[Mailman-Users] mailman minimal (memory) requirements?

Brad Knowles brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Mon Jul 3 02:10:56 CEST 2006

Tomasz Chmielewski wrote:

> I'm trying to run mailman 2.1.8 on a system with only 32 MB RAM (and
> ~100 MB swap).

I think that's unlikely to work well.

> However, it fails to start - the system swaps very heavily, and then
> mailman gets killed by the kernel.

I'm not surprised.

> Without mailman started, the system uses about 12 MB RAM.
> What are the minimal memory requirements for mailman (~1 post a day)?

There is some info in FAQ 1.24 on this subject (see
but this doesn't include the kinds of hard numbers that I think you're
probably looking for.

I don't know what the absolute minimum requirements are, but keep in mind
that you not only have to have memory and swap for Mailman, but also the
MTA and the web server.

Checking the memory requirements for just Mailman on a relatively
low-traffic server that I have access to, I find that it currently takes
about 130MB of virtual memory, and 26MB of real RAM, just for the Mailman
stuff alone.

The web server component looks like it's running about 77MB swap and 19MB
RAM, while the MTA is 29MB swap and 11MB RAM.

So, at an absolute minimum, this machine would require ~236MB swap space
and ~56MB of real RAM, plus the OS requirements.  Given these numbers, I
wouldn't try to run Mailman on a machine with less than 512MB of swap and
128MB of RAM.

> Is it possible to minimize the memory usage by only running some parts
> of mailman (i.e., I only want the archive be viewable via the web
> interface).

I don't think you're going to cut down those memory requirements by much,
at least not for Mailman itself.  You might be able to find a web server
that requires less swap and RAM, and an MTA that is lighter in
requirements, but in my experience Mailman itself is pretty much the same
all over.

Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

     -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
     Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

  LOPSA member since December 2005.  See <http://www.lopsa.org/>.

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list