Mailman for the Virtual Private Server helps manage E-Mail discussion lists and provides simple list management on the Web. Mailman was written in Python, with some sections in C for security purposes. Mailman features include support for the following:

  • Various types of lists, including moderated ones
  • Web-based list administration for most tasks including list configuration, moderation (post approvals), and user account management
  • Integrated bounce detection within an extensible framework
  • Automatic disposition of bouncing addresses (disable, unsubscribe)
  • User configuration management, including Web-based subscribing and unsubscribing
  • List options that can be easily set through a remotely editable configuration file
  • Regular delivery, plain digests, and MIME digests
  • Archival and remote retrieval of messages
  • Integrated spam filtering and auto-replies


To install Mailman on your VPS, connect via Telnet or SSH and do the following, according to your VPS O/S.

  • FreeBSD & Solaris
    if you don't already have it installed, install python2, then issue these commands:

    % vinstall mailman
    % rehash

    The rehash command relinks the wrapper scripts, such as the newlist comand, and links any new commands that may have been installed. If you want to change your administrative password, use the mmsitepass command.

    % mmsitepass NEW-PASSWORD

    Mailman uses a number of cron commands to manage the mailing lists. These are loaded into your crontab by default when Mailman is installed. If you have other cronjobs, you may want to insert the Mailman cronjobs into your custom cron file. To do this, copy the lines from the Mailman cronfile into your custom cronfile, then load that file into cron. You can find the Mailman cronfile in the following directory on your Virtual Private Server.

  • If you don't know the VPS O/S, try the following:

Mailing Lists

To create a mailing list:

  1. Type newlist at the command prompt.

    1. Type the name of the list.
    2. Type the email address of the administrator of the list.
    3. Type the initial mailing list name password.

  2. The newlist command generates a list of E-Mail Aliases that you need to add to the ~/etc/aliases file on your server. These e-mail aliases must be added before Mailman will function properly. You will receive instructions at your administrator email address about how to access the new list of e-mail aliases.

  3. Start your Web browser. To access and administer your mailing list, go to:


    The Mailman screen appears.

  4. Click your mailing list.

  5. Type your password in the text box; then click Let Me In. The mailing list General Options screen appears.

More Information

To ensure that you have current information about Mailman, subscribe to one of the Mailman Mailing Lists.

Please note: the information on this page applies to ITS web hosting plans. It may or may not apply to other environments. If you are looking for a feature described here, or better support from your hosting provider, please consider hosting your site with ITS!

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Naperville, IL 60563
phone 630.420.2550
fax 630.420.2771