[Mailman-Users] Is there a preferred owner and group of the MM2 directory "/usr/local/mailman?"

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Tue Sep 15 18:30:17 CEST 2015

Tom Browder writes:

 > The installation instructions are a little confusing, but I take away
 > from them the best (almost default) choice for owner:group for the
 > "/usr/local/mailman" ($prefix) directory is 'mailman'.

It doesn't matter what the name is.  You may wish to use a predefined
name provided by the OS distribution (for example, Debian uses "list",
not "mailman").

AFAIK there is no particular need to have the owner of Mailman code or
data be the mailman user.  For example, on Debian systems root is the
owner of all the executables mentioned below, as well as most of the
data directories.  The important thing about the mailman user is that
it is a member of the mailman group (typically the only member of that

It is important that the cgi-bin executables be setgid and have the
mailman group, that scripts/mailman have the mailman group, and that
the Mailman writable data (archives, data, lists, messages, qfiles,
spam) have the mailman group.

It also does matter that the user and group have privileges only in
Mailman file hierarchies, that there be no other members of the group
(except possibly an admin's account, but I consider that an
unnecessary risk) and that the name be used appropriately in any
application that setuids or setgids to manipulate Mailman data (ISTR
there may be some MTA that does).

Bottom line: If I were you, I'd make sure that the mailman group and
user are set up properly, and then do "chown root:mailman
/usr/local/mailman" (root because I suppose Debian has a reason for
doing that ;-).

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