[Mailman-Users] How do I set up virtual host/domain lists on same server?

Sheryl Coe web at reportica.net
Fri Jan 17 09:34:02 CET 2003

I'm relatively new here, but I'll take a stab... Maybe those with more 
experience can tell us if I've got it wrong, or perhaps just right for my 

Setting up Virtual Hosts

The way to set up virtual hosts depends on your web server/mail server 
combination. Look at the text files that come with the source of your 
mailman install, especially the specific web server and mail server notes.

Here's my to-do list, with notes. Based on GNU Mailman Version 2.1/RH 

[That's my real first recommendation: upgrade to Mailman 2.1.]

1. Edit DNS. (Optional)

         Create a 'lists' subdomain for each virtual domain.

         You don't actually create a web page for the 'lists' subdomain, 
just point it to the main domain. The name of the subdomain doesn't have to 
be 'lists', other languages will work just as well. Snip...

         lists           IN      CNAME           mydomain.com.
         www             IN      CNAME           mydomain.com.

2. Edit Mail Server Routing

         If you set up a 'lists' subdomain for a virtual domain, route all 
mail for the 'lists' subdomain to mailman. You will only have to do this 
once for each domain. All subsequent lists for that virtual domain will be 
taken care of. (We use qmail, I don't know if those instructions would be 
useful to you, so I'll leave them out.)

         If you don't use a subdomain, you will have to set up a whole set 
of addresses to be forwarded to mailman for each new list, people on this 
list complain of other problems. [Don't go there, don't go down the hall, 
don't open that door!]

         If subscribers complain about mylist at lists.mydomain.com, instead 
of mylist at mydomain.com, then I just set up forwarding for that one address.

2. Edit Apache Directives (if not already set)

         This setting makes the archives work. Should be a default for new 
virtual domains.

         Options      ExecCGI FollowSymLinks Includes

3. Set the Preferred Hostname

         Open the List Administration page:


         Edit 'General Options: Host name this list prefers for email.' 
Enter the virtual domain and subdomain (if any):


         You can't do this when creating lists

4. Visit the page for 'all lists' at the Virtual Domain. Just checking...


         You will see 'advertised' lists for that virtual domain only. You 
can choose to advertise a list in Privacy Options.

5. Visit the List Information Page at the virtual domain. You are done!


______ Yes, Problems ______

Actually I'm amazed at just how few problems there are. The ones I note 
here have probably already been discussed on this list...

1. The 'Evil Twin' List Info Page


Unfortunately, on my system, I can type in any of my virtual domains and 
get any list page. They are not 'advertised' but the URLs will work if 
typed in.

Luckily the page that is displayed will still remember it's proper domain, 
and all of the links are right. If you can fix this, let me know how.

2. Namespace problems.

You can't have samelist at foo.com and samelist at fubar.com. They are working on 
that. Don't use names that are even close to each other because of this, 
and the 'evil twin' problem above.

3. Wishlist Item: Web-based new list creator should be virtual domain 

New lists are all created at the main domain, the list creator should be 
virtual domain sensitive. If I create a list from a virtual URL:


I'd like the preferred hostname reflect that virtual URL 
(lists.foo.com).  But it doesn't.

So, the first thing you have to do for new lists is immediately edit the 
preferred hostname.

you wrote:
>I'm sure this has been asked a thousand times, and I have scanned the
>archives a bit, but there is so many fragments and pieces. I'm amazed
>that the FAQ or the mailman website don't give specific detailed
>instructions how to accomplish this task. Why is that?!! Grr.
>Can someone please point me at a page or thread or something that tells
>me step by step how to set up various mail lists with different domains
>on the same server. I am currently running RedHat 8.0 with
>"mailman-2.0.13-3" rpm installed. I have some lists that work just fine
>already, and I'd like to switch some of them over if possible.

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