Configure Web Frontend

Mailman 3 has a web frontend which can be used to administer the Core, manage subscriptions and view the Archives. There are two principal components, Postorius, the Mailman’s web frontend, and Hyperkitty, the Mailman’s official Archiver.

Both Postorius and Hyperkitty are built atop Django, a Python based web framework.

See also

What is Django?

Django is generally configured using a python module called which is usually present at the root of the Django project. It doesn’t have to be at the root of the project, but anywhere importable by python.

Assuming that you have already cloned or installed the Django project and know their location, we can now start configuring Mailman Components. If you haven’t have a look at Setting-up-Django-Project .

See also

All the default settings in mailman-web can be found here. Some of the following configuration is already present in mailman-web.

Setting up Admin Account

To create a superuser account in Django, run the following interactive command as mailman user:

(venv)$ mailman-web createsuperuser

Before you can login with this user, you have to configure Django to send emails, so that it can verify the email provided for the superuser account above.

In Postorius, a superuser is assumed to be the Site Owner and has access to all the domains, mailing lists and their settings. List Owners and Moderators can be added based on per-list basis and don’t need to have a superuser account in Django.

Scheduled Tasks (required)

There are some routine tasks that need to be run alongside Django, most of which are meant to do some specific routine functions in Hyperkitty. You can add the following to your crontab run them using other cron-like interfaces.:

# This goes in /etc/cron.d/mailman

@hourly  mailman  /opt/mailman/venv/bin/mailman-web runjobs hourly
@daily   mailman  /opt/mailman/venv/bin/mailman-web runjobs daily
@weekly  mailman  /opt/mailman/venv/bin/mailman-web runjobs weekly
@monthly mailman  /opt/mailman/venv/bin/mailman-web runjobs monthly
@yearly  mailman  /opt/mailman/venv/bin/mailman-web runjobs yearly
* * * * *  mailman  /opt/mailman/venv/bin/mailman-web runjobs minutely
2,17,32,47 * * * * mailman  /opt/mailman/venv/bin/mailman-web runjobs quarter_hourly

To Check what jobs do exist and will run on scheduled time, you can run:

(venv) $ mailman-web runjobs -l
Job List: 11 jobs
 appname           - jobname                - when     - help
 django_extensions - cache_cleanup          - daily    - Cache (db) cleanup Job
 django_extensions - daily_cleanup          - daily    - Django Daily Cleanup Job
 hyperkitty        - empty_threads          - monthly  - Remove empty threads
 hyperkitty        - new_lists_from_mailman - hourly   - Import new lists from Mailman
 hyperkitty        - orphan_emails          - daily    - Reattach orphan emails
 hyperkitty        - recent_threads_cache   - daily    - Refresh the recent threads cache
 hyperkitty        - sync_mailman           - daily    - Sync user and list properties with Mailman
 hyperkitty        - thread_order_depth     - yearly   - Compute thread order and depth for all threads
 hyperkitty        - thread_starting_email  - hourly   - Find the starting email when it is missing
 hyperkitty        - update_and_clean_index - monthly  - Update the full-text index and clean old entries
 hyperkitty        - update_index           - hourly   - Update the full-text index

Setting up Email

It is important that Django be able to send emails to verify the addresses that are subscribing to the Mailman. This configuration is separate from what is done is Core. Please have a look at how to setup email backend for django. A simple configuration would look something like this for a mail server listening on localhost:

# To be added to Django's

EMAIL_BACKEND = 'django.core.mail.backends.smtp.EmailBackend'
EMAIL_HOST = 'localhost'
EMAIL_HOST_USER = <username>


Mailman Suite project in Gitlab disables sending of emails when DEBUG=True is set in, and instead prints the emails to a directory emails under mailman-suite_project. If you don’t see any outgoing emails, please check your and set DEBUG=False.

Read more about DEBUG.

Here are some settings that determine how your emails from them look like:

  • DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL : This is the default address that used used as the FROM header in all the emails from your django installation.

  • SERVER_EMAIL : This is the address from which the errors emails will be sent to you.


In order to make django send mails, you need to change EMAIL_BACKEND from django.core.mail.backends.console.EmailBackend to django.core.mail.backends.smtp.EmailBackend in the mailman-suite project, if you are using that instead of Mailman-web.

Note that both of these are general Django related settings and will affect other parts of your Django installation too.

You can check if your Email is setup correctly by running:

(venv)$ mailman-web sendtestemail youremailid@domain

This should send you test email.

Running the task queue

Hyperkitty uses django_q as a task queue. It supports various different backends like Redis, Disque, IronMQ, SQS etc. Please check the documentation to better understand how to configure it. The most basic setup where it uses Django orm as the queue can be configured using the settings below:

   'retry': 360,
   'timeout': 300,
   'save_limit': 100,
   'orm': 'default',

You will also have to run python qcluster command along with Hyperkitty. See Hyperkitty’s docs about asynchronous tasks.

Enable full text search (required)

Hyperkitty uses django-haystack for its full text search. There are several full text engines that can be used. See django-haystack documentation for more details about the different backend engines that it supports.

See setting up Xapian for detailed instructions on installing and setting up fulltext search using Xapian.

Configure Login to Django

Postorius & Hyperkitty both use django-allauth for authentication because it supports a wire variety of social providers and also allows users to sign up with their email if they desire.

Note that if you have any problems with the account signup/signin related emails, you should look the documentation for django-allauth for additional settings related to Web based authentication and email verification related setup.

Some of the very basic settings that are required to be set for Postorius & Hyperkitty to work are mentioned below:







Configure Social Login

Yes, so the way social login works in Mailman is by using a library called django-allauth. There are a few social providers already “enabled” in the Django configuration for the container images, to add more you would have change INSTALLED_APPS in your There is no way to “add” any apps as the one defined in will override the original one (they are just python variables), so you’d have to copy the entire INSTALLED_APPS3 and then add whatever new ones you want.

To see a list of all the providers, please have a look at the documentation of django-allauth. Make sure that the one you choose provides “email” as part of user data, otherwise it won’t work with Mailman. e.g. Twitter doesn’t give out emails.

Now to be able to use any provider, you’d have to configure them in your site. django-allauth documentation2 does provide instructions and direct urls to configure each one. To summarize the documentation here are the steps:

Go to your Django admin interface (located at ‘/admin’, like and login with whatever superuser you created. Scroll down to the section “SOCIAL ACCOUNTS” and enter the one saying “Social applications”. The relative url for that is ‘/admin/socialaccount/socialapp/’ Click on “ADD SOCIAL APPLICATION” button on the top left of the page. Fill out the details from your social provider and choose the “Sites” you want to use for that particular social provider. You can have separate credentials for separate “Sites”.

That should be all. Make sure when you request client_id and client_secret from the social providers, you provide the correct callback_url. The documentation for django-allauth has the correct url for each provider, but it looks basically like<provider>/login/callback

and you replace <provider> with amazon, facebook, google or whatever provider.

Configure Postorius & Hyperkitty

See also

All the default settings in Mailman-web can be found here.

Here are the parameters that will affect Postorius and Hyperkitty will function. These parameters are configured in your Django’s


Complete URL to the Core’s REST API Server. Usually, Mailman Core listens on port 8001 for REST API. e.g. http://localhost:8001/


Username for the Core’s REST API, default value in core is ‘restadmin’ if not set.


Password for Mailman REST API User, default value in core is ‘restpass’ if not set.


The Key used to authenticate the emails for archiving in Hyperkitty. Its value should be exactly same as set in the mailman-hyperkitty.cfg file. (See Connecting to Mailman.)

Also note that the value in will be within single quotes, but in mailman-hyperkitty.cfg it will be without any quotes.


Filter the list of available lists in Postorius and Hyperkitty depending on the domain they are being currently served from. Mailman 3 supports multiple domains in a single installation.








Add compressor.finders.CompressorFinder to your STATICFILES_FINDERS.



This setting is for django-compressor which is used here to compile and compress static files:

  ('text/x-scss', 'sassc -t compressed {infile} {outfile}'),
  ('text/x-sass', 'sassc -t compressed {infile} {outfile}'),

should be set to URL that Postorius is expected to be listening at. You should set it to whatever URL your WSGI server is listening at.


Defines the time format which will be displayed in the Web interface wherever a time is present. See also,


Similar to TIME_FORMAT, but for date & time. See also,