[Mailman-Users] Upgrade to 2.1.6?

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Sun Nov 20 19:23:09 CET 2005

Bob Bergey wrote:

>I'm currently running about a dozen lists using Mailman 2.1.4, which 
>came pre-installed on my Apple XServe with Panther OS 10.3.9. I see 
>this list and other lists are using 2.1.6, but I couldn't find 
>information on the Mailman site about what the changes are, or how or 
>if I should upgrade. My lists under 2.1.4 are running great -- am I 
>missing anything significant under 2.1.6? The only problem or bug 
>I've found with 2.1.4 is creating a new list via the Web interface -- 
>I always get an error. But it works fine when creating the list from 
>the XServe's OSX Server Admin application, so I create lists with 
>that and then "polish" them with the Web interface, which then works 
>perfectly fine.

2.1.6 has some security fixes and some new features. See the NEWS file
in the 2.1.6 distribution or at
for details.

>Is there a tutorial somewhere about how to upgrade? I'm not a Unix 
>geek and avoid using command line stuff ... but I learn quickly if 
>there are good tutorials for beginners to follow. Same with scripting 
>-- I see numerous mentions of scripts to add functionality to 
>Mailman, but I don't understand how to use or access them -- can 
>someone point me in the right direction?

The basic installation documentation is at
<http://www.list.org/mailman-install/index.html>. There is a separate
UPGRADING document in the distribution or at

Normally, upgrading is very simple if your current installation was
installed from source. You just download and unpack the new version,
run 'configure' with the same options as before, stop mailman, run
'make install', start mailman and you're done (more detail in the
UPGRADING document).

In the case of upgrading Apples pre-installed Mailman, all bets are
off. See
for pointers to lots of information on installing Mailman on OS X, but
you probably have to 'rip out' Apple's 2.1.4 and go from scratch. You
will be able to preserve your current lists and archives - see below.

>The other important issue 
>I've got to tackle very soon is backing up my lists.

All the information Mailman keeps about lists is in the lists/
directory in the installation. Each list's info is in a
lists/list_name/ sub directory. The archives are all in
archives/private/ and there are symlinks into the archives/private/
structure from archives/public/ for public archives.

Usually, for backup purposes, it is sufficient to backup the lists/ and
archives/ directories. This is not complete as it doesn't get the
queues in qfiles/* and it doesn't get the contents of held posts
waiting approval which are in data/*, but if you do the backup at a
quiet time, the queues should be empty. If you're concerned about held
messages, you can backup the data/ directory too.

For your upgrade scenario, if you just insure that all the contents of
the lists/ and archives/ and perhaps data/ directories are in the
correct place for the upgraded installation, everything should be OK.

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

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