[Mailman-Users] Installation problem: 500 internal server error

RT mfoc73 at dsl.pipex.com
Thu Apr 28 12:28:45 CEST 2005

Jim Tittsler wrote:

> Are you trying to use Apache's suEXEC feature?  It conflicts with the 
> normal Mailman installation.  You will need to make sure the cgi-bin 
> directory is not group writable.  (Once over that hurdle, you will 
> probably then have to make sure that the files in cgi-bin don't have the 
> SGID bit set, and are owned by the correct user/group so that suEXEC can 
> set the group for the scripts.)

Well, I'll be  *&!?**!!, this (almost) got it working; thanks. It turned 
out to be a litle more complicated...

Problem 1: my 'ISP', for want of a better word, enables suEXEC on 
Apache, and I obviously can't change that (aside: doesn't everyone run 
Apache/suEXEC? If not, why? And surely most mailman users are in the 
same situation that I'm in - I don't have a real internet connection, 
and I rely on someone else's virtual server, on which I don't get a root 

After following both your instructions, I got a web page, but with this 

> Group mismatch error.  Mailman expected the CGI
> wrapper script to be executed as group "web", but
> the system's web server executed the CGI script as
> group "mailman".  Try tweaking the web server to run the
> script as group "web", or re-run configure, 
> providing the command line option `--with-cgi-gid=mailman'.

Ok, I had configured with '--with-cgi-gid=web', as per INSTALL (Apache 
runs as 'web'). So Apache suEXEC'ed the scripts as 'mailman', so 
defeating the configuration option. As a fix/hack, I changed the 
owner/group of everything in cgi-bin to web/web, to prevent Apache 
suEXEC'ing. This got me further; as far as problem 2, in fact.

Problem 2: Apache now runs the scripts as 'web', which is what mailman 
expects, but I now get another problem: mailman claims to hit an 
internal bug. At the end of the traceback I get:

> IOError: [Errno 13] Permission denied: '/usr/local/home/mailman/mailman-2.1.5/logs/error'

Ok, mailman is running as web and wants to write into a directory owned 
by mailman, and can't. So I run

/usr/sbin/usermod -G admin, mailman web

And everything springs into life; I can now get listinfo and admin 
pages, complete with logos.

But *none* of this is in the installation instructions, unless I've 
missed something. And, this isn't my day job, and I'm worried that this 
isn't secure. Is it a good idea to run mailman's scripts with Apache's 

How does everyone else manage to install this? Would someone mind 
updating INSTALL?

Thanks -


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