Home > Uncategorized > Redmine by Email Part 2: Sending the updates

Redmine by Email Part 2: Sending the updates

This is part 2 of the bahbahbagahgaghhhhh ahhhh… Sorry.

The redmine docs on this whole Email to redmine thing are less than stellar.

Creating an issue:

To create a new issue, send an email to robot@externalimap.com with the following contents. I have chosen to list the contents in the visible order they are listed on an Issue page within Redmine web UI itself so that you can better understand how they correlate.

  • Project: short name of project! (this needs to be provided to you, ‘desktopissues’ for instance)
  • Tracker: Bug/Feature/Support [does not work in 1.3.1!]
  • Subject: the subject of the Email is the subject of the new issue.
  • Description: Email body, excludes any of these parameters. Do not include the string Description:
  • Status: New, Assigned, Resolved, Feedback, Closed, Rejected [one of these strings]
  • Assignee: The full name of the person who will be assigned the task.
  • Start date: in the form of YYYY-MM-DD (or whatever date format you have in your setup)
  • Due date: in the form of YYYY-MM-DD

An example would be to send an email with the subject “Learn how to send issues to Redmine via Email” with the body as (no quotes):

Project: desktopissues
Status: Assigned
Assignee: Matt Brown
Due date: 2012-05-02

I will learn this by the second of May.  Yes I will.

Some more info:

  • You can attach files max size in kibi-bytes. What the hell is a kibi-bytes? Oh… fancy.
  • You can CC or To anyone you wish to assign watcher-hood (redmine resolves these users by their Email address of course). It’s noted on the wiki that this can only be done when the issue is created.
  • You can not create a new Project by Email.

Updating an issue:

To update/add a note to an existing issue, make sure the contains the issue in the subject like “[#1394]” to update issue number 1394. You do not need to write anything else in the subject to specify the issue you wish to update. You can also reply to the updated emails (so .*\#1394.* get it?). Note that your entire Email content is contained in the note (including anything you’re responding too); so maybe hit reply, then delete the entire contents of your Email before responding.

The form of the Email is the same as it is to create a new issue as above. including the fields.

Poor coding:
Some values that are available in the GUI that aren’t available to be updated via Email (as of 1.3.1) are:

  • Category
  • % Done
  • Parent task
  • Estimate time
  • Priority
  • Tracker
  1. webo
    November 10, 2012 at 5:41 am

    For some reason, I can’t set the start and due dates via email. In my rake script I have:


    and in the email I have:

    Start Date:11/07/2012

    It seems as though only the date format YYYY-MM-DD will work for incoming emails (regardless of how dates are configured in your redmine settings)

    • November 10, 2012 at 6:56 am


      Yes, that’s the date format required for these “directives;” YYYY-MM-DD, as in the above example as well as the docs.

      Since writing this post, it appears that the Redmine docs have improved, as well as the developers may have improved the code. As in, “Due Date:” was a directive that was accepted… but is it now “due_date”?

      Hope this helps.


      • webo
        November 10, 2012 at 7:09 am

        Thanks for the quick response, I changed the date format and it works now (I kept the “Due date” attribute title the same)

      • November 10, 2012 at 7:21 am

        The whole sub-system of Email processing is pretty much it’s own animal, separate from the main redmine code. So the difference in date format does not surprise me.

        This whole in-take of email thing seems to be an afterthought that was thrown together, and poorly at that.

        One of the main problems is as follows:
        1) When someone sends an email, an issue is opened.
        2) No email response is sent back to the sender, giving them the issue number.
        3) Therefore, they can not file updates to the issue, since they don’t know the issue number.

        This is a huge problem and I’ve filed a fruit-less issue on the redmine project bug tracker.

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