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1.32. How do I administer Mailman using just the web interface (especially via a hosting service)?

Please keep in mind that Mailman was originally designed to be used in an environment where you have full privileged command-line access to the server where it's going to be running, and that machine is running Unix or a Unix-like operating system. A lot of the standard site administrative tasks and some of the list admin tasks (see 4.09 Summary of the mailman bin commands, How do I handle list moderation from the command-line?, and 4.78 Troubleshooting- No mail going out to lists members) are going to involve running a command-line program or a Python script, in order to do something to the data files stored on the server.

Therefore, if you're using a hosted service, all support questions should be directed to your provider.

If your hosting provider is not responsive to your needs, we may be able to answer some simple questions, but you may also want to consider getting a different hosting provider – the problem is that neither you nor we have the necessary access and privileges required in order to do all the normal administration tasks, and without that level of access there are likely to be a lot of things you can't do and we can't help you with.

If you do want to look for an alternative provider, please see FAQ 1.17 at Do you offer Mailman hosting, consulting, or contractor services?.

If your provider is using CPanel or Plesk (see Mailman and CPanel and Mailman and Plesk), or you are using the version of Mailman that Apple ships with Mac OS X Server (see How do I use the Apple-provided version of Mailman under Mac OS X Server?), then we really won't be able to help you very much. The problem is that CPanel, Plesk, and Apple have all made modifications to the Mailman code and the Mailman administrative interface in order to integrate it into their environment, and they have not contributed those changes back to the Mailman project. Therefore, we are unable to provide a whole lot of support for their modified versions.

Conversely, if you are a web hosting provider and Mailman is one of the services you provide to your customers, then you had damn well better give them good support. Otherwise, they're likely to come to us for assistance in this area, and you are likely to get a bad reputation around here.


We realize that there are a lot of sites out there that are using Mailman in a hosted environment, and where the users and administrators would like to be able to do all administration tasks via the web. But please keep in mind that you are talking about a fundamental change of the basic core operating assumptions under which Mailman was developed, and you simply can't make these kinds of changes overnight.

We do have a number of improvements that we're already working on with regards to this issue (see Mailman 2.2). Of course, Mailman is an open-source project, and open-source developers tend to work on the sorts of things that they like/want/need and this does not necessarily overlap a great deal with the sorts of things that the general user community may like/want/need.

If you want to contribute code to help alleviate particular problems that you are facing, by all means please do so through the Mailman Patch interface at SourceForge (see http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=103&atid=300103). Alternatively, you could arrange for someone else to do the development and have them submit that code via that page.

Otherwise, about the best you can do is to file a Request For Enhancement at http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=103&atid=350103, and hope that the Mailman developers will be able to get around to resolving your issue sooner or later.

Last changed on Sat Dec 16 04:36:23 2006 by Brad Knowles
Converted from the Mailman FAQ Wizard

This is one of many Frequently Asked Questions.

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