README   [plain text]

Mailman - The GNU Mailing List Management System
Copyright (C) 1998-2004 by the Free Software Foundation, Inc.
51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA


    This is GNU Mailman, a mailing list management system distributed under
    the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).  The name of this
    software is spelled "Mailman" with a leading capital `M' but with a lower
    case second `m'.  Any other spelling is incorrect.

    Mailman is written primarily in Python, a free object-oriented scripting
    language.  There is some ANSI C code for security purposes.

    Mailman was originally developed by John Viega.  Subsequent development
    (through version 1.0b3) was by Ken Manheimer.  Further work towards the
    1.0 final release was a group effort, with the core contributors being:
    Barry Warsaw, Ken Manheimer, Scott Cotton, Harald Meland, and John Viega.
    Version 1.0 and beyond have been primarily maintained by Barry Warsaw with
    contributions from many; see the ACKNOWLEDGMENTS file for details.  Jeremy
    Hylton helped considerably with the Pipermail code in Mailman 2.0.

    The Mailman home page is:

    with mirrors at:

    Mailman 2.1 requires Python 2.3 or greater, which can be downloaded from:

    It is recommended that you use Python 2.5.2, the latest release as of this
    writing (26-Feb-2008).  

    Mailman 2.1 is not compatible with Python 2.2 or any earlier

    You will also need an ANSI C compiler to build both Python and Mailman;
    gcc (the GNU C compiler) works just fine.  Mailman currently works only on
    GNU/Linux and other Unix-like operating systems (e.g. Solaris, *BSD,
    MacOSX, etc.).  It does not run on Windows, although web and mail clients
    on any platform should be able to interact with Mailman just fine.

    See the INSTALL file for installation instructions.  If you are upgrading
    from a previous version of Mailman, you need to read the UPGRADING file
    for important information.


    Read the NEWS file for a list of changes since version 0.9.  Read the TODO
    file for our (extensive) wish list.  You can see Mailman 2.1 in action at:

    Mailman has most of the standard features you'd expect in a mailing list
    manager, and more:

    - Web based list administration for nearly all tasks.  Web based
      subscriptions and user configuration management.  A customizable "home
      page" for each mailing list.

    - Privacy features such as moderation, open and closed list subscription
      policies, private membership rosters, and sender-based filters.

    - Automatic web based archiving built-in with support for private and
      public archives, and hooks for external archivers.

    - Per-user configuration optional digest delivery for either
      MIME-compliant or RFC 1153 style "plain text" digests.

    - Integrated mail/Usenet gateways.

    - Integrated auto-replies.

    - Majordomo-style email based commands.

    - Integrated bounce detection within an extensible framework.

    - Integrated spam detection, and MIME-based content filtering.

    - An extensible mail delivery pipeline.

    - Support for virtual domains.


    The default mail delivery mechanism uses a direct SMTP connection to
    whatever mail transport agent you have running on port 25.  You can thus
    use Mailman with any such MTA, however with certain MTAs (e.g. Exim and
    Postfix), Mailman will support thru-the-web creation and removal of
    mailing lists.

    Mailman works with any web server that supports CGI/1.1.  The HTML it
    generates is quite pedestrian and stingy on the graphics so it should be
    friendly to most web browsers and network connections.

    You will need root access on the machine hosting your Mailman installation
    in order to complete some of the configuration steps.  See the INSTALL
    file for details.

    Mailman's web and email user interface should be compatible with just
    about any mail reader or web browser, although a mail reader that is MIME
    aware will be a big help.  You do not need Java, JavaScript, or any other
    fancy plugins.


    The online documentation can be found in


    in the directory in which you unpacked Mailman.

    There is a wiki for more community-driven information:

    The wiki includes the online FAQ maintained by the Mailman community,
    which contains a vast amount of information:

    As well as links to further documentation:

    There are also several mailing lists that can be used as resources
    to help you get going with Mailman.

        A list for users of Mailman, for posting questions or problems
        related to installation, use, etc.  We'll try to keep the deep
        technical discussions off this list.

        A read-only list for release announcements and other important news.

        A list for those of you interested in helping develop Mailman 2's
        future direction.  This list contains in-depth technical

        A list for the discussion of the Mailman internationalization
        effort.  Mailman 2.1 is fully multi-lingual.

        A read-only list which is an adjunct to the Bazaar
        repository.  You can stay on the bleeding edge of Mailman development
        by subscribing to this list.

    The Mailman project is coordinated on SourceForge at

    You should use SourceForge to report bugs and to upload patches.

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