New List Requests

This page contains information useful to people requesting a mailing list. It also includes the procedure for Sysadmins when creating the lists.

New List Requirements

The main prerequisites for setting up a mailing list on the GNOME servers are similar to those for requesting a new git module (or webspace, or any other services). See ProjectPrerequisites.

In addition, there are some other requirements for lists. In particular, mailing list names on should end in -list, e.g or This is because it should obvious to posters that they are sending a mail to a public mailing list.

Requests for lists that follow the pattern '' (where 'xy' is a valid ISO3166 country code) are reserved for discussion of country-specific issues. In many cases, this list will also be used for translation discussion.

If you feel your list request meets the prerequisites, please open a bug with your request. The main things we need to know are:

  • The list name, which should end in '-list' as described above
  • The e-mail address of the primary/initial list administrator.
  • If you are moving your list from an existing service, and want your archives preserved, please also make your archive history available in .mbox format on an URL or attached to the ticket. It should be one single file, and gzip/bzip2 compressed. Do not compress in any other format!

We don't need your subscriber list, as you can cut'n'paste or upload that yourself once you've recieved the list admin password.

List Configuration

After you receive notification from the admins that your list has been created, there are some additional thing that you should do, using the administrative web interface of the list (usually something like

  1. Change the list administrator password that you received to something that suits you and your fellow administrators better (on the 'Passwords' page).
  2. Add any additional list administrators (the 'owner' field on the 'General' page).
  3. Inform those additional list administrators about the list administration password.
  4. Provide a short description that tells in just a few words what this list is about (the 'description' field on the 'General' page). This should at most only be a short single sentence, without the ending period.
    • A good example is the description of straw list because it explains very briefly what type of discussions are acceptable for the list.

  5. Provide an about section (the 'info' field on the 'General' page). This should be at least one sentence, but you should elaborate a bit more and maybe provide a link to a project homepage if applicable.
    • A good example for this is the About of dia list because the info says what the application does.

  6. Contact the ModeratorTeam if you want them to help you moderate your list. This is a team created specifically to delegate list moderation.

  7. Finally, check that the public info on looks correct.

  8. Optionally, if you want to mass subscribe some users yourself (with those users' advance permission of course!), you can do this on the 'Membership Management' pages.

Also, if you have any automatic scripts that generate e-mail that the list is interested in, make sure they're added to the allowed senders list, otherwise they will end up in the moderator queue.

List Creation: Sysadmin

  1. Make sure the requirements listed above are met.
  2. Log onto restaurant.

  3. Run: sudo -u mailman /usr/lib/mailman/bin/newlist and answer the questions.

    1. Ensure the -list is appended to the listname.

    2. Do not include in the listname.

    3. Generate a random passphrase using pwgen (or similar) for the new list password. ie; pwgen -s -n 20

  4. By default, the admin password will be automatically sent to the new list admin.
  5. Check the following on the list administration page:
    1. Change the list name to lowercase only (on the General page).
  6. Remind the requestor to populate the list description on the General page.
  7. Remind the requestor to contact the ModeratorTeam (suggested).

Private Lists

Occasionally there are requests for private lists. These should be few, and are generally done only with good reason. Some examples of current private lists are:

  • board-list
  • security-list
  • legal-list
  • ...

In the case that a private list is requested, the following questions should be answered:

  1. Why does the requestor need the list to be private? GNOME development should generally be transparent.
  2. Define "private" with the requestor. Private archives? Moderated subscriptions? Advertising the list name?

Again, requests for private lists are uncommon, but they do occur. Unless requested directly from the Board, it is unlikely to be approved.

Adding existing archives

  1. Get your hands on an mbox archive of the list.
  2. Create the mailing list as per the usual procedure.
  3. Create a /var/lib/mailman/archives/private/LISTNAME.mbox directory

  4. Copy the mbox archive to /var/lib/mailman/archives/private/LISTNAME.mbox/LISTNAME.mbox (that's a file, btw)

  5. Make sure the ownership and permissions are correct as per the other mbox files and directories nearby.
  6. sudo -u mailman /home/admin/mhonarc/ --listname LISTNAME < /var/lib/mailman/archives/private/LISTNAME.mbox/LISTNAME.mbox

Renaming lists

Use the preserve everything procedure from the mailman FAQ.

Then remove the archives and reimport them again.


Sysadmin/MailingLists/NewListRequest (last edited 2015-01-28 15:12:04 by AndreaVeri)