Proxmox part 3: Notifications

Updated November 25, 2023 4 minutes

Now that you have installed Proxmox, created a storage pool, and configured the networking, you’ll want to setup notifications in case a hardware error occurs, or in the case of a backup job failing. Let’s setup email notifications, and test that they are working.

Prior to Proxmox 8.1, to do this you had to configure postfix by hand, and setup your outgoing SMTP server and credentials. If you upgrade to Proxmox 8.1, this is now much nicer: there is a new dashboard menu to setup the authenticated SMTP relay.


  • A Proxmox server (start with step 1 if you haven’t already.)
  • An external SMTP relay service.

Sending email in 2023 is near impossible unless you use a provider that makes it their full time job to ensure that their servers are not blacklisted nor sent to spam. Its not feasable to reliably self-host your own general outgoing SMTP relay, you’re going to need to use a third party email account/service for that. (On the other hand, you could self-host an entire email server, and as long as both the sending account and the recipient account are on the same host, then this is not a problem.)

For security purposes, and by following the rule of least privilege, I recommend that you use a kind of SMTP service that is designed for sending only (eg. mailgun). You should not use the same SMTP account credentials as you use for your personal mail. You should use an email/smtp account that is dedicated to the Proxmox user, and should not have any other purpose.

Upgrade to at least Proxmox 8.1

  • Click on your pve host under the Datacenter list.
  • Click Updates.
  • Click Upgrade.
  • This will open a shell and do any pending upgrades.
  • Reboot if prompted to do so.
  • Verify the version is now 8.1+, printed in the top left of the dashboard.

Verify the root user’s email address setting

  • Click Datacenter.
  • Under Permissions, click Users.
  • Click the root user.
  • Click Edit.
  • Verify the E-Mail address is correct. You should put your own email address here, so that you receive all the mail that the root Proxmox user should receive.

Configure a new SMTP notification target

  • Click Datacenter.
  • Click Notifications.
  • Under Notification targets, click Add, then choose SMTP.
  • Fill in all the details of your external SMTP account:
    • Enter the endpoint name, like: My external SMTP relay.
    • Enter your provider’s SMTP Server domain name:
    • Choose the Encryption (usually TLS, check with your provider).
    • Enter the Port number (usually 465 or 587, check with your provider).
    • Enter the Username and Password for your provided SMTP account.
    • Enter the From Address, this can usually be whatever you like, eg.
    • Select the Recipient(s) - choose root@pam - unless you use a different Proxmox account than root, choose root@pam.
    • You should not need to fill in the Additional Recipient(s), because the forwarding address is already defined on the root account instead, but you can if you want.
    • Click Add.

Test the new SMTP notification target

  • Click on the new notification target in the list.
  • Click the Test button.
  • Click Yes, to confirm that you would like to send the test email.
  • Verify that you do recieve the test email.

Disable the builtin mail-to-root notification target

You should now see two Notifications Targets listed: 1) mail-to-root and 2) your external SMTP server. You should disable the first one, mail-to-root, as the new one will serve that role instead:

  • Click the mail-to-root entry.
  • Click Modify.
  • Uncheck the Enable flag.
  • Click OK.
  • Verify the builtin mail-to-root is now disabled (shows an icon like instead of ). (You can’t remove it, because its builtin, you can only disable it.)

Configure the default notification matcher

You want all notifications to go to the root user, via your new SMTP notification target, so you need to edit the default-matcher notification target:

  • Click the default-matcher notification target.
  • Click Modify.
  • Click Targets to notify.
  • Uncheck mail-to-root.
  • Check the new SMTP target.
  • Click OK.

Configure Gotify (optional)

As an alternative to Email, or in addition to, you can send notifications via Gotify which supports an android app to receive mobile push notitfications. The advantage here is that a gotify server is much easier to setup than an email server, and you don’t have to worry about messages going to spam.

I am not too interested in having yet another app on my phone maintaining a connection 24/7, just to receive the occasional emergency notification. So I would want to receive the notification in Matrix (Element), so I have my eye on Ondolin/gotify-matrix-bot but I have not tested it yet.

I feel like it was a missed opportunity for Proxmox to support gotify, but not ntfy which better handles the multiple connection problem, on android at least.

You can discuss this blog on Matrix (Element):

This blog is copyright EnigmaCurry and dual-licensed CC-BY-SA and MIT. The source is on github: enigmacurry/ and PRs are welcome. ❤️