[Mailman-Users] Re: Lists work, but no archives

Doug Lipman mail at storydynamics.com
Fri Jul 23 06:01:09 CEST 2004

For the sake of any other newbies with similar problems, here is how 
I got things to work.

1. I had foolishly neglected to finish the installation process. 
Hints were supplied by Dan Phillips off-list:

At 11:59 AM -0500 7/18/04, Dan Phillips wrote:
>the most common causes of this are outlined in the FAQ at 
>The MOST common cause in a new installation is that you haven't 
>started the mailmanctl daemon.

2. But even after I finished the installation, none of the aliases 
worked yet. The solution turns out to depend on sendmail, the default 
MTA on Redhat Linux, and the fact that I'm running non-static virtual 
domains (virtual domains that don't each have their own IP number).

The aliases in this case need to be in TWO places:

	1. /etc/aliases - this is where the aliases go that Mailman's 
reply message (after you create a new group) mentions.
	2. the virtusertable for the domain you're using: 
/scripts/domain_name.virtusertable .

I found this somewhere, but can't find the reference. So here's the 
two sets of aliases for a list called "supportivecoaching" on the 
domain storytellingcoach.com:

To add to /etc/aliases:
supportivecoaching:              "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
post supportivecoaching"
supportivecoaching-admin:        "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
admin supportivecoaching"
supportivecoaching-bounces:      "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
bounces supportivecoaching"
supportivecoaching-confirm:      "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
confirm supportivecoaching"
supportivecoaching-join:         "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
join supportivecoaching"
supportivecoaching-leave:        "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
leave supportivecoaching"
supportivecoaching-owner:        "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
owner supportivecoaching"
supportivecoaching-request:      "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
request supportivecoaching"
supportivecoaching-subscribe:    "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
subscribe supportivecoaching"
supportivecoaching-unsubscribe:  "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
unsubscribe supportivecoaching"
(then run newaliases)

To add to /scripts/storytellingcoach.com.virtusertable:

supportivecoaching at storytellingcoach.com              supportivecoaching
supportivecoaching-admin at storytellingcoach.com        supportivecoaching-admin
supportivecoaching-bounces at storytellingcoach.com 
supportivecoaching-confirm at storytellingcoach.com 
supportivecoaching-join at storytellingcoach.com 
supportivecoaching-join at storytellingcoach.com
supportivecoaching-leave at storytellingcoach.com        supportivecoaching-leave
supportivecoaching-owner at storytellingcoach.com        supportivecoaching-owner
supportivecoaching-request at storytellingcoach.com 
supportivecoaching-subscribe at storytellingcoach.com 
supportivecoaching-unsubscribe at storytellingcoach.com 
(it may help to restart sendmail at this point? I'm guessing)

Once these are added, the email functions start to work (confirmation 
of new users via email, sending of emails to the list).

3. There was one more thing that confused me in the INSTALL file:

>  - Find out where your Sendmail executes its smrsh wrapper
>            % grep smrsh /etc/mail/sendmail.cf

>    - Figure out where smrsh expects symlinks for allowable filter
>           programs.  At the very beginning of the following output you will
>           see a full path to some directory, e.g. /var/adm/sm.bin or similar:
>           % strings $path_to_smrsh | less
>         - cd into /var/adm/sm.bin, or where ever it happens to reside on your
>           system, such as /etc/smrsh, /var/smrsh or /usr/local/smrsh.
>           % cd /var/adm/sm.bin
>         - create a symbolic link to Mailman's wrapper program
>           % ln -s /usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman mailman

This perplexed me, for two reasons. First, when I ran the grep smrsh 
line, I found my way to a FILE called smrsh (not a directory). 
Second, when I ran the "strings" command using that path, I got a 
first line in the output that included a full path to 
/lib/ld-linux.so.2, which was no use at all.

Lois Lew was kind enough to Google some pages of discussion about 
this issue (e.g., 
<http://www.lula.org/pipermail/lula/2004-April/003010.html> and 
Reading these finally set me right. The key is that, in Redhat, there 
actually is a directory called smrsh, located at /etc/smrsh. When you 
follow the directions using that path, everything works. (One note 
about the discussions: in previous versions of Mailman, the term 
"wrapper" was used instead of "mailman".)

4. The last issue was related to my complete ignorance about Apache. 
I tried inserting the alias to pipermail and the ScriptAlias line (as 
described in the INSTALL) into /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf . That 
worked! But the next time I rebuilt Apache, Mailman stopped working. 
It turns out that, at least in my installation, httpd.conf is rebuilt 
every time, based on httpd.conf.main. Once I made the changes in 
httpd.conf.main instead, everything worked - and is so far still 

I hope this helps save some time for the next newbie down the road!

Doug Lipman

At 3:04 PM -0700 7/22/04, Alec Bennett wrote:
>Hey, I saw your posting about setting up Mailman on Redhat 9. Sounds 
>like we're
>having the exact same problems. Did you ever find a solution?
>I'm now to the point where administrative task emails go out (subscription
>notifications, etc.) but none of the actual list emails do, and the 
>archives are
>all empty.
>Thanks for any help, this is driving me crazy.
>This mail sent through IMP: http://horde.org/imp/


Doug Lipman, P.O. Box 441195, West Somerville, MA 02144 
Phone: (781) 391-3672. Fax: (781) 391-6341. Toll-free: (888) 446-4738
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