[Techtalk] Majordomo Replacement?

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 19 21:13:50 EST 2003

On Thursday 19 June 2003 18:46, Telsa Gwynne wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 19, 2003 at 03:00:38PM -0700 or thereabouts, Kai MacTane 

> My own list of majordomo nitpicks is probably less relevant than
> what I changed to: mailman. I think I was far from the only person
> who went in this direction.

I also used to run majordomo mailing lists, and am now using mailman 

> > I'm running Slackware 8.0 with Qmail as my MTA, on a Pentium 133 with
> > 64 MB of RAM. I may soon get the chance to upgrade the processor to 233
> > MHz, but there'd still be only 64MB in there, so I'd like something
> > that's not a serious resource hog. I'm also running multiple domains
> > off this machine,
> I don't -think- we have a lot of memory on the machine running Mailman,
> but I am not sure.

At work, I'm running mailman on an old DEC3000 Alpha box, with 64 MB of 
memory.  It's a bit slow, but runs OK.  The CPU is roughly equivalent to 
about a 200 MHz Pentium.  Memory is equivalent to somewhat less than 64 MB 
on an Intel architecture, since it's a 64-bit machine.

> > * Must be able to handle multiple domains (see above).

Majordomo can do this.  The list admin can choose the list's "preferred 
server name" (or something like that... don't remember exactly what it's 
called in the configuration).

> > * Must be able to work with Qmail. It's okay if minor tweaks are
> >   necessary to make this happen, but not really major ones.

I don't know about this part... I'm a Postfix fan, myself.  I do know that 
there's a README about using it with Qmail included with Mailman.

> > * It must be at least possible, if not necessarily easy, to transfer
> >   current Majordomo lists over to this MLM. (Note that some of these
> >   lists are archived, and have been going for over 5 years; I'd want
> >   to transfer the archive files, as well. They're essentially mbox
> >   format.)
> Didn't Linuxchix have to do this too?

Transferring the list membership over shouldn't be a problem... Majordomo 
keeps them as text, one address per line, if I remember right.  There's a 
script that comes with mailman to add users to a list from a file in that 

Mailman keeps archives in something like mbox format as well, and runs some 
sort of program to generate the indexes and such it uses.  I haven't tried 
to move any archives over, but I don't think it would be hard.

> > * If it's written in Perl, bash, or PHP (i.e., languages I speak),
> >   then I can hack it if necessary. This would make me happy. However,
> >   an MLM that's well written, so that I never *need* to hack it,
> >   would make me much happier, even if it's impenetrable C++ (which
> >   I don't speak).
> Mailman is python. I have not yet needed to mess with it. I
> have more than once wished I spoke enough Perl to mess with
> Majordomo, but even perl-mongers tell me it's not the greatest
> advert for Perl.

I've messed with it once, to build a custom subscription form for someone... 
they didn't want folks to have to choose a password to subscribe via the 
web.  I'm no python expert, but I was able to muddle through it.

> > Does anyone have any suggestions, comments, reviews, or whatnot?
> My experience is limited to running majordomo and mailman and to
> being a user on lists running both those and smartlist and some
> other less common ones. As a user and as an admin, I much prefer
> mailman. Majordomo served its function, but I never felt confident
> with it and had one or two nightmarish times (the Amazing Bouncing
> Email travelling up and down the 28.8 modem and increasing to 10Mb
> as both Majordomo and Exchange failed to realise it was a bounce
> they should discard still rankles). Mailman has in general been
> a pleasure. I -could- spend time tweaking it, but it is generally
> so well-behaved I don't need to.

Something else that Mailman seems to do well is handle bounces... it keeps 
track of bounces and apparent mail loops, and will automatically change a 
user to "no mail" or unsubscribe them (depending on list policy) after 
enough of them in a fairly short period.

       |\      _,,,---,,_     Travis S. Casey  <efindel at earthlink.net>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
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