Return-Path not set correctly if "Enable variable bounced email address" checked


Active member
On my forums, at least:

If I do not check "Enable variable bounced email address", the Return=Path is set correctly:
Return-Path: <>

If I do check it, it does not:
Return-Path: <>

- This fails silently, without any error message.
- I think it was once working. I can't image that I set this up without checking to see if it worked.
- Xenforo 1.5.12
- Doesn't matter if -f is set or not.
- CentOS 6.9

If this is not easily fixable, please either give error messages in the ACP letting me know or add to the description of this feature: "This doesn't always work. Make sure to confirm that the Return-Path in the email headers is set correctly."



XenForo developer
Staff member
We and a number of customers use VERP through this without issue. As such, I expect this is more likely to be something outside of XenForo. For example, you may have a restriction elsewhere that limits what the return path can be set to; if it's not a known email, then it rejects the value. There's certainly no way for us to be able to detect that.

If you can show the full, raw headers of the email, that may allow us to confirm what was passed into the system.


Active member
Err. I caused this myself. We were trying to make life more difficult for spammers and put in a little code to reject user emails with + in them.
        if ('' != $email) {
            // stop some spammers who use + in gmail addresses
            $your_own_pattern = '/\+/iU';
            if (preg_match($your_own_pattern, $email)) {
                return false;
We had no idea that it would be validating our own addresses!

Anyway, nothing to see here.