[Mailman-Users] Ubuntu release of Mailman

Barry S, Finkel bsfinkel at att.net
Fri May 11 23:05:26 CEST 2012

On 5/11/2012 2:30 PM, Mark Sapiro wrote:
> Lindsay Haisley wrote:
>> I just installed, and just as promptly un-installed mailman on Ubuntu
>> server 10.04.4 LTS.  The offered pacakge version of mailman for this
>> release, which I used, is 2.1.13-1.
> The Ubuntu packages are based on Debian.
>> I have a few questions which perhaps someone could answer, if anyone
>> knows the thinking behind Canonical's (and the package maintainer's)
>> motives/reasons for what was done.
>> The most awkward change, for me, is the elimination altogether of the
>> mailman user.  Mailman native scripts and utilities apparently get run
>> as root, which as always brings up a whole kettle of security questions.
> They don't eliminate the Mailman user. They just call it 'list' rather
> than 'mailman'.
>> On top of that, I've written a script package to parse and automatically
>> unsubscribe list subscribers based on AOL's "Email feedback reports" for
>> all the lists I host, using, among other things, mailman's python
>> library and the withlist utility.  These scripts depend on the existence
>> of a non-privileged Mailman user account with a home dir
>> of /usr/lib/mailman.
> I think 'list' satisfies this.
>> Yes, I could hack the scripts to make things work,
>> but I'm in the process of a major server move between Linux platforms
> >from different distributions and my time is budgeted.
>> Why was this done?
> Ask Debian and see the FAQ at<http://wiki.list.org/x/OIDD>.
>> It looks as if I'm going to have to install mailman from source on
>> Ubuntu.  I believe the Gentoo download, installed on my older servers,
>> hewed much more closely to the methods and design of the Mailman devs,
>> but I'm wondering what I'm missing here, or if the change was just due
>> to lazy package design on Canonical's part.
> Don't blame Canonical for Debian's decisions.
> Personally, I would always install from source on Debian/Ubuntu. Even
> though I run Ubuntu on some of my machines, I am not a fan of "The
> Debian Way".
When I was running Mailman on an Ubuntu system, I looked at the Debian 
changes, and I decided that most were not documented.  I had no idea what
they did.  I decided to take the Ubuntu package and the SourceForge source
and create my own package.  It took me a while to do the initial package,
but after that it was easy.  I think that Mark has previously posted to
this list that many of the Debian patches are not needed.  There is one that
is wrong - it deletes a library that is sometimes needed.  If I needed
assistance on Mailman, I could post to this list and get a quick response.
--Barry Finkel

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