Service desk replies not sent to the sender?

Hello! I’m trying to set up my Service Desk on, and I’m running into an issue.

The emails to the Service Desk address are received correctly but the comments on the issues are not sent as email replies.

Here are what I want to confirm first:

  1. As far as I understand, any comments on the issues created by the Service Desk will also be sent as emails to those who originally sent the issue. Is this correct?

  2. The GitLab documentation says that my Service Desk’s email address should be put behind an alias. I was not 100% sure what that means exactly, and I also did not have a server of which I have full control, so I did these:

  • I set up a human-readable relay email address on a rented server
  • I configured a forwarding rule on it so that any email received will be directed to the Service Desk email address
  • After the email is forwarded, it is removed from the rented server.
    The original sender’s email address (not the relay address) is included in the issue created on The original sender also received a ‘thank you’ email. So I suspect this part is working. Is this correct?
  1. My project is under a private group, which means the repository I set the Service Desk up is also private. Can this configuration interfere with how Service Desk works?
    Note that bringing the group or the project public is, unfortunately, not an option for me.

Here’s what I tried so far:

  • I waited for almost a day after I commented, but still no reply email.
  • I checked the sender’s junk box; no luck. The sender’s server won’t immediately delete spam emails, so the reply doesn’t look like sent.
  • I removed the Service Desk issue’s confidentiality and then added a comment; no luck either.

Also, recent GitLab status shows no major outages (at least from yesterday when I tried it to today.)

What can I do further to troubleshoot when the Service Desk issue comments are not sent to the sender?

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I’ve got the exact same problem. None of the notes added to the issues are sent by email to the original submitter of the issue.

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We recently turned on service desk and set up a similar configuration with an alias email.

The issue is created from the initial email, and the bot sends the thank you reply, but none of the comments are generating responses.

Searching for an answer but haven’t come up with anything yet.

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Hi everyone, thanks for reporting this issue. Our Support team was able to duplicate the problem, and we’ve created a bug report to escalate this to our engineering and developer teams.

Please feel free to contribute or weigh-in in the comments and subscribe for notifications to get the latest updates.

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As @gitlab-greg told us above, GitLab was misbehaving at the time this issue occurred. As of Jan 1, the issue seems to be resolved, and the comments are properly sent as email replies. Thank you GitLab team for investigations and a prompt fix!

To answer my own questions, it turns out that 1. project/group visibility, 2. issue confidentiality, and 3. how you send email to your Service Desk address (as long as it reaches there) does not matter (as the documentation shows; I should’ve been more cautious in reading.) So:
Q1. Yes, and it should be directly sent to the customer.
Q2. Yes, that part was working & the comment-to-email-reply part was not working. The setup works.
Q3. No, it does not affect the functionality.

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