[Mailman-Users] Virtual domain support

Geoff Shang geoff at QuiteLikely.com
Sun Oct 4 18:05:07 CEST 2009


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

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 

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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