pfSense E-mail Notifications with Google GMAIL

This is a quick post to remind me how to configure a pfSense appliance for e-mail notifications sent through Google GMAIL.

Configuration was quick and easy –

  • E-mail server:
  • SMTP Port of E-mail server: 465
  • Secure SMTP Connection: Enable SMTP over SSL/TLS ticked
  • From E-mail address: [choose an appropriate e-mail]
  • Notification E-mail address: [the e-mail you want to receive alerts on]
  • Notification E-mail auth username: [GMAIL account you are authenticating with]
  • Notification E-mail auth password: [password associated with the GMAIL notification account you are using]
  • Notification E-mail auth mechanism: PLAIN

pfSense E-mail Notification Settings


One thing of note – pfSense doesn’t have a nice menu system to let you pick and choose notifications, at least not at the time of writing. My hope is that over time this functionality expands so that I can enable specific notifications for events of interest. There are optional packages that can be installed that provide some notification options but I’m really hopeful that native functionality comes soon.

4 thoughts on “pfSense E-mail Notifications with Google GMAIL”

  1. Better option is to use port 587 and enable STARTTLS and uncheck “Enable SMTP over SSL/TLS”.
    587 and STARTTLS is the new standard and replaces your method.

    • Hi Crazy,

      Thanks for the feedback – my only concern with STARTTLS is the fact it can fallback to plaintext under certain circumstances whereas my current TLS setting would fail if a secure connection could not be established. My preference is to establish the protected tunnel before anything else happens rather than asking to ‘upgrade’ an insecure tunnel. I’d love to hear more about your suggestion if you have any references or experience to share.


    • Hi,

      You’re certainly correct, documentation is a little poor in this respect. My understanding is that events which cause the pfSense notification bar (in the web GUI) to flash also trigger an e-mail alert. There are a couple of other events which trigger a notification (e.g a gateway going down). There has been talk of improving the notification system within the pfSense forums/community so it is hoped things will progress. I always configure notification settings on any system I deploy, it may not be great today but as things improve with future releases I’m already setup to take advantage of them.


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