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Majordomo to Mailman Migration Frequently Asked Questions

The University of Wyoming has migrated mailing list management from Majordomo to Mailman. Mailman offers more list owner control and eases subscription tasks through expanded web sites for owners and list members which are intuitive to use.

All current list subscribers, configurations, and settings were converted to Mailman automatically at the time of the migration. This FAQ provides details about the migration, key differences between Majordomo and Mailman, and where to find the new Mailman web sites.

Information regarding Mailman at UW:

Why are you migrating the mailing lists to Mailman?

The University of Wyoming is migrating from Majordomo to Mailman to add several features and to address several issues such as the complexity involved in email moderation and difficulties using html email with Majordomo. Mailman makes mailing list use and management easier for owners and list members.

Mailman gives List owners and subscribers more features such as:

  • List owners can manage moderation tasks and allow non-member postings through the Web-based interface.
  • List members can manage their own list subscriptions via an improved Web-based interface

For a more complete list of Mailman's features, see the Mailman website at http://www.gnu.org/software/mailman/index.html.

Do list owners need to do anything before the migration?

Unless a list owner wants to keep a copy of a list's Majordomo configuration, there is no action that needs to be taken before the migration. After the migration, access to Majordomo will no longer be available.

To receive a copy of a list's Majordomo configuration before the transition:

  • Use the Majordomo Web interface at http://w3.uwyo.edu/cgi-bin/majordomo
    1. Click the Modify button and then provide the list name and list password.
    2. Find Configuration Options and click GO.
    3. Find All Keywords from the drop-down box, and then click SEND at the bottom of the page.
       
  • By email: send an email to Majordomo@uwyo.edu
    The body of the message should ONLY contain (no signatures, etc.): config [list-name] [list-password]

Owners and subscribers can view UW Majordomo documentation before the migration at:

Do I need to do anything after the migration?

As there are many new features and settings available, list owners are encouraged to log into their list's Mailman website after the transition to check and modify settings as desired. While Majordomo list configuration settings will be preserved as nearly as possible during the conversion to Mailman, some settings are different in Mailman and some list's behavior may change somewhat.

During the migration each Majordomo list will be converted to a Mailman list. The list's subscribers will be added to the new list and the current owners will become owners of the new Mailman list.

As a list owner, you will need to update your instructions for subscribing or unsubscribing using email for your list in any documentation or references to your list that you maintain, such as in form emails, references on web sites, or automated web site subscription processes, as the email commands have changed.

The preferred method to subscribe to a list is via the list's Web page at:

https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/listinfo/[list-name]

Email requests can also be used and are somewhat different from the Majordomo commands. In the commands below, replace [list-name] with the name of your list.

To subscribe, send an email to [list-name]-subscribe@uwyo.edu

To unsubscribe, send an email to [list-name]-unsubscribe@uwyo.edu

For automated processes, email can also be sent to:

[listname]-requests@uwyo.edu
with the following in the body of the message:
subscribe address = [address-to-subscribe]

A confirmation email will be sent to the [address-to-subscribe] and the user must confirm the subscription before it becomes effective.

Will list owners receive an email when their list has been converted?

Yes. List owners will be sent an email after each the list is converted. List owners who own several lists will receive a separate email for each list.

List subscribers will not receive email when the lists are converted.

Will the old Majordomo lists be available after the change?

No. Once the lists are converted they will only be available as Mailman lists.

What are the differences between Majordomo and Mailman?

The most significant difference is the ability for both owners and subscribers to manage their lists and subscriptions through the Mailman websites. This is particularly useful for moderated lists as list owners can manage all moderation requests through the list's Administrative web page. Web moderation avoids difficulties Majordomo had related to email approvals and attachment handling.

Moderation requests are sent to list owners via an email containing a link to the list's moderation web page, where the owner can accept, reject, hold or discard the message. Also see Tend to pending moderation requests on the lists admin website.

All advertised lists have an information page that is a link on the  Mailing List Overview page (https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/listinfo). This page also has a link to the Mailing List Admin Overview page that displays links to all advertised lists' Admin pages.

Finding an unadvertised list's web pages:

Mailing list pages can be reached directly, which is particularly important if your list is unadvertised, as it will not be displayed on the Overview pages.

Mailing List Admin Overview page

To access an unadvertised list, replace [list-name] in the links below with your list's name:

  • Individual Mailing List Admin pages: https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/[list-name]
  • Individual Mailing List Subsciber's pages: https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/listinfo/[list-name]

Guide to most common Majordomo settings and their Mailman setting counterparts:

Some common Majordomo configuration settings are very similar to those in Majordomo and others allow more flexibility.

To view or change settings, log into the list's configuration interface at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/[list-name] (replace [list-name] with the name of your list.)

  • Subscription Policy
    Majordomo: (open or closed)
    Mailman: Select Privacy Options, which opens [Subscription Rules] and modify:
    • subscribe_policy
      • open :
        • Confirm
      • closed:
        • Confirm and approve (recommended)
        • Require Approval
      Confirm sends an email to the subscriber to verify the request and helps prevent users from subscribing or unsubscribing other users from lists.
    • unsubscribe_policy:
      Majordomo: (open or closed)
      Mailman: Select Privacy Options, which opens [Subscription Rules] and modify:
      • Is the list moderator's approval required for unsubscription requests?
        • open: no
        • closed: yes
           
  • List Moderation
    Majordomo: (unmoderated or moderated)
    Mailman:
    • unmoderated:
      1. Membership Management, Membership List, Additional Member Tasks, modify: Set everyone's moderation flag, including those members not currently visible: Off
      2. Privacy Options, Sender Filters, modify: By default, should new list member postings be moderated?: No
    • moderated:
      1. Membership Management, Membership List, Additional Member Tasks, modify: Set everyone's moderation flag, including those members not currently visible: On
      2. Privacy Options, Sender Filters, modify: By default, should new list member postings be moderated?: Yes
    • Additional moderation options in Mailman:
      Mailman handles moderation with more flexibility than Majordomo. Individual members can be moderated. Posts from specific nonmembers can be held for moderation, rejected or discarded.
       
  • Member moderation:
    • To set moderation individually for members, modify: Membership Management, Membership List. Click the checkbox in the mod column for an individual member to turn moderation on (checked) or off (unchecked).
      The default action to take for member moderation can be set in Privacy Options, Sender Filters: Hold, Reject or Discard
       
  • Nonmember Moderation:
    • To specify individual nonmembers for specific moderation actions, add them in Privacy Options, Sender Filters:
      • List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted.
      • List of non-member addresses whose postings will be immediately held for moderation.
      • List of non-member addresses whose postings will be automatically rejected.
    • The default action to take for Nonmember moderation can be set in Privacy Options, Sender Filters: Action to take for postings from non-members for which no explicit action is defined: Accept, Hold, Reject or Discard
       
  • Restrict-post

    Restrict-post controls who can post to the list. With Majordomo, usually only list members were allowed to post. Some lists exist to receive requests and were open to anyone to post. In a few cases, only certain addresses were allowed to post, but specifying these was difficult as it required the list owner to make a special request to the IT system administrators.

    Mailman handles restrict post differently than Majordomo and allows more flexibility.

    Mailman has more options for restricting posters and also allows list owners to specify certain addresses that are allowed to post through the list's administration page.
     
  • Only list subscribers can post to the list (default for newly created lists):
    1. Membership Management, Membership List, Additional Member Tasks, modify: Set everyone's moderation flag, including those members not currently visible: Off
    2. Privacy Options, Sender Filters, modify: By default, should new list member postings be moderated? No
    3. Privacy Options, Sender Filters, modify: Action to take for postings from non-members for which no explicit action is defined: Hold, Reject or Discard
       
  • Only certain non-members can post to the list: (users who can post to list)
    Mailman: Privacy options, Sender Filters, Non-Member Filters. Enter the non-members who can post in the List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted section, and click Submit your changes when finished.

Email commands to subscribe/unsubscribe:

Email requests can also be used and are somewhat different from the Majordomo commands.

  • To subscribe, send an email to [list-name]-subscribe@uwyo.edu
  • To unsubscribe, send an email to [list-name]-unsubscribe@uwyo.edu

Security:

The new system offers better security via https or secure connections to the web pages, but since passwords are transmitted through email, the level of security should still be considered only moderate. Either allow Mailman to automatically generate a password for you or use a password that you DO NOT use for important logins. For instance, DO NOT use your uwyo.edu domain account password as a mailman password.

For more information please refer to How to Manage Mailman Email Distribution Lists (for List Owners), which details common administrative tasks.

Reviewed: 0909 By: SH

Additional help with the installation and configuration of
UW-supported software is available:
Faculty/Staff
Contact the IT Help Desk at 766-HELP (4357), option 1
Email UserHelp@uwyo.edu
Contact your IT user consultant
(www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/helpdesk/uc/)

Students
Email ASU-IT@uwyo.edu
Contact the IT Help Desk at 766-HELP (4357), option 1
Come to the student computer lab in the lobby of the
Information Technology Center.

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