dispatching of mails is then possible.

All data for the mail accounts are saved in the OTRS database. The bin/ Maint::PostMaster::MailAccountFetch command uses the settings in the database and fetches the mail. You can execute it manually to check if all your mail settings are working properly.

On a default installation, the mail is fetched every 10 minutes when the OTRS daemon is running.

Manage Mail Accounts

To add a mail account:

  1. Click on the Add Mail Account button in the left sidebar.
  2. Fill in the required fields.
  3. Click on the Save button.
Add Mail Account Screen

Add Mail Account Screen

To edit a mail account:

  1. Click on a mail account in the list of mail accounts.
  2. Modify the fields.
  3. Click on the Save or Save and finish button.
Edit Mail Account Screen

Edit Mail Account Screen

To delete a mail account:

  1. Click on the trash icon in the list of mail accounts.
  2. Click on the Confirm button.
Delete Mail Account Screen

Delete Mail Account Screen


If several mail accounts are added to the system, a filter box is useful to find a particular mail account by just typing to filter.

Mail Account Settings

The following settings are available when adding or editing this resource. The fields marked with an asterisk are mandatory.

Type *

There are different kind of protocols that are used for fetching mail. The following protocols are supported:

  • IMAP
  • POP3
  • POP3S
Username *
The username of the mail account.
Password *
The password of the mail account.
Host *
The host name of the mail account. Specify how the current article subject should be dealt with. The following methods are available:
IMAP Folder
The folder in the mail account to be fetched. Other folders remain untouched.

If Yes is selected, any X-OTRS headers attached to an incoming message are evaluated and executed. Because the X-OTRS header can execute some actions in the ticket system, you should set this option to Yes only for known senders.

See also

The X-OTRS headers are explained in the filter conditions of Postmaster Filters.


The distribution of incoming messages can be controlled if they need to be sorted by queue or by the content of the To: field.

Dispatching by email To: field

The system checks if a queue is linked with the address in the To: field of the incoming mail. You can link an address to a queue in the Email Addresses screen. If the address in the To: field is linked with a queue, the new message will be sorted into the linked queue. If no link is found between the address in the To: field and any queue, then the message flows into the Raw queue in the system, which is the postmaster default queue after a default installation.

See also

The postmaster default queue can be changed in system configuration setting PostmasterDefaultQueue.

Dispatching by selected Queue
All incoming messages will be sorted into the specified queue. The address where the mail was sent to is disregarded in this case.
Validity *
Set the validity of this resource. Each resource can be used in OTRS only, if this field is set to valid. Setting this field to invalid or invalid-temporarily will disable the use of the resource.
Add additional information to this resource. It is recommended to always fill this field as a description of the resource with a full sentence for better clarity, because the comment will be also displayed in the overview table.

Setting up Incoming Emails

For incoming emails, OTRS can be configured in a variety of ways.The best option to do this might depend on your specific circumstances.

Receiving Mails via Local MDA

Using a local mail transfer agent (MTA) to receive mails directly is the recommended option. It provides near to real time mail delivery and the setup is more stable than when you poll your mails via IMAP(S) or POP(S). Authentication is also no longer an issue.

Redirecting mails to another address
Your current mail server must relay the emails to the local MTA.
SMTP Transport
An alternative router is setup on the receiving MTA to deliver mails from specific users to an external SMTP server.

In both cases, the use of Procmail is required as the mail delivery agent (MDA), as well as the proper $HOME setup for the user otrs on your system. An example file .procmailrc.dist can be used directly without modification. Just remove the .dist ending. Mails sent to the local otrs user are then piped to the console command for processing.


Please note that all “push” mail transferred directly to the otrs user (i.e. via the console command) is always trusted. This means X-OTRS headers in emails can and will affect the distribution of mails and setting of ticket properties. This includes the X-OTRS-FollowUp headers.

For more information, please read the Postmaster Filters chapter.


Errors will send the mail to the directory var/spool/problem-email.

Read the Postfix documentation or the Exim4 documentation for more information on the setup.


In case you are an OTRS customer, you can configure relaying by raising a support ticket in the OTRS customer portal.

Receiving Mails via External Email Provider

Alternatively, it is also possible to use an external email provider for incoming emails.

To setup the system to use Office 365 as email provider:

  1. Read the POP and IMAP email settings for Outlook chapter in the official documentation.
  2. Fill the form with the following data:
    • Type: select the desired protocol
    • Username: your email address
    • Password: your email password
    • Host:


On October 13th, 2020 Microsoft stops supporting and retires basic authentication for POP3 and IMAP. Only OAuth2 can be used for authentication. For more information, please read the original blog post.

To setup the system to use Gmail as email provider:

  1. Read the Check Gmail through other email platforms chapter in the official documentation.
  2. Fill the form with the following data:
    • Type: select the desired protocol
    • Username: your email address
    • Password: your email password
    • Host:

To setup the system to use another external email provider:

  1. Read the official documentation of the external provider.
  2. Fill the form with the following data:
    • Type: select the desired protocol
    • Username: your email address
    • Password: your email password
    • Host: the POP3 or IMAP address of the external provider

See also

You can find detailed instructions in the Email Addresses chapter about how to configure outgoing emails.