[Mailman-Users] General questions (was Re: Mailman refusing to send remote emails)

Greg Ward gward at mems-exchange.org
Tue Dec 4 23:37:27 CET 2001

On 03 December 2001, Finn Schj?tt said:
> I'm in the process of installing Mailman on a RH7. and although
> grandfather*4, would like to call me a novice in Linux/x environments.
> I try to follow the Installmanual, which is written as to recompile/make,
> whereas I've used the .rpm- packagemethod to install.

First off, when starting a new thread, send a new message to the list.
Don't reply to an unrelated message -- your message's subject had
nothing to do with your post, and it will be associated in the threaded
archive with irrelevant messages.

> In the manual are stated some points which  are to be done as 'non-root'.
> I can see the installed modules are all 'root-owned'. Is this to be
> concerned?

Not really, no.  The thing that should scare you is executables that are
setuid (set-user-id) root.  For example, here's an executable that is
setuid root by design:

  $ ls -lF /usr/sbin/exim
  -rwsr-xr-x    1 root     root       430740 Jun  8 17:21 /usr/sbin/exim*
     ^            ^^^^

Mailman's only compiled executable does have that scary letter "s" in
its permission bits:

  $ ls -lF ~mailman/mail
  total 28
  -rwxr-sr-x    1 root     mailman     24714 Jul 11 11:07 wrapper*
        ^                  ^^^^^^^

...but it's not so scary, because it's a setgid (set-group-id) bit, and
the group in question is "mailman".  That means that running the
"wrapper" program -- which your mail server does whenever it receives
mail for a Mailman list -- will magically give a process the powers of
being in the "mailman" group, which is a *lot* less scary than being the
root user.

Anyways, all that has very little to do with Mailman.  It's just general
Unix stuff.

> So far, the Mailman-server is running, although some misconfiguration
> occours.

With Mailman 2.0, there is no such thing as a Mailman server.  You use a
web server and a mail server (MTA) as front-ends to various Mailman

> I found that it insisted on fromadress as 'localhost' and found
> changing Domain in .... cured this. But the file states in the header NOT
> to be manually changed!

You must be referring to Mailman/Defaults.py:

  # NEVER make site configuration changes to this file.

But you didn't read the rest of that comment:

                                                         ALWAYS make them in
  # mm_cfg.py instead, in the designated area.  See the comments in that file
  # for details.

Clear enough?

> I've made some lists, which send confirmation to members, but they can't
> reply, as reciever dont exist. I found that I had to manually put output
> from newlist into the aliasses file. Is there any place I can find that
> output again, or do I have to delete/ remake the list to get that output?

Good question!  I don't know, though.

Note that if you're using a modern MTA such as Exim, you don't have to
worry about editing /etc/aliases.  Just follow the instructions in
README.EXIM and new lists work automatically.  Very cool.

> My first goal is to maintain a couple of manually organised lists, where I
> want a special header or footer, and I think Mailman is fine for this.
> Is there any way to maintain such a list including <real  name> and
> comments (phone/addr)

That's a FAQ: see


Greg Ward - software developer                gward at mems-exchange.org
MEMS Exchange                            http://www.mems-exchange.org

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