[Mailman-Users] Which parts of mailman are platform-dependent?

Steve Burling srb at umich.edu
Sun Mar 11 19:53:44 CET 2007

--On March 11, 2007 11:34:02 AM -0500 Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org> 

> That's not really platform-dependant.  Mailman itself is pure Python,
> so should run anywhere that Python does.  These kinds of things are
> installation-dependant, and if you were to install Mailman in a
> different location on exactly the same platform, then these things
> would be different -- or at least in different places.

Unless I'm missing something (which is entirely possible), it's not true 
that Mailman is pure Python.  There is a bunch of C code in 
$MAILMAN_SRC/src, which gets compiled into platform-specific executable 
files.  These end up as $MAILMAN_HOME/mail/mailman, and 
$MAILMAN_HOME/cgi-bin/<whatever>.  And it's these that I'm concerned with. 
$MAILMAN_HOME/mail/mailman gets executed by the MTA, as a result of the 
pipes in the alias file.  So they had better be compiled for the same 
architecture as the mailer.  $MAILMAN_HOME/cgi-bin/* get executed by the 
web server, and so had better be compiled for the same architecture as the 
web server.  If, as might happen for us, those architectures are different, 
then some extra precautions have to be taken.

> The "standard" locations for things in the typical Mailman world
> (i.e., as downloaded directly from our sources) are usually somewhat
> different from where things get put if you use a version that has
> been pre-packaged by someone else.

And we, for historical (hysterical?) reasons, have yet another location. 
We also want to run later versions of mailman than Red Hat provides (and 
certainly a later versions than we have been running, so will definitely 
build from source.

> However, since these locations involve things in the code that can be
> buried pretty deep, if you want to move a Mailman installation from
> one platform to another, I would recommend that you completely
> re-install Mailman from the appropriate sources on the new box, then
> copy over just the configuration files and archives for the lists.

We will certainly do this; my concern is that if we end up in the 
unenviable position of having to leave our mail server on the old hardware 
for awhile, whether there is anything *other* than 
$MAILMAN_HOME/mail/mailman that I have to make sure gets built for that 

I apologize in advance if I'm being particular stupid about this, but the 
day is fast approaching when we cut over to the new web server hardware, 
and I'd rather think about this ahead of time than sit there that day, 
saying, "Well, sh*t, that's not good..."

Steve Burling                                    <mailto:srb at umich.edu>
University of Michigan, ICPSR                    Voice: +1 734 615.3779
330 Packard Street                               FAX:   +1 734 647.8700
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2910

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