Mailman members only

Recently I had occasion to cook up some glue for a Mailman deployment that wanted a privacy and membership management policy that would not be facilitated by the Mailman mailing list software in its current form. We wanted to host a private list (disabling web subscriptions), and we wanted to allow any member to invite new members.

The solution comes in a few pieces:

  • a python script to synchronize the Mailman username / password credentials to an AuthUserFile that can be used by Apache to authorize access to a cgi that wraps the mailman add_member cli tool.¬†Find the source here: Put this in root’s crontab at some reasonable interval.
  • the aforementioned script that wraps the add_member tool. Find the source here:
  • this guy’s modified add_members cli tool. The add_members tool supplied by Mailman bypasses confirmation, but we want invitees to respond to a confirmation message before being added. This script makes that happen.
  • Disable web subscriptions by deleting stuff from /etc/mailman/en/listinfo.html

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