Forgotten Password Recovery (Optional)

Last Updated: May 2020

Tethys Portal provides a mechanism for resetting forgotten passwords that requires email capabilities. This guide discusses two options for enabling email capabilities to support this feature.

Third-Party Email Services

If your organization doesn't have an existing email service that you can use, we recommend using a third party email relay service to enable email capabilities on your Tethys Portal. There are many regulations regarding email that make it much more difficult to deliver email from your own email server without it going straight to the spam folder. Most email relay services take care of the legal obstacles and many of them provide a free tier. An internet search for "email relay service" will yield many options: Google: email relay service.

Example with SendGrid

Tethys Platform does not endorse one provider over another, however it is helpful to see a concrete example. The following instructions discuss how to setup emailing capabilities with SendGrid as an example. Setting up email capabilities with other services will be similar.

1. Sign up for SendGrid Account

Go to SendGrid New Account and signup for an account.

2. Sender Verification

You will need to setup a verified email address or domain to be used as the "From" email address. The easiest option is to setup single sender verification with your own email address or another email address you have access to. However, the preferred method is to setup Domain Authentication, but you will need access to the DNS settings for your domain. For more information on this topic, read Sender Identity.

For now, setup up Single Sender Verification by following these instructions: Single Sender Verification.

3. Create SMTP Relay Key

After logging in perform the following steps to create an SMTP relay key:

  1. Click on your name in the top left corner of the screen to open the menu.

  2. Select Setup Guide.

  3. Click on the Start button in the "Integrate using our Web API or SMTP relay" section.

  4. Choose SMTP Relay.

  5. Provide a name for the key.

  6. Press Create Key.

  7. Copy the API key and save it to a safe location.


You will not be able to copy the key later, so don't forget to save it somewhere safe.

4. Set Email Settings in portal_config.yml

Configure the Tethys Portal to use SendGrid as the email relay as follows:

tethys settings --set EMAIL_BACKEND "django.core.mail.backends.smtp.EmailBackend" --set EMAIL_HOST "" --set EMAIL_PORT 25 --set EMAIL_HOST_USER "apikey" --set EMAIL_HOST_PASSWORD "<SENDGRID_API_KEY>" --set EMAIL_USE_TLS True --set DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL "<VERIFIED_SENDER_EMAIL_ADDRESS>"


Replace <SENDGRID_API_KEY> with the key that you generated in step 3 and replace <VERIFIED_SENDER_EMAIL_ADDRESS> with the email address that you verified in step 2. Note that the value of EMAIL_HOST_USER should be literally "apikey" as shown in the example above, not the API key you generated. Only replace the variables in angle brackets (<>).

Setup Your Own Email Server

Alternatively, you can try setting up your own email server using Postfix. We don't recommend this, however, because you will then need to make sure you are meeting any government regulations and obtain a certificate signed by a third-party for your emails to have a chance of making it to the user's inbox.

These instructions are for Ubuntu and CentOS systems. For other Linux distributions refer to the Postfix Documentation or search for a guide for installing on your distribution.

1. Install Postfix:


Install the application as follows:

sudo apt install -y postfix libsasl2-modules

Follow the prompts:

  • Select "Internet Site" as the type

  • Enter the SERVER_DOMAIN_NAME you identified during the Preparation step when prompted.


When installed with apt on Ubuntu, Postfix is started automatically and enabled to start when the server reboots.


Install the application as follows:

sudo yum install -y postfix cyrus-sasl-plain cyrus-sasl-md5

Start and enable the Postfix server so that it starts up automatically when the server is restarted.

sudo systemctl start postfix
sudo systemctl enable postfix

2. Configure Postfix

  1. Open the Postfix configuration file:

    sudo vim /etc/postfix/
  2. Locate the following variables and verify they are set appropriately:

    myhostname = <SERVER_DOMAIN_NAME>


    Replace <SERVER_DOMAIN_NAME> with the value determined during the Preparation step.

    mynetworks = [::ffff:]/104 [::1]/128

3. Restart Postfix to Effect Changes

sudo systemctl restart postfix

4. Configure Tethys Email Settings

Several email settings in the portal_config.yml file need to be configured for the forget password functionality to work properly. Use the tethys settings command to set them as follows:



Replace <DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL> with the value determined during the Preparation step. It should use the following format (without angle braces):


Replace <EMAIL_FROM> with the "FROM" email alias or name of sender determined during the Preparation step.

"John Smith"

5. Restart Tethys Portal

If Tethys is already running, restart it as follows:

sudo supervisorctl restart all