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HDMail Setup

HelpDesk Online rel. 2.11 allows you to accept service requests via email as well. The script, which handles email based submissions is hdmail.cgi. Please be advised that your server must support email-to-program routing in order to enable email based service request submissions. Although this is a standard feature of email subsystems on most servers, there are no uniform instructions regarding setting such kind of email redirection. Also, some shared hosting providers disable the feature. Please refer to manuals provided by your provider for detailed instructions, which apply to your server.

1. By default hdmail.cgi script must be located within HelpDesk Online scripts directory. Please keep in mind that on some systems for security reasons email processing scripts may be executed only from dedicated directory (/etc/smrsh on most systems). If your server settings require the script to be placed in a directory other than the HelpDesk Online scripts one, you will need to modify the hdmail.cgi. The line #11, which normally is

my $hdform_dir;

must be changed to

my $hdform_dir = '/path/to/helpdesk/online/scripts/dir/';

This will allow the hdmail.cgi script to locate HelpDesk Online scripts directory.

2. You must setup your mail software (sendmail on most Unix systems) to ensure that email messages sent to the address of your choice are piped through hdmail.cgi.

If you are using sendmail you must edit your /etc/aliases file and add a line similar to the following:

service: "|/path/to/htmail.cgi"

Repeat this line for each address you want HelpDesk Online to accept service requests through. Note: on most systems the /etc/aliases is nothing but source code being used for further processing in order to build/update the aliases database, which actually drives email redirecton. Thus after applying changes to /etc/aliases you may have to run some command like newaliases before the changes will go live.

3.You must install HelpDesk Online rel. 2.11 and login to helpdesk.cgi at least once, before the hdmail.cgi script will become fully operational.


1. Make sure you have configured email forwarding properly. Try to redirect email to another email address, rather than to hdmail.cgi script, that is instead of

service: "|/path/to/hdmail.cgi"

use something like


Make sure you receive messages sent to 'service' via the ''.

2. If mail forwarding works, you may enable debug logging. You need to assign non zero value to $debug variable and location of log file to $debug_log variable (please refer to hdmail.cgi source code for detailed instructions). Then try to submit service request via email message and examine contents of the log file (as specified by $debug_log variable). Every time hdmail.cgi is being executed it adds lines with start and stop timestamps regardless of success or failure to process service request. There may be also additional error messages.

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