[Mailman-Users] Giving Non-Administrator Access To Simple AdminFunctions

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Sun Oct 26 20:21:38 CET 2008

Steve Lund wrote:
>I am currently administering a small Mailman 2.11 list for our volunteer 
>organization. Another individual needs the basic ability to 
>subscribe,  unsubscribe and possibly list members. This person thinks that 
>they are a lot more computer literate than they are and I don't want to 
>give them the password to the web configuration interface for fear that 
>they will mess something up that will take me hours to figure out and fix.
>I am an embedded hardware engineer and not a programmer but I am careful 
>enough not to change settings or list parameters without thoroughly testing 
>the changes. So far I have managed to stay out of trouble! :-)
>Is it possible to do these rudimentary functions via the e-mail interface? 
>If so can you point me to some documentation on how to do this? The only 
>information I have found on the email interface seems to be directed to an 
>individual user changing their own parameters and not to admin functions.

There is no e-mail interface for list admin tasks per-se, but the admin
can list members via email and can _request_ subscription and
unsubscription via email, but these latter function will send a
confirmation request to the user and the user must confirm.

Send a blank email with subject 'help' to the listname-request address
for documentation of the email commands available.

>Would I then have to add this person as an administrator and then just not 
>tell them about the other email commands or the existence of the web interface?

For subscribe and unsubscribe, the person doesn't need any privileges.
The relevant email commands are

  subscribe [password] [digest|nodigest] [address=<address>]

<address> is the address to subscribe. password is not for
authentication; it is the initial list password for the user. This
results in a confirmation request to <address>.

  unsubscribe [password] [address=<address>]

<address> is the address to unsubscribe. password is the list password
associated with <address> if known. If the password is provided
correctly, <address> will be unsubscribed. Otherwise, a confirmation
request will be sent to <address>.

To get a membership list, you can set a list moderator password
different from the list admin password and give the moderator password
to this person. You don't add this person to the list's 'moderator'
attribute unless you want her/him to also get notices about posts,
etc. waitin moderator action. The moderator password will allow the
person to authenticate for the list's admindb interface, but she/he
can't change list settings from there.

Then the person can send

  who password

to the list-request address to get a full list of members (hidden or
not), where password is the moderator password.

That's the best you can do by email. Otherwise, you have to give the
person the list admin password, and they have to use the admin
Membership Management pages, and of course, they have access to all
the rest.

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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