[Mailman-Users] mailman user password

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Sun Aug 2 16:05:51 CEST 2009

tanstaafl at libertytrek.org wrote:
>Is the mailman user supposed to be passwordless?

It doesn't matter. It's up to you and your own policy.

>I know I'm running a non vanilla version, but my question is mostly
>generic I think...
>Currently, the init script contains:
>su - mailman -c '/bin/mailmanctl -s start' >/dev/null 2>&1

This is the real issue. mailmanctl should always be run by root. Your
init script should just contain

/bin/mailmanctl -s start >/dev/null 2>&1

without the su - mailman

>When I do this from a non-root account:
>myuser at myhost ~ $ su - mailman -c '/bin/mailmanctl -s start' >/dev/null 2>&1
>I see this in the log:
>myhost su[6114]: pam_unix(su:auth): authentication failure;
>logname=myuser uid=1001 euid=0 tty=pts/2 ruser=myuser rhost=  user=mailman
>myhost su[6114]: pam_authenticate: Authentication failure
>myhost su[6114]: FAILED su for mailman by myuser
>myhost su[6114]: - pts/2 myuser:mailman
>My problem is I don't know how this works/is supposed to work. Is
>mailmans passwd supposed to be empty/blank? That seems like a bad idea,
>but if not, how is it supposed to start without giving the password for
>the mailman account somehow?

You're supposed to start it as root. Unprivileged users aren't supposed
to be able to start, stop, restart Mailman.

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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