[Mailman-Users] Is Character Permitted

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Wed Nov 9 17:59:32 CET 2011

David Andrews wrote:

>Is the "&" character allowed in a list name, such as in:  "art&artists?"

It depends on your Mailman version, but it is not a good idea. In
Mailman prior to 2.1.11, you could create a list with an & in its
name. In 2.1.11 and subsequent versions, the only characters allowed
in list names are defined by the character class assignment


in Defaults.py. You could put


in mm_cfg.py to accept list names with an &, however the restriction of
list name characters to letters, digits, hyphen/minus, plus,
underscore, period and equals is intended to prevent the problems that
result if & and other shell special characters are allowed in list

Consider that if your MTA delivers to lists via aliases and you have
list aliases like

art&artists:   "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman post art&artists"

instead of piping a post to art&artists to the
/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman wrapper with arguments post and
art&artists, the shell invoked by the MTA might pipe the post to
art&artists in the background to the /usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman
wrapper with arguments post and art and then execute the command

You might be able to work around this by escaping the & as in

art&artists:   "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman post art\&artists"

but if your aliases are generated automatically, e.g. via MTA =
'Postfix', the generated aliases won't be escaped.

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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