Mailman migration is faster than you think

Posted February 26th, 2010 by bryanr

If you are like us and use Mailman for your mailing list software to communicate with your customers and user groups, you might find this blog helpful.  We have used Mailman for years and I have moved the software to a new server twice.  Though I don’t recall the exact procedure I used to migrate the software the first time, I do remember that it was a tedious task and I ran into several problems.

My second migration was much easier.  Here’s how I went about it…. First you have to install Mailman.  This part was simple because I was moving to an Apple Xserve and Mailman is pre-installed on OSX server.  If you are not so lucky, you will need to download the Mailman package and manually install.  On most linux distros it’s as easy and installing from their application repository.

You will need to move 3 directories from the old server:

mailman/data mailman/archives mailman/lists

I chose to copy them with tar because it allows you to preserve the file permissions.  Here is a helpful site that provides some good methods for copying files:

http://happygiraffe.net/copy-net#tar

After you get the folders moved run a this command from the mailman directory:

sudo bin/check_perms -f

You might need to change or add some settings to Mailman/mm_cfg.py.  Other than that Mailman is moved.  You will need to make sure Apache is installed to manage your mailing lists and make sure that your httpd.conf file has something added like below:

ScriptAlias /mailman/ "/Applications/mailman/cgi-bin/"
Alias /pipermail/ "/Applications/mailman/archives/public/"
<Directory "/Applications/mailman/archives/public/">
Options FollowSymLinks MultiViews Indexes
AllowOverride None
Order allow,deny
Allow from all
</Directory>

Mailman should also add alias paths to postfix.cf for the mailman aliases directory.  With all of this in place, Mailman should be up and running.

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