[Mailman-Users] Help debugging Debian package for Mailman 2.1.3-1

Mailman-users at davefisher.co.uk Mailman-users at davefisher.co.uk
Wed Nov 5 20:58:26 CET 2003


I'm new to mailman and this list, so please forgive me if I've missed
something obvious here or in the documentation (I have spent many hours
looking, before resorting to this plea for help).

I suspect that most of my problems lie with the Debian GNU/Linux
packages (Testing) that I've installed, but been unable to configure
properly without resorting to dangerously insecure hacks on file
permissions and symbolic links.

I notice that several of the obstacles I face have been reported and
acknowledged as bugs on the Debian bug tracking system for quite some
time.  Unfortunately, they remain open with few suggested workarounds
and some of those few looking pretty dubious.

I was hoping that someone on this list might be able to refer me to
either of:

  1. A simple overview of the roles and relationships between of
  different components in a Mailman system ... so that I can set about
  the debugging process in a reasonably logical manner.

  2. Other Debian users who have already worked their way through the
  bugs that I have encountered.

I am now under some pressure to deliver a working Mailman system
quickly, so the latter would be most useful.

Here are some of the problems that I've encountered:

  1. No permission for the web server to read any Mailman files.  
  By default Apache runs as www-data on Debian systems, but most of the
  installed Mailman files are owned as root:list or list:list. I'm
  reluctant to do a recursive chown on any branch of my filesystem
  when there are so many chains of symlinks involved, when I'm not sure
  what roles various files play and when I've seen specific advice
  against adding the webserver user (www-data) to the list group.

  2. Acknowledged bugs:
    #204869 errors while creating initial mailman list
    #214264 mailman: wrong permissions on archive directories
    #202464 mailman: symlink cgi-bin pointing to itself after installing
    #123297 wrong owner in pipermail directories

    ... the list goes on and on ..

I wouldn't expect any individual to give me all the answers on these points,
but I would appreciate any help or advice people could offer in trying to work
through them.

N.B. Despite the problems with this Debian package, I don't want to install
from source tarballs (that's why I use Debian) and would prefer to fix it so
that I can continue to benefit from the distro's basically sound package
management and configuration system.

Best wishes,

Dave Fisher

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