[Mailman-Users] Error compiling mailman 2.1.9

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Wed Feb 13 00:43:21 CET 2008

Mario Silva Borrego wrote:
>I am trygin to compile mailman 2.1.9 and I got this error:
>configure: error: can only configure for one host and one target at a time
>My gcc version is: gcc (GCC) 3.4.6 20060404 (Red Hat 3.4.6-9)
>My Linux distribution is:  CentOS 4.3
>I am calling the configure with this little script:

I see a few issues with this script, but I can run it verbatim on
CentOS 5 and it issues

configure: WARNING: you should use --build, --host, --target

four times, but runs fine with no error. The warnings (not very
informative) come from


and the fact that mailgroup is defined as

mailgroup="mail postfix mailman nobody daemon"

Also, this doesn't work. As far as I can tell, --with-mail-gid= needs
to be a single group, not a list of groups.  And even if you can make
it accept a list, it may not work as the wrapper will be compiled with
the first group from the list that is an existant group on your
system, so in my case for example, I have a 'mail' group, but my MTA
runs as 'postfix' so the above list would compile the wrapper with
'mail' which wouldn't work.

See more comments below.

># Installation directories
># Now, the user and group the CGIs will expect to be run under.  This should
># match the user and group the web server is configured to run as.  The scripts
># will error out if they are invoked by any other user.

The cgi user is not checked by the wrappers and there is no
--with-cgi-id option.

># Now, the user and group the scripts will actually execute as.
># Directory/File modes & permissions
># Now, the groups your mail spoolers run as.  Sendmail uses mail(12)
># and postfix used to use nobody, but now uses postfix
>mailgroup="mail postfix mailman nobody daemon"
># Python binary
># The mail wrapper program
>./configure --prefix=${MMDIR}  \
>       --prefix=${MMDIR} \

Redundant --prefix

>       --with-var-prefix=${VARMMDIR} \
>       --with-config-dir=${CONFIGDIR} \
>       --with-lock-dir=${LOCKDIR} \
>       --with-log-dir=${LOGDIR} \
>       --with-pid-dir=${PIDDIR} \
>       --with-queue-dir=${QUEUEDIR} \

Have you patched Mailman with RedHat's FHS patch from
or something similar?  If not, the above five options don't exist. If
so, maybe you broke configure with the patch.

>       --with-python=${__python} \
>       --with-mail-gid=${mailgroup} \
>       --with-cgi-id=${cgiuser} \

no --with-cgi-id option

>       --with-cgi-gid=${cgigroup} \
>       --with-mailhost=localhost.localdomain \
>       --with-urlhost=localhost.localdomain \
>       --without-permcheck

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

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