[Mailman-Users] Migration from Majordomo

Rick Niess rniess at netserver3.otr.usm.edu
Wed Nov 24 19:26:35 CET 1999

On 24 Nov 1999, Hrvoje Niksic wrote:
> I've taken a look at Mailman, and decided I like it.  It's nice, it's
> cool, it's Python.  Besides, it provides the sorely-needed features
> that Majordomo lacks, like web administration, bounce detection, and
> spam protection.

     <nod> Same reasons I'm switching. ;-)

> Here at work, we run 30+ lists using majordomo and I'm considering a
> transition to Mailman.  I would like to hear about experiences with
> migration from Majordomo to Mailman.  

     It's not entirely automated, but it's doable and fairly simple.  
Read on...

> Is there an automation mechanism to convert configuration files?

     No, not yet.  List configs still have to be ported manually at the
moment.  It's a pain, but if you get several people (with a clue) doing it
all at once, it goes quickly.  I know that several people (myself
included) are interested in seeing a utility to do this, so it's probably
not far off. (Barry sounds like he wants one for the next release.)

> What about subscriber lists?

     Easy.  There's a utility called "add_members" that can take a list of
e-mail addresses as input.  So you can use your existing majordomo
subscriber lists as input for it.  Be warned, however, that you'll need to
strip out any comments before doing so.  It needs bare e-mail addresses
without comments, quotes, parentheses, etc. (if you had address stripping
turned on in your Majordomo lists, this should already be done for you.
Otherwise, you'll have to do it manually.)

> What does one do with archives and digests?  

     Archives can be converted fairly easilly.  There's a utility called
"arch" that's used for rebuilding the web archives.  It takes standard
mbox format as input, so you can pipe the majordomo archives straight into
it. (you might need to concatenate them together first) For instance (as
yourself and ignoring permissions):

$ cat ~majordomo/lists/listname.archive/* >~mailman/archives/private/listname.mbox/listname.mbox
$ ~mailman/bin/arch ~mailman/archives/private/listname.mbox/listname.mbox listname 

(arch doesn't appear to handle input via stdin yet)

     Digests don't require a completely separate list under Mailman, but
they do require a separate list of subscribers initially.  If you had a
separate list for digested members under Majordomo, subscribe them all to
the new list (using the add_members utility mentioned above) and specify
the digested lists as the digested members file.

> Are there things one should watch out for?

     Yeah, just a few.

- CPU useage is a bit higher than Majordomo, though throughput is
generally better. (in my experience) If you encounter periods of heavy
mailing, the host system will bog down slightly.  You can always
distribute the load by specifying a different SMTP host than localhost.

- If you plan on letting Majordomo and Mailman coexist for a while so you
can make the transition one list at a time with little or no downtime
(like I did), you'll need to rename Mailman's wrapper and its alias in
/etc/smrsh (assuming you're using Sendmail) to something like
mailman-wrapper to avoid stomping on Majordomo's wrapper.

- Mailman is still under development, so a lot can change between
releases.  Most of the updates are handled automatically.  But some things
(ex, the customized HTML for list users) may need to be updated by hand.
Just beware if you're running it on a production system.

     Also, has anyone gotten in touch with the owners of Integral.org to
see what difficulties they've had?  I know they ported a fairly large
listbase from Majordomo to Mailman...

     Anyway, just my $.02.  If I've made an error, please correct me and
Cc the list.  Thanx...

						~ Rick ~
.oooO "Man with closed Oooo.    Rick C. Niess
(   )   mouth gathers  (   )    University of Southern Miss.
 \ (      no foot!"     ) /     resnet at usm.edu
--\ )------------------(_/-------------------------------

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