[Mailman-Users] Bug reported when creating a new list from webpage

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Tue Jul 1 15:59:40 CEST 2008

Mark Dale wrote:
>Can anyone shed any light on this error I get when creating a new list
>from the webpage. (I can create lists okay from the "newlist" command)
>*** extract from the error log ***
>Jul 01 05:27:46 2008 (14663) command failed: /usr/sbin/postmap
>/var/lib/mailman/data/virtual-mailman (status: 1, Operation not permitted)
>Jul 01 05:27:46 2008 admin(14663):
>admin(14663): [----- Mailman Version: 2.1.9 -----]
>admin(14663): [----- Traceback ------]
>admin(14663): Traceback (most recent call last):
>admin(14663):   File "/var/lib/mailman/scripts/driver", line 110, in
>admin(14663):     main()
>admin(14663):   File "/usr/lib/mailman/Mailman/Cgi/create.py", line 56,
>in main
>admin(14663):     process_request(doc, cgidata)
>admin(14663):   File "/usr/lib/mailman/Mailman/Cgi/create.py", line 238,
>in process_request
>admin(14663):     sys.modules[modname].create(mlist, cgi=1)
>admin(14663):   File "/usr/lib/mailman/Mailman/MTA/Postfix.py", line
>232, in create
>admin(14663):     _update_maps()
>admin(14663):   File "/usr/lib/mailman/Mailman/MTA/Postfix.py", line 60,
>in _update_maps
>admin(14663):     raise RuntimeError, msg % (vcmd, status, errstr)
>admin(14663): RuntimeError: command failed: /usr/sbin/postmap
>/var/lib/mailman/data/virtual-mailman (status: 1, Operation not permitted)

The issue is with ownership and/or permissions of virtual-mailman*

When running create from the web, the process is running as the web
server user and the mailman group because the create wrapper is group
mailman and SETGID.

When this user:group runs postmap, it fails as above. Permissions and
ownership of the aliases* and virtual-mailman* files should be

-rw-rw---- 1 root    mailman    6308 Jun 21 12:51 aliases
-rw-rw---- 1 mailman mailman   12288 Jun 21 12:51 aliases.db
-rw-rw---- 1 apache  mailman    8051 Jun 21 12:51 virtual-mailman
-rw-rw---- 1 mailman mailman   12288 Jun 21 12:51 virtual-mailman.db

Note that all files are group writable and group mailman and the .db
files (particularly aliases.db) are also owned by mailman. This latter
controls the user (and that user's default group) that Postfix uses to
run the pipes.

The owner of aliases and virtual-mailman is not important. It may be
root, apache or something else depending on who last created a list.

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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