[Mailman-Users] Mailman list sends but doesn't receive mail.

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Sun Apr 17 01:06:45 CEST 2011

JRC Groups wrote:
>It has been suggested to me an approach that I thought might resolve the
>problem I am experiencing with the changes constantly made by OS X Server
>Admin application to Mailman's mm_cfg.py file. An it specialist who helped
>me review my OS X Server set-up and DNS settings suggested that I should
>change permissions on this file in order to prevent OS X Server from editing
>it. He tried changing the permissions on the file to rw-r--r-- but it still
>didn't work. From my limited knowledge of UNIX and terminal it appears to me
>that the ownership of the file belongs to -Mailman. Is this right ?

It doesn't matter what the owner is. Normally, the group is the mailman
group (_mailman in Mac OS X/Darwin) and the file is group writable. In
the case of mm_cfg.py, it doesn't need to be writable because Mailman
doesn't change it, only you do, but it must be readable by the Mailman
group (_mailman).

>Can either the permissions or the ownership (and perhaps both) on this file
>be modified so as to keep OS X Server from editing it ? Could these
>modifications have any adverse effect on Mailman's behavior or would the
>program work fine with this file as a read-only file ?

You could edit it and then chmod it to r--r--r--, and as far as Mailman
is concerned, it would be OK.

>What do you think ?

I think it won't work because what ever process keeps reverting it is
probably running as root and can write the file even without explicit
permission. But, you could try. Presumably, when permissions were
rw-r--r--, the owner was _mailman, so if the 'reversion' process is
running as _mailman, changing the permissions to r--r--r-- may work if
it doesn't cause any harmful side effects to the process doing the

>According to the it specialist my set-up and DNS settings are fine. This is
>a relief. Now I know that the issue is very likely related to Apple's (poor)
>implementation of Mailman. I know one choice I have is to bypass this
>bundled version included with OS X Server and install a fresh version of
>Mailman. However, considering the work and time involved I would prefer, if
>possible, to work with the version I have and that is already set-up.
>What are your thoughts on this matter ?

If it were me, the first thing I would do is look in all the directories


for any .plist files with mailman in their names (or any files in the
first directory) to see if I could figure out what process is
reverting mm_cfg.py and then maybe edit the file to remove the process.

If that didn't help, I would go to the FAQ at
<http://wiki.list.org/x/O4A9> and from there to Larry Stone's posts on
the subject and install Mailman from source. But, first I would be
sure to back up my lists and archives and completely remove the Apple
mailman to avoid conflicts and to hopefully keep whatever process is
reverting your mm_cfg.py from continuing to do it.

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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