[Mailman-Users] Postfix vdomains with multiple instances of mailman

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Thu Aug 13 05:15:03 CEST 2009

Jeffrey Goldberg writes:

 > For one mailman instance, I will have in
 >   /usr/local/mailman/vhosts/lists.wilson-pta.org/data/virtual-domains
 >     # STANZA START: pta-board
 >     # CREATED: Wed Aug 12 17:17:42 2009
 >     pta-board at lists.wilson-pta.org              pta-board

 >   /usr/local/mailman/data/virtual-domain
 >    # STANZA START: pta-board
 >    # CREATED: Fri Mar 30 14:20:25 2007
 >    pta-board at lists.shepard-families.org              pta-board

I don't know Postfix well enough to tell you *how* to do it, but note
that Mailman doesn't care what the addresses you use are.  So the
bounce address, which you seem to want to be common (why? aren't the
Mailman instances separate?), can be "pta-board-bounces-common" for
all the domains and lists, while the confirm addresses can be
"pta-board-confirm-shepard-families" and "pta-board-confirm-wilson-pta"
respectively.  Or they can be "mm1" ... "mm<as-many-as-you-need>" for
that matter. ;-)

 > Anyway, in my set up, it's always going to the first one first (which  
 > is listed earlier in postfix/main.cf)

In exim, it is possible to set up multiple routers so that something
that is incoming for "lists.shepard-families.org" uses a separate
configuration in all ways from "lists.wilson-pta.org".  Maybe a
similar effect can be achieved with Postfix?

 > Both these aliases files and both virtual-domains files are generated  
 > by Mailman.  So I don't see where I have scope to fix things.  I would  
 > like to know how people who have run multiple instances of mailman  
 > have managed to keep lists in different namespaces.

By hand, my man, by hand.  I second Brad's recommendation to install
each instance of Mailman from upstream sources rather than via a
package.  You should check the patches applied by your distro to see
if there any you want, but usually they're not very useful -- mostly
they wrench Mailman's configuration into some preconceived scheme,
very often at great cost in flexibility.  (This is not a bad thing in
the context of a distro wanting to provide seamless installation, but
it could screw somebody with requirements like yours royally.)

Please note that neither the distros nor the Mailman maintainers have
a mission to support you (ie, whatever it is that keeps them doing
their work, it doesn't apply to your use case).  Their focus is on
mainstream users, which for most distros is SOHO-type installations
and personal workstations, not vhosting, and for Mailman is people
running a coherent set of mailing lists themselves.  This is a
historical thing for Mailman; Barry and Mark have long since signed on
to better support for vhosters, but practically speaking that has to
come in MM3; it would seriously destabilize MM2.  I wouldn't bet on it
changing in the distros soon though.

So the bottom line is you will have to do much of the config work by
hand for the foreseeable future, and on the one hand installing
Mailman from upstream source is tiny compared to the rest of the work
you do, and on the other makes it much easier for Mailman people who
don't know your distro to help.

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list