[Mailman-Users] Newbie requesting basic how-to

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Wed Sep 22 07:08:33 CEST 2004

Jon Roland 

>Thanks, Mark, for taking the time to respond.
>Mark Sapiro wrote:
>> It is unclear to me where you are at this point. Have you read the
>> INSTALL file in the top level of the source distribution and done all
>> of that?
>I have now. It was not in the /var/mailman directory tree, but in the 
>/usr/share/doc/mailman-2.1.5/ directory, along with several README* files. The 
>file I needed to read is INSTALL.REDHAT. It would be helpful if the site.org 
>website had a *prominent* link to those files, with captions explaining what 
>each is for. One needs to be able to read them before they become available as a 
>result of installation, and know where to look for them.

If you install Mailman from source, The INSTALL file and a bunch of
README files are in the top level directory of the source tarball. If
you install from somebody's RPM, you need to take this up with whoever
produced the RPM.

>> Are you ready to create a list? If so, you can do pretty much
>> everything via the GUI list creation/administration pages. See the
>> README file in the top level of the source distribution.
>Not yet. It tells me I have to configure my web server and start it, but not 
>much of a clue how to do that. The INSTALL.REDHAT file says:
>"The RPM has installed a mailman config file (mailman.conf) in 
>/etc/httpd/conf.d. You should edit the file to set your domain, see the 
>instructions in the config file."
>What "config file"? Presumably one of the several files ending in .conf, but it 
>seems there should be a GUI for setting up the web server, which could in turn 
>be launched by the GUI for setting up Mailman for the first time.
>It seems like overkill to have to run the web server just to serve 1? list admin 
>page, when all I want to do is send email to lists.

I think these are questions for RedHat or some RedHat user's forum.
Maybe somebody else here can answer them, but I can't.

As far as running the a web server is concerned, You don't have to, but
that's the GUI list administration and user interface. No web server
-> no GUI for even these functions.

>It next says:
>"RedHat does not ship RPM's that enable services as part of package 
>installation. You will need to enable the mailman service if you want mailman to 
>And although it provides the usual cryptic instructions for doing that, it is 
>not clear how to get all this to work when I want it to, and not when I don't. I 
>would like to add an icon to my desktop that would launch a script to start the 
>web server, start the mailman daemon, launch the admin GUI, and turn off all 
>those things when I finish using them. (Because system resources are limited, 
>and I don't want more overhead than necessary.)
>> There is a list administrator GUI but not a site administrator GUI.
>> However once Mailman is actually installed, the site defaults may well
>> be fine for you.
>If a site administrator GUI is not in the current wish list, I would appreciate 
>it if someone would add it and work on it. Call it "mailman-site-admin" or 
>something. Make it a python program so it doesn't require the web server to be 
>running. But how does one launch that list admin GUI?

Through the web interface. It's a bunch of Python scripts that
interface with the web server through CGI.

>> If you are installing from source, you have to do the steps in the
>> INSTALL document and there's no GUI for that.
>The binaries and doc files are pre-installed, apparently as part of the Fedora 
>Core 2 distribution. (I don't remember installing it later.)
>> Basically, you create a list through the list create/admin GUI and
>> subscribe your recipients (or they subscribe themselves). The
>> Reply-To: is a list option. Most if not all of the rest is
>> accomplished by sending the desired e-mail to the Mailman list, and
>> Mailman in turn sends the mail to the list members.
>It is not obvious how I send the desired email to a Mailman list when everything 
>is on one local machine and the domain is localhost.localdomain. Does it have a 
>user account name that I can send to the way I would send to another user on the 

Lists have names e.g. mailman-users or whatever, but they aren't
accounts. You would post to listname at localhost.localdomain and it
would be up to your MTA (via aliases or in the case of Exim, other
means) to pass this to Mailman.

Yours is a highly unusual use of Mailman. Most installations would want
full time service and full time web access.

>Again, thanks for your help, and please visit http://www.constitution.org , 
>where some day this listserv might be installed when it is fully developed and I 
>am confident I know how to administer it (without having a shell account with 
>the ISP that hosts it, so that I will have to direct the ISP's sysadmin how to 
>launch it, probably as a cron job -- the host at the ISP is also running Linux).

Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net>       The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list