mailman web access to archives failure:

David Southwell david at
Wed Dec 30 09:28:53 UTC 2009

> David Southwell wrote:
> [...]
> >> Hi David,
> >>
> >> This directory has a problem if mailman runs its scripts with uid/gid of
> >> www/www:
> >>
> >> drwxrws---  10 mailman  mailman  512 Dec 28 15:45
> >> /usr/local/mailman/archives/private
> >>
> >> "Other" users (including www) are prevented from entering that
> >> directory.
> >>
> >> Have you tried running the check_perms scripts from the mailman package?
> >>  That may help you determine where the problem is.  More information can
> >> be found here, along with some specific info about the permissions for
> >> the private directory:
> >>
> >> Hope that helps,
> >> Greg
> >
> > Yes I did run the perms script - but that was before I made the changes
> > to httpd.conf . I have just rerun check_perms and all is now working!!!
> >
> > You guys have been brilliant - it looks as though the problem was a
> > combination of errors in ownership of  mailman/archives, plus
> > mal-configured httpd.conf and my apache virtual configuration files. Once
> > I got thtose soirted out as a result of all the advice I received, the
> > problem has gone away.
> >
> > Many thanks
> >
> > David
> Beautiful - glad to hear it!
> Cheers,
> Greg
Thanks Greg

One thing I need to mention here.. when I reviewed the history of this the one 
thing that definitely contributed to the error roll was the instructions to 
add mailman aliases to /etc/aliases. I think this was where the slide into 
chaos began because I failed to realise that those instructions (which came 
from creating a mail list) should not have been heeded!

When the aliases are put into /etc/aliases the owner:group combination causes 
a the perms failure. Not realising this was the root cause, I tried to correct 
the situation, but instead made it a lot worse!*******************!!!

Here is one example of the auto generated message for the list:
Mailing list creation request for list bps_comps_print_announce
 From: mailman-owner at
 To: mailman-owner at
The mailing list `bps_comps_print_announce' has been created via the through-
interface.  In order to complete the activation of this mailing list, the
proper /etc/aliases (or equivalent) file must be updated.  The program
`newaliases' may also have to be run.

Here are the entries for the /etc/aliases file:

bps_comps_print_announce:              "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman post 
bps_comps_print_announce-admin:        "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman admin 
bps_comps_print_announce-bounces:      "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
bounces bps_comps_print_announce"
bps_comps_print_announce-confirm:      "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
confirm bps_comps_print_announce"
bps_comps_print_announce-join:         "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman join 
bps_comps_print_announce-leave:        "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman leave 
bps_comps_print_announce-owner:        "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman owner 
bps_comps_print_announce-request:      "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
request bps_comps_print_announce"
bps_comps_print_announce-subscribe:    "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
subscribe bps_comps_print_announce"
bps_comps_print_announce-unsubscribe:  "|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman 
unsubscribe bps_comps_print_announce"

Thanks again everyone

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