[Mailman-Developers] Mailman keeps creating "var" directories

Abhilash Raj raj.abhilash1 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 6 08:31:19 CET 2014

Hi Andrew,

On Sat, Dec 6, 2014 at 12:04 PM, Andrew Stuart <
andrew.stuart at supercoders.com.au> wrote:

> When I run “mailman info”, it creates a “var” directory in the current
> directory.

Yes this is the default behavior when you don't specify the paths
explicitly in your mailman.cfg

> You can see in the following that I have mailman.cfg in my /etc
> You can also see that /etc/mailman.cfg defines locations for the various
> directories.
> You can see that prior to running mailman info there is no “var”
> directory, but there is afterwards.
> I’m curious to understand why it is doing this when apparently mailman is
> picking up the configuration file OK from /etc but ignoring its contents
> and then setting up a new var directory in the current directory.  Any
> ideas welcome.
> (venv2.7)ubuntu at server01:~$ ls
> blankontheme.zip  mailman  mailman.client  postorius
> postorius_standalone  temp  venv2.7
> (venv2.7)ubuntu at server01:~$ grep _dir /etc/mailman.cfg
> #var_dir: var
> archive_dir              = /home/ubuntu/mailman/var/archives
> bin_dir                  = /home/ubuntu/venv2.7/bin
> data_dir                 = /home/ubuntu/mailman/var/data
> etc_dir                  = /etc
> ext_dir                  = /home/ubuntu/mailman/var/ext
> list_data_dir            = /home/ubuntu/mailman/var/lists
> lock_dir                 = /home/ubuntu/mailman/var/locks
> log_dir                  = /home/ubuntu/mailman/var/logs
> messages_dir             = /home/ubuntu/mailman/var/messages
> queue_dir                = /home/ubuntu/mailman/var/queue
> template_dir             = /home/ubuntu/mailman/var/templates
> var_dir                  = /home/ubuntu/mailman/var

Where did you get this config from? Mailman supports INI-style config only.
My bet is that mailman
is able to find your config file but is not able to parse it. What actually
happens is that mailman
has predefined  paths for different scenarios which can be configured with
layout variable in [mailman]
section inside your mailman.cfg.

The default is `dev` layout which creates the `var` directory in the
current directory.

You can either change the default `var_dir` in `dev` layout, below is a
sample config for that:

var_dir : <dir_of_your_choice>

or you can use some other paths defined in src/mailman/config/mailman.cfg
[paths.local], [paths.master], [paths.fhs] and change the default layout in
your mailman.cfg like this:

layout: local

Also my guess is that you can create your own path structure inside your
mailman.cfg and use
that layout with mailman. How to create that can be seen in

Abhilash Raj

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