6.9. I get a "RuntimeError: command failed: /usr/sbin/postalias" when creating lists and Postfix is my MTA

If you use Postfix as your MTA and get an error like this when creating a new list:

    Traceback (most recent call last):
      File "/usr/local/mailman/scripts/driver", line 87, in run_main
      File "/usr/local/mailman/Mailman/Cgi/create.py", line 55, in main
        process_request(doc, cgidata)
      File "/usr/local/mailman/Mailman/Cgi/create.py", line 217, in process_request
        sys.modules[modname].create(mlist, cgi=1)
      File "/usr/local/mailman/Mailman/MTA/Postfix.py", line 226, in create
      File "/usr/local/mailman/Mailman/MTA/Postfix.py", line 47, in _update_maps
        raise RuntimeError, msg % (acmd, status, errstr)
    RuntimeError: command failed: /usr/sbin/postalias /usr/local/mailman/data/aliases (status: 1, Operation not permitted)

The problem is most likely that your permissions are wrong on data/aliases and/or data/aliases.db. As README.POSTFIX states:

    Make sure that the owner of the data/aliases and data/aliases.db
    file is `mailman' and that the group owner for those files is
    `mailman'.  E.g.:

    % su
    % chown mailman:mailman data/aliases*
    or with debian Sarge
    % chown root:list data/aliases*
    since debian Sarge Mailman runs as group 'list', not 'mailman'.

You should also ensure that data/aliases and data/aliases.db are group writable. E.g.:

    % chmod 0664 data/aliases*

BAW: Note that I think it's also possible to get this error if you have Postfix installed in a non-default location, e.g. /usr/local/bin/postfix. In that case, be sure the variables POSTFIX_ALIAS_CMD and POSTFIX_MAP_CMD point to the right paths for the respective executables. If not, make the appropriate changes in your mm_cfg.py file.

PPK: Using SuSE 9.2 and Postfix I ran into this error and it was NOT due to the permissions / ownership on the aliases / aliases.db files. I found that the web CGI user had to be in the postfix group as follows:

  1. grep ^postfix /etc/group



Where my web server (apache) is running as the SuSE default of 'wwwrun'

ARW: If you know the permissions are correct with check_perms and it still doesn't work, try changing...

  -rw------- 1 postfix root 1156 2007-08-20 21:21 /etc/postfix/main.cf


  -rw-r----- 1 postfix mailman 1156 2007-08-20 21:21 /etc/postfix/main.cf

Converted from the Mailman FAQ Wizard

This is one of many Frequently Asked Questions.

MailmanWiki: DOC/I get a "RuntimeError- command failed- -usr-sbin-postalias" when creating lists and Postfix is my MTA (last edited 2015-03-04 05:48:26 by msapiro)