[Mailman-Users] Virtual domain support

Geoff Shang geoff at QuiteLikely.com
Sun Oct 4 03:29:35 CEST 2009


Apologies for jumping onto the list and posting right away, I  realise 
it's bad netiquette.

I admin two servers for a large non-profit organisation.  On Thursday, one 
of them died.  At the time we were using a different mailing list manager, 
but had plans to gently migrate the dozens of lists to Mailman.  Now what 
was going to be an orderly migration is now a frantic scramble, as mailing 
lists are the lifeblood of the workings of the organisation.

But I've run into a problem.  I'd assumed that Mailman could support 
virtual domains without list-name collisions, as I'd seen it done in a few 
places.  But according to the FAQ and everything else I've read this 
evening, it's not the case.

This is about all I know though.  There seems to be much posted on the 
subject.  It seems it'll be in version 3, and people have asked for it to 
be in version 2.2.  I've seen mentions of multiple patches and multiple 
versions ranging over the last 6 years or so.  And the WIKI FAQ entry, 
which itself was updated 2 years ago, points to a patch at 
http://nix.lauft.net/htdocs/mailman/ which is generating a "Connection 
Refused" error.  So I'm a bit stuck and am not sure where to go next.

I see I've only really got 4 choices:

1.  Use some other list manager.  I'm not keen on this.  I very much like 
Mailman and so does everyone else with any influence in the technical 
area.  Since we've struggled under the weight of an ancient version of 
EZMLM for 8 years, I'm *very* keen to move to Mailman ... and I'm not the 
only one.  I expect a revolt if I even dare to suggest this.

2.  Just install the Ubuntu package (2.1.9) as is and hope for the best. 
NOt a good idea.  Since I will be supporting at least 7 domains and 
probably 40+ mailing lists, the chances of a name collision is pretty 
high.  And I don't want to get the various list admins to put a prefix or 
suffix on their list names because people are bound to forget ... besides, 
there's also the domain-specific admin password that I also want.

3.  Multiple installs. I'd rather not do this if I can help it.  Not only 
do I have to make sure that all of them play nice with the mail system 
(postfix), but I can see the day when we'll want to upgrade, and that's 
going to mean upgrading something like 7 installations.  ergh.

4.  Use one of these patches.  This is my prefered route.  I can see I'm 
going to have to install from sources most likely unless there's a patched 
deb out there somewhere that's fairly current.  But as long as the patch 
does what is eventually going to be merged into the mainline code so that 
our lists won't break when we can finally upgrade to it, I should be OK to 
run it.

I thank you in advance for any advice anyone can give.  I've got a lot of 
people waiting for this installation, but I've said that I'm not going to 
rush it.   Still, I don't think I can stall too long either.


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