[Mailman-Users] Problem when creating new lists

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Tue Aug 21 08:02:11 CEST 2012

David Renstrom wrote:
>Everytime I create a new list using the Web interface in Mailman I get the
>following error:
>Bug in Mailman version 2.1.14
>We're sorry, we hit a bug!
>Please inform the webmaster for this site of this problem. Printing of
>traceback and other system information has been explicitly inhibited, but
>the webmaster can find this information in the Mailman error logs. 
>The file /etc/mailman/Virtual-mailman has changed ownership from mailman to
>apache. I have to change it manually and then run the genaliases and postmap
>commands to make the system work correctly again.

The owner of virtual-mailman shouldn't matter. The fact that this file
is in /etc/mailman/ rather than Mailman's data/ directory tells me you
are running someone's package. Please see the FAQ at

This could be a permissions or a SELinux issue.

What gets updated when you run genaliases? It should run both the
postalias and postmap commands. Do these succeed when you run
genaliases. You seem to imply that postalias succeeds, but postmap
fails and you need to run it by hand.

>Could someone please tell me what's wrong because I'm kinda lost? See below
>for more info.
>Content of /var/log/mailman/error:
>Aug 20 23:54:13 2012 (29703) command failed: /usr/sbin/postalias
>/etc/mailman/aliases (status: 1, Operation not permitted)

Here it is postalias that fails. This has nothing to do with
virtual-mailman. It is reading /etc/mailman/aliases and updating
/etc/mailman/aliases.db and apparently doesn't have permission to do
so. If things are as they should be, the create process should be
running as the apache user with effective group = mailman (because
Mailman's cgi-bin/create wrapper is group mailman and SETGID and the
mailman group should be able to read and write /etc/mailman/aliases,
/etc/mailman/aliases.db, /etc/mailman/virtual-mailman and
/etc/mailman/virtual-mailman.db. If the permissions are OK, it is
probably a SELinux issue.

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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