[Mailman-Users] converting an e-mail discussion to a list (with existing archive)

Marcel Giannelia (Felix) info at skeena.net
Mon Feb 3 07:14:32 CET 2014

Well, I was originally going to post about a strange issue I
encountered with dates being mangled... but since I figured out the
answer on my own, I'll just post these instructions instead, in case
someone finds them useful :)

Some friends and I were e-mailing back and forth with regular e-mails,
putting everyone in the CC list, etc. and it was getting too confusing
to keep track of. We want to move the discussion topic onto a mailing
list instead.

1. Make a new blank Mailman list

2. Set yourself as the admin and the only subscriber

3. Go into Mailman's Defaults.py and change these settings:

Very important! If you don't change those, the archive threading will be
completely messed up. (this is the issue I was having... didn't figure
out that this setting existed until after I'd imported a hundred
e-mails... see below for how to fix it if you did that too.)

4. Turn off respond_to_post_requests on the Mailman general settings
page for the list

Very important! If you don't turn this off, everyone may get lots of
"your message has been held" e-mails.

5. Find an e-mail program that has a 'bounce' or 'redirect with full
headers' command (e.g. alpine, claws-mail, ...) -- this will preserve
who sent what, instead of it all coming from you

6. Start 'bounce'ing all messages related to the conversation to the
new list's posting address

7. Verify that threading and attachments are being handled correctly in
the archive

8. When you've finished creating the archive, subscribe everyone else
to the list.

If you find yourself past step 3 without having turned off date
mangling and all your older e-mails are in the wrong archive month:

- go into (Mailman)/private/listname.mbox/

- Delete Date: and convert X-Original-Date: back to Date: on the
  affected messages in (Mailman)/private/listname.mbox/listname.mbox

- move (Mailman)/private/listname/ to a backup location

- From the Mailman base directory, run 'bin/arch listname'

- move the 'attachments' subdirectory of the backed-up archive back
  into the newly generated one (If you have Mailman set to scrub
  attachments; the attachments are not kept in the mbox archive, but
  the generated links are completely preserved when re-running 'arch',
  so simply moving the old folder back into place preserves all the
  attachment links in the new archive.)


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