Mailman GID problem

Paul Schmehl pauls at
Fri Apr 20 19:03:58 UTC 2007

--On Friday, April 20, 2007 11:32:13 -0700 David Southwell 
<david at> wrote:

> On Friday 20 April 2007 09:38:03 Jeffrey Goldberg wrote:
>> On Apr 20, 2007, at 10:42 AM, David Southwell wrote:
>> > Extract from /var/maillog
>> > Apr 20 08:24:58 dns1 Mailman mail-wrapper: Group mismatch error.
>> > Mailman
>> > expected the mail wrapper script to be executed as group "nobody",
>> > but the
>> > system's mail server executed the mail script as group "mailman".  Try
>> > tweaking the mail server to run the script as group "nobody", or re-
>> > run
>> > configure,  providing the command line option `--with-mail-
>> > gid=mailman'.
>> I've given a complementary response on the mailman-users list (to
>> which I'm also cc'ing this)
>> Nothing I say below takes away from what I said in that previous
>> post.  The answers to the questions I've asked would have resolved
>> this problem long ago.
>> There appears to be a bug in the pkg-install file that comes with the
>> current mailman port.  When one installs (through FreeBSD ports)
>> mailman selecting postfix as the MTA, the MAIL_GID correctly gets set
>> to "nobody"
>> But in the pkg-install script all of the mailman files get set with
>>      echo "---> Creating Mailman directory (/usr/local/mailman)"
>>      (umask 002 && /bin/mkdir -p "/usr/local/mailman") || exit 1
>>      /usr/sbin/chown -R "mailman:mailman" "/usr/local/mailman" || exit 1
>>      /bin/chmod g+s "/usr/local/mailman" || exit 1
>> Which is correct for everything except for /usr/local/mailman/data
>> which should actually be set with
>>     chown -R nobody:mailman /usr/local/mailman/data
>> I don't know enough about ports to actually find the source pkg-
>> install fine (the one I looked at and quoted from is after make has
>> edited it with sed).  So I'm not certain whether the problem is in
>> the Makefile or in the source for the pkg-install.
>> I experienced the same problem David had just a few weeks ago, but I
>> attributed the problem (which I fixed by manually doing the chown) to
>> me having moved my mailman set up from one machine to another.  So I
>> thought that I had the wrong permissions for /usr/local/mailman/data
>> as a consequence of the move and not because the mailman FreeBSD port
>> was broken.
>> When I saw some of David's problems I started to have some
>> suspicions, but I wasn't able to get enough information from him to
>> really look at the ownerships the port set up.
> The problem is I was not able to actually rebuild the ports doing a
> config. It  seems once mailman has been installed once you cannot
> get the config  screne up and another make install leaves things exactly
> as they were for the  previous installation. The original installation
> preferences are preserved -  so I cannot tell you how the port created
> the ownership orininally.

In any port that has options (and therefore a config file), you can do the 

Remove the config - make rmconfig
Reset the config  - make config

Paul Schmehl (pauls at
Senior Information Security Analyst
The University of Texas at Dallas

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