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4.70. How do I change the name of (rename) a list?

You need access to the Mailman installation which is why this is a 'site' administrator task. If you don't have this access, you need to create a new list configured like the old one and transfer the members as described in FAQ 3.25 <How do I remove subscribers from a list and put them on a different list?>.

If you have access to the command line tools, you can simplify this by doing the following after creating the new list:

 bin/config_list -o file oldlist
 bin/config_list -i file newlist
 bin/list_members -o digest_file -p -d -f oldlist
 bin/list_members -o regular_file -p -r -f oldlist
 bin/add_members -d digest_file -r regular_file [other options] newlist

Use the --help options on the above commands for more information.

The drawback of the above methods is member information other than name and regular/digest is not transferred and the archives are not transferred. The following procedure (requiring full server access) will preserve everything. Before doing this, consider whether you want to stop your incoming MTA during the process to prevent possible message loss.

 mv lists/oldlist lists/newlist
 mv archives/private/oldlist archives/private/newlist
 mv archives/private/oldlist.mbox archives/private/newlist.mbox
 mv archives/private/newlist.mbox/oldlist.mbox archives/private/newlist.mbox/newlist.mbox

Then go to the web admin interface for the 'newlist' list and change the real_name from 'OldList' to 'NewList'.

You might be tempted to change the names of any data/heldmsg-oldlist-nnn.pck (or .txt) files. Don't do this. The old names are in the lists request.pck files, and changing the name will result in the file not being found.

Also, don't be too concerned about symlinks in the archives/public/ directory. Mailman will automatically create them as needed for the new name. If you leave the old symlinks, they will point to non-existant directories, and trying to visit old public archive URLs will probably give a 403 forbidden error, so removing them is a good idea, but then visiting the old URLs will still produce a 404 not found error.

At this point, everything is OK except the 'more information about this list' links on some archive pages will still point to the 'oldlist' list which doesn't exist. You can fix those manually or rebuild the archive with

 bin/arch --wipe newlist

Finally, if your MTA uses aliases for mailman lists rather than some process that automatically understands list names from the contents of the lists/ directory, you will have to update your aliases. If you do this manually, edit your aliases to change 'oldlist' to 'newlist' (a total of 2 changes per alias for 10 aliases), and then run 'newaliases' or whatever command rebuilds your alias database. It you have Postfix/Mailman integration, just run bin/genaliases.

Last changed on Mon Feb 11 03:31:43 2008 by Mark Sapiro Converted from the Mailman FAQ Wizard

This is one of many Frequently Asked Questions.