Mailman - The GNU Mailing List Management System

Copyright (C) 1998-2016 by the Free Software Foundation, Inc. 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA

Here is a history of user visible changes to Mailman.

3.0.4 – “Show Don’t Tell”


3.0.3 – “Show Don’t Tell”



  • When approving a subscription request via the REST API, for a user who is already a member, return an HTTP 409 Conflict code instead of the previous server traceback (and resulting HTTP 500 code). (Closes: #193)
  • Trying to subscribe an address as a list owner (or moderator or nonmember) which is already subscribed with that role produces a server error. Originally given by Anirudh Dahiya. (Closes #198)
  • Cross-posting messages held on both lists no longer fails. (Closes #176)
  • Don’t let unknown charsets crash the “approved” rule. Given by Aurélien Bompard. (Closes #203)
  • Don’t let crashes in IArchiver plugins break handlers or runners. (Closes #208)
  • Fix “None” as display name in welcome message. Given by Aditya Divekar. (Closes #194)
  • Pin the Falcon version to < 1.0.
  • Fix mailman shell processing of $PYTHONSTARTUP. (Closes #224)

3.0.2 – “Show Don’t Tell”



  • Fix IntegrityErrors raised under PostreSQL when deleting users and addresses. Given by Aurélien Bompard.
  • Fix traceback in approved handler when the moderator password is None. Given by Aurélien Bompard.
  • Allow mailing lists to have localhost names with a suffix matching the subcommand extensions. Given by Aurélien Bompard. (Closes: #168)
  • Don’t traceback if a nonexistent message-id is deleted from the message store. Given by Aurélien Bompard, tweaked by Barry Warsaw. (Closes: #167)
  • Fix membership query when multiple users are subscribed to a mailing list. Reported by Darrell Kresge. (Closes: #190)
  • Prevent moderation of messages held for a different list. (Closes: #161)


  • IMessageStore.delete_message() no longer raises a LookupError when you attempt to delete a nonexistent message from the message store.


  • When [devmode]enabled is set, the JSON output is sorted. Given by Aurélien Bompard.
  • Fixed a number of corner cases for the return codes when PUTing or PATCHing list configuration variables. (Closes: #182)
  • Don’t crash the REST server when trying to subscribe a user without a preferred address. (Closes: #185)

3.0.1 – “Show Don’t Tell”



  • When the mailing list’s admin_notify_mchanges is True, the list owners now get the subscription notification. (Closes: #1)
  • Fix the traceback that occurred when trying to convert a text/html subpart to plaintext via the mimedel handler. Now, a configuration variable [mailman]html_to_plain_text_command in the mailman.cfg file defines the command to use. It defaults to lynx. (Closes: #109)
  • Confirmation messages should not be Precedence: bulk. (Closes #75)
  • The prototype archiver is not web accessible so it does not have a list_url or permalink. Given by Aurélien Bompard.
  • The REST API incorrectly parsed is_server_owner values when given explicitly in the POST that creates a user. (Closes #136)
  • By POSTing to a user resource with an existing unlinked address, you can link the address to the user. Given by Abhilash Raj.
  • Fix constraint violations on mailing list deletes affecting PostgreSQL. Given by Abhilash Raj. (Closes #115)
  • mailman command with no subcommand now prints the help text. Given by Abhilash Raj. (Closes #137)
  • The MHonArc archiver must set stdin=PIPE when calling the subprocess. Given by Walter Doekes.
  • For now, treat DeliveryMode.summary_digests the same as .mime_digests. (Closes #141). Also, don’t enqueue a particular digest if there are no recipients for that digest.
  • For Python versions earlier than 3.5, use a compatibility layer for a backported smtpd module which can accept non-UTF-8 data. (Closes #140)
  • Bulk emails are now decorated with headers and footers. Given by Aurélien Bompard. (Closes #145)
  • Core no longer depends on the standalone mock module. (Closes: #146)
  • Fix the logging of moderation reasons. Given by Aurélien Bompard. Also, update the postauth.txt and postheld.txt templates to not include the bogus URLs, and to include the translated moderation reasons.
  • Collapse multiple Re: in Subject headers. Given by Mark Sapiro. (Closes: #147)
  • Added Trove classifiers to (Closes: #152)
  • Fix the processing of subscription confirmation messages when the mailing list is set to confirm-then-moderate. (Closes #114)
  • Fix pagination values start and total_size in the REST API. Given by Aurélien Bompard. (Closes: #154)
  • Fix UnicodeEncodeError in the hold chain when sending the authorization email to the mailing list moderators. (Closes: #144)

3.0.0 – “Show Don’t Tell”



  • Domains now have a list of owners, which are IUser objects, instead of the single contact_address they used to have. IUser objects now also have a is_server_owner flag (defaulting to False) to indicate whether they have superuser privileges. Give by Abhliash Raj, with fixes and refinements by Barry Warsaw. (LP: #1423756)
  • Mailing list subscription policy work flow has been completely rewritten. It now properly supports email verification and subscription confirmation by the user, and approval by the moderator using unique tokens. IMailingList objects now have a subscription_policy attribute. (LP: #1095552)
  • Port the REST machinery to Falcon 0.3. (LP: #1446881)


  • Fix calculation of default configuration file to use when the $var_dir is created by mailman start. (LP: #1411435)
  • When creating a user with an email address, do not create the user record if the email address already exists. Given by Andrew Stuart. (LP: #1418280)
  • When deleting a user via REST, make sure all linked addresses are deleted. Found by Andrew Stuart. (LP: #1419519)
  • When trying to subscribe an address to a mailing list through the REST API where a case-differing version of the address is already subscribed, return a 409 error instead of a 500 error. Found by Ankush Sharma. (LP: #1425359)
  • mailman lists --domain was not properly handling its arguments. Given by Manish Gill. (LP: #1166911)
  • When deleting a user object, make sure their preferences are also deleted. Given by Abhishek. (LP: #1418276)
  • Be sure a mailing list’s acceptable aliases are deleted when the mailing list itself is deleted. (LP: #1432239)
  • The built-in example IArchiver implementations now explicitly return None. (LP: #1203359)
  • The test suite now runs successfully again with PostgreSQL. Given by Aurélien Bompard. (LP: #1435941)


  • When specifying a file system path in the [paths.*] section, $cfg_file can be used to expand into the path of the -C option if given. In the default [] section, $var_dir is now specified relative to $cfg_file so that it won’t accidentally be relative to the current working directory, if -C is given.
  • $cwd is now an additional substitution variable for the mailman.cfg file’s [paths.*] sections. A new [] section is added, which puts the var_dir in $cwd. It is made the default layout.


  • Improve the documentation describing how to run Alembic to add new schema migrations. Given by Abhilash Raj.


  • Backward incompatible change: The JSON representation for pending mailing list subscription hold now no longer includes the password key. Also, the address key has been renamed email for consistent terminology and other usage.
  • You can now view the contents of, inject messages into, and delete messages from the various queue directories via the <api>/queues resource.
  • You can now DELETE an address. If the address is linked to a user, the user is not delete, it is just unlinked.
  • A new API is provided to support non-production testing infrastructures, allowing a client to cull all orphaned UIDs via DELETE on <api>/reserved/uids/orphans. Note that no guarantees of API stability will ever be made for resources under reserved. (LP: #1420083)
  • Domains can now optionally be created with owners; domain owners can be added after the fact; domain owners can be deleted. Also, users now have an is_server_owner flag as part of their representation, which defaults to False, and can be PUT and PATCH’d. Given by Abhilash Raj, with fixes and refinements by Barry Warsaw. (LP: #1423756)

3.0 beta 5 – “Carve Away The Stone”



  • Fixed Unicode errors in the digest runner and when sending messages to the site owner as a fallback. Given by Aurélien Bompard. (LP: #1130957).
  • Fixed Unicode errors when a message being added to the digest has non-ascii characters in its payload, but no Content-Type header defining a charset. Given by Aurélien Bompard. (LP: #1170347)
  • Fixed messages without a text/plain part crashing the Approved rule. Given by Aurélien Bompard. (LP: #1158721)
  • Fixed getting non-ASCII filenames from RFC 2231 i18n’d messages. Given by Aurélien Bompard. (LP: #1060951)
  • Fixed AttributeError on MIME digest messages. Given by Aurélien Bompard. (LP: #1130696)


  • The mailman conf command no longer takes the -t/–sort option; the output is always sorted.


  • The [database]migrations_path setting is removed.


  • The ORM layer, previously implemented with Storm, has been replaced by SQLAlchemy, thanks to the fantastic work by Abhilash Raj and Aurélien Bompard. Alembic is now used for all database schema migrations.
  • The new logger mailman.database logs any errors at the database layer.


  • Python 3.4 is now the minimum requirement.
  • You no longer have to create a virtual environment separately when running the test suite. Just use tox.
  • You no longer have to edit src/mailman/testing/testing.cfg to run the test suite against PostgreSQL. See src/mailman/docs/START.rst for details.


  • The RFC 2369 headers added to outgoing messages are now added in sorted order.
  • Several changes to the internal API:
    • IListManager.mailing_lists is guaranteed to be sorted in List-ID order.
    • IDomains.mailing_lists is guaranteed to be sorted in List-ID order.
    • Iteration over domains via the IDomainManager is guaranteed to be sorted by IDomain.mail_host order.
    • ITemporaryDatabase interface and all implementations are removed.


  • The Falcon Framework has replaced restish as the REST layer. This is an internal change only.
  • The JSON representation http_etag key uses an algorithm that is insensitive to Python’s dictionary sort order.
  • The address resource now has an additional ‘/user’ sub-resource which can be used to GET the address’s linked user if there is one. This sub-resource also supports POST to link an unlinked address (with an optional ‘auto_create’ flag), and PUT to link the address to a different user. It also supports DELETE to unlink the address. (LP: #1312884) Given by Aurélien Bompard based on work by Nicolas Karageuzian.
  • The /3.0/system path is deprecated; use /3.0/system/versions to get the system version information.
  • You can access the system configuration via the resource path /3.0/system/configuration/<section>. This returns a dictionary with the keys being the section’s variables and the values being their value from mailman.cfg as verbatim strings. You can get a list of all section names via /3.0/system/configuration which returns a dictionary containing the http_etag and the section names as a sorted list under the sections key. The system configuration resource is read-only.
  • Member resource JSON now include the member_id as a separate key.

3.0 beta 4 – “Time and Motion”



  • Mailman 3 no longer uses zc.buildout and tests are now run by the nose2 test runner. See src/mailman/docs/START.rst for details on how to build Mailman and run the test suite. Also, use -P to select a test pattern and -E to enable stderr debugging in runners.
  • Use the enum34 package instead of flufl.enum.
  • Use setuptools instead of distribute, since the latter is defunct.


  • Add reply_to_address and first_strip_reply_to as writable attributes of a mailing list’s configuration. (LP: #1157881)
  • Support pagination of some large collections (lists, users, members). [Florian Fuchs] (LP: #1156529)
  • Expose hide_address to the .../preferences REST API. [Sneha Priscilla.] (LP: #1203519)
  • Mailing lists can now individually enable or disable any archiver available site-wide. [Joanna Skrzeszewska] (LP: #1158040)
  • Addresses can be added to existing users, including display names, via the REST API. [Florian Fuchs]
  • Fixed a crash in the REST server when searching for nonmembers via /find which we’ve never seen before, because those members only have an address record, not a user record. This requires a small change in the API where the JSON response’s address key now contains the URL to the address resource, the new email key contains the email address as a string, and the user key is optional.


  • mailman conf now has a -t/–sort flag which sorts the output by section and then key. [Karl-Aksel Puulmann and David Soto] (LP: 1162492)
  • Greatly improve the fidelity of the Mailman 2.1 list importer functionality (i.e. mailman import21). [Aurélien Bompard].


  • Add support for the Exim 4 MTA. [Stephen Turnbull]
  • When creating the initial file system layout in var, e.g. via bin/mailman info, add an var/etc/mailman.cfg file if one does not already exist. Also, when initializing the system, look for that file as the configuration file, just after ./mailman.cfg and before ~/.mailman.cfg. (LP: #1157861)


  • The bounceevent table now uses list-ids to cross-reference the mailing list, to match other tables. Similarly for the IBounceEvent interface.
  • Added a listarchiver table to support list-specific archivers.


  • Non-queue runners should not create var/queue subdirectories. [Sandesh Kumar Agrawal] (LP: #1095422)
  • Creation of lists with upper case names should be coerced to lower case. (LP: #1117176)
  • Fix REST server crash on mailman reopen due to no interception of signals. (LP: #1184376)
  • Add subject_prefix to the IMailingList interface, and clarify the docstring for display_name. (LP: #1181498)
  • Fix importation from MM2.1 to MM3 of the archive policy. [Aurélien Bompard] (LP: #1227658)
  • Fix non-member moderation rule to prefer a member sender if both members and non-members are in the message’s sender list. [Aurélien Bompard] (LP: #1291452)
  • Fix IntegrityError (against PostgreSQL) when deleting a list with content filters. [Aurélien Bompard] (LP: #1117174)
  • Fix test isolation bug in languages.rst. [Piotr Kasprzyk] (LP: #1308769)

3.0 beta 3 – “Here Again”



  • Python 2.7 is now required. Python 2.6 is no longer officially supported. The code base is now also python2.7 -3 clean, although there are still some warnings in 3rd party dependencies. (LP: #1073506)


  • API change: The JSON representation for held messages no longer includes the data key. The values in this dictionary are flatted into the top-level JSON representation. The key key is remove since it’s redundant. Use message_id for held messages, and address for held subscriptions/unsubscriptions. The following _mod_* keys are inserted without the _mod_ prefix:
    • _mod_subject -> subject
    • _mod_hold_date -> hold_date
    • _mod_reason -> reason
    • _mod_sender -> sender
    • _mod_message_id -> message_id
  • List styles are supported through the REST API. Get the list of available styles (by name) via …/lists/styles. Create a list in a specific style by using POST data style_name=<style>. (LP: #975692)
  • Allow the getting/setting of IMailingList.subject_prefix via the REST API (given by Terri Oda). (LP: #1062893)
  • Expose a REST API for membership change (subscriptions and unsubscriptions) moderation. (LP: #1090753)
  • Add list_id to JSON representation for a mailing list (given by Jimmy Bergman).
  • The canonical resource for a mailing list (and thus its self_link) is now the URL with the list-id. To reference a mailing list, the list-id url is preferred, but for backward compatibility, the posting address is still accepted.
  • You can now PUT and PATCH on user resources to change the user’s display name or password. For passwords, you pass in the clear text password and Mailman will hash it before storing.
  • You can now verify and unverify an email address through the REST API. POST to …/addresses/<email>/verify and …/addresses/<email>/unverify respectively. The POST data is ignored. It is not an error to verify or unverify an address more than once, but verifying an already verified address does not change its .verified_on date. (LP: #1054730)
  • Deleting a user through the REST API also deletes all the user’s linked addresses and memberships. (LP: #1074374)
  • A user’s password can be verified by POSTing to …/user/<id>/login. The data must contain a single parameter cleartext_password and if this matches, a 204 (No Content) will be returned, otherwise a 403 (Forbidden) is returned. (LP: #1065447)


  • [passlib]path configuration variable renamed to [passlib]configuration.
  • Postfix-specific configurations in the [mta] section are moved to a separate file, named by the [mta]configuration variable.
  • In the new postfix.cfg file, postfix_map_cmd is renamed to postmap_command.
  • The default list style is renamed to legacy-default and a new legacy-announce style is added. This is similar to the legacy-default except set up for announce-only lists.


  • The ban table now uses list-ids to cross-reference the mailing list, since these cannot change even if the mailing list is moved or renamed.
  • The following columns were unused and have been removed:
    • mailinglist.new_member_options
    • mailinglist.send_reminders
    • mailinglist.subscribe_policy
    • mailinglist.unsubscribe_policy
    • mailinglist.subscribe_auto_approval
    • mailinglist.private_roster
    • mailinglist.admin_member_chunksize


  • The IBanManager is no longer a global utility. Instead, you adapt an IMailingList to an IBanManager to manage the bans for a specific mailing list. To manage the global bans, adapt None.


  • bin/mailman aliases loses the –output, –format, and –simple arguments, and adds a –directory argument. This is necessary to support the Postfix relay_domains support.
  • bin/mailman start was passing the wrong relative path to its runner subprocesses when -C was given. (LP: #982551)
  • bin/runner command has been simplified and its command line options reduced. Now, only one -r/–runner option may be provided and the round-robin feature has been removed.


  • Added support for Postfix relay_domains setting for better virtual domain support. [Jimmy Bergman].
  • Two new events are triggered on membership changes: SubscriptionEvent when a new member joins a mailing list, and an UnsubscriptionEvent when a member leaves a mailing list. (LP: #1047286)
  • Improve the –help text for the start, stop, restart, and reopen subcommands. (LP: #1035033)


  • Fixed send_goodbye_message(). (LP: #1091321)
  • Fixed REST server crash on reopen command. Identification and test provided by Aurélien Bompard. (LP: #1184376)

3.0 beta 2 – “Freeze”



  • The link between members and the mailing lists they are subscribed to, is now via the RFC 2369 list_id instead of the fqdn listname (i.e. posting address). This is because while the posting address can change if the mailing list is moved to a new server, the list id is fixed. (LP: #1024509)
    • IListManager.get_by_list_id() added.
    • IListManager.list_ids added.
    • IMailingList.list_id added.
    • Several internal APIs that accepted fqdn list names now require list ids, e.g. ISubscriptionService.join() and .find_members().
    • IMember.list_id attribute added; .mailing_list is now an alias that retrieves and returns the IMailingList.
  • passlib is now used for all password hashing instead of flufl.password. The default hash is sha512_crypt. (LP: #1015758)
  • Internally, all datetimes are kept in the UTC timezone, however because of LP: #280708, they are stored in the database in naive format.
  • received_time is now added to the message metadata by the LMTP runner instead of by Switchboard.enqueue(). This latter no longer depends on received_time in the metadata.
  • The ArchiveRunner no longer acquires a lock before it calls the individual archiver implementations, since not all of them need a lock. If they do, the implementations must acquire said lock themselves.
  • The news runner and queue has been renamed to the more accurate nntp. The runner has also been ported to Mailman 3 (LP: #967409). Beta testers can safely remove $var_dir/queue/news.
  • A mailing list’s moderator password is no longer stored in the clear; it is hashed with the currently selected scheme.
  • An AddressVerificationEvent is triggered when an IAddress is verified or unverified. (LP: #975698)
  • A PasswordChangeEvent is triggered when an IUser’s password changes. (LP: #975700)
  • When a queue runner gets an exception in its _dispose() method, a RunnerCrashEvent is triggered, which contains references to the queue runner, mailing list, message, metadata, and exception. Interested parties can subscribe to that zope.event for notification.
  • Events renamed and moved: * mailman.chains.accept.AcceptNotification * mailman.chains.base.ChainNotification * mailman.chains.discard.DiscardNotification * mailman.chains.hold.HoldNotification * mailman.chains.owner.OwnerNotification * mailman.chains.reject.RejectNotification changed to (respectively): * mailman.interfaces.chains.AcceptEvent * mailman.interfaces.chains.ChainEvent * mailman.interfaces.chains.DiscardEvent * mailman.interfaces.chains.HoldEvent * mailman.interfaces.chains.AcceptOwnerEvent * mailman.interfaces.chains.RejectEvent
  • A ConfigurationUpdatedEvent is triggered when the system-wide global configuration stack is pushed or popped.
  • The policy for archiving has now been collapsed into a single enum, called ArchivePolicy. This describes the three states of never archive, archive privately, and archive_publicly. (LP: #967238)


  • Schema migrations (LP: #971013)
    • mailinglist.include_list_post_header -> allow_list_posts
    • mailinglist.news_prefix_subject_too -> nntp_prefix_subject_too
    • mailinglist.news_moderation -> newsgroup_moderation
    • mailinglist.archive and mailinglist.archive_private have been collapsed into archive_policy.
    • mailinglist.nntp_host has been removed.
    • mailinglist.generic_nonmember_action has been removed (LP: #975696)
  • Schema migrations (LP: #1024509) - member.mailing_list -> list_id
  • The PostgreSQL port of the schema accidentally added a moderation_callback column to the mailinglist table. Since this is unused in Mailman, it was simply commented out of the base schema for PostgreSQL.


  • Expose archive_policy in the REST API. Contributed by Alexander Sulfrian. (LP: #1039129)


  • New configuration variables clobber_date and clobber_skew supported in every [archiver.<name>] section. These are used to determine under what circumstances a message destined for a specific archiver should have its Date: header clobbered. (LP: #963612)
  • With the switch to passlib, [passwords]password_scheme has been removed. Instead use [passwords]path to specify where to find the passlib.cfg file. See the comments in schema.cfg for details.
  • Configuration schema variable changes: * [nntp]username -> [nntp]user * [nntp]port (added)
  • Header check specifications in the mailman.cfg file have changed quite bit. The previous [] sections have been removed. Instead, there’s a new [antispam] section that contains a header_checks variable. This variable takes multiple lines of Header: regexp values, one per line. There is also a new jump_chain variable which names the chain to jump to should any of the header checks (including the list-specific, and programmatically added ones) match.


  • Some additional documentation on related components such as Postorius and hyperkitty have been added, given by Stephen J Turnbull.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed the RFC 1153 digest footer to be compliant. (LP: #887610)
  • Fixed a UnicodeError with non-ascii message bodies in the approved rule, given by Mark Sapiro. (LP: #949924)
  • Fixed a typo when returning the configuration file’s header match checks. (LP: #953497)
  • List-Post should be NO when posting is not allowed. (LP: #987563)
  • Non-unicode values in msgdata broke pending requests. (LP: #1031391)
  • Show devmode in bin/mailman info output. (LP: #1035028)
  • Fix residual references to the old IMailingList archive variables. (LP: #1031393)

3.0 beta 1 – “The Twilight Zone”



  • Schema migrations have been implemented.
  • Implement the style manager as a utility instead of an attribute hanging off the mailman.config.config object.
  • PostgreSQL support contributed by Stephen A. Goss. (LP: #860159)
  • Separate out the RFC 2369 header adding handler.
  • Dynamically calculate the List-Id header instead of storing it in the database. This means it cannot be changed.
  • Major redesign of the template search system, fixing LP: #788309. $var_dir is now used when search for all template overrides, site, domain, or mailing list. The in-tree English templates are used only as a last fallback.
  • Support downloading templates by URI, including mailman:// URIs. This is used in welcome and goodbye messages, as well as regular and digest headers and footers, and supports both language and mailing list specifications. E.g. mailman:///
  • $user_password is no longer supported as a placeholder in headers and footers.
  • Mailing lists get multiple chains and pipelines. For example, normal postings go through the posting_chain while messages to owners to through owners_chain. The default built-in chain is renamed to default-posting-chain while the built-in pipeline is renamed default-posting-pipeline.
  • The experimental maildir runner is removed. Use LMTP.
  • The LMTP server now requires that the incoming message have a Message-ID, otherwise it rejects the message with a 550 error. Also, the LMTP server adds the X-Message-ID-Hash header automatically. The inject cli command will also add the X-Message-ID-Hash header, but it will craft a Message-ID header first if one is missing from the injected text. Also, inject will always set the correct value for the original_size attribute on the message object, instead of trusting a possibly incorrect value if it’s already set. The individual IArchiver implementations no longer set the X-Message-ID-Hash header.
  • The Prototype archiver now stores its files in maildir format inside of $var_dir/archives/prototype, given by Toshio Kuratomi.
  • Improved “8 mile high” document distilled by Stephen J Turnbull from the Pycon 2012 Mailman 3 sprint. Also improvements to the Sphinx build given by Andrea Crotti (LP: #954718).
  • Pipermail has been eradicated.
  • Configuration variable [mailman]filtered_messages_are_preservable controls whether messages which have their top-level Content-Type filtered out can be preserved in the bad queue by list owners.
  • Configuration section [scrubber] removed, as is the scrubber handler. This handler was essentially incompatible with Mailman 3 since it required coordination with Pipermail to store attachments on disk.


  • Schema changes: - welcome_msg -> welcome_message_uri - goodbye_msg -> goodbye_message_uri - send_welcome_msg -> send_welcome_message - send_goodbye_msg -> send_goodbye_message - msg_header -> header_uri - msg_footer -> footer_uri - digest_header -> digest_header_uri - digest_footer -> digest_footer_uri - start_chain -> posting_chain - pipeline -> posting_pipeline - real_name -> display_name (mailinglist, user, address)
  • Schema additions: - mailinglist.filter_action - mailinglist.owner_chain - mailinglist.owner_pipeline


  • Held messages can now be moderated through the REST API. Mailing list resources now accept a held path component. GETing this returns all held messages for the mailing list. POSTing to a specific request id under this url can dispose of the message using Action enums.
  • Mailing list resources now have a member_count attribute which gives the number of subscribed members. Given by Toshio Kuratomi.


  • Add property IUserManager.members to return all IMembers in the system.
  • Add property IListmanager.name_components which returns 2-tuples for every mailing list as (list_name, mail_host).
  • Remove previously deprecated IListManager.get_mailing_lists().
  • IMailTransportAgentAliases now explicitly accepts duck-typed arguments.
  • IRequests interface is removed. Now just use adaptation from IListRequests directly (which takes an IMailingList object).
  • handle_message() now allows for Action.hold which is synonymous with Action.defer (since the message is already being held).
  • IListRequests.get_request() now takes an optional request_type argument to narrow the search for the given request.
  • New ITemplateLoader utility.
  • ILanguageManager.add() returns the ILanguage object just created.
  • IMailinglist.decorators removed; it was unused
  • IMailingList.real_name -> IMailingList.display_name
  • IUser.real_name -> IUser.display_name
  • IAddress.real_name -> IAddress.display_name
  • Add property IRoster.member_count.


  • IPython support in bin/mailman shell contributed by Andrea Crotti. (LP: #949926).
  • The mailman.cfg configuration file will now automatically be detected if it exists in an etc directory which is a sibling of argv0.
  • bin/mailman shell is an alias for withlist.
  • The confirm email command now properly handles Re:-like prefixes, even if they contain non-ASCII characters. (LP: #685261)
  • The join email command no longer accepts an address= argument. Its digest= argument now accepts the following values: no (for regular delivery), mime, or plain.
  • Added a help email command.
  • A welcome message is sent when the user confirms their subscription via email.
  • Global -C option now accepts an absolute path to the configuration file. Given by Andrea Crotti. (LP: #953707)

Bug fixes

  • Subscription disabled probe warning notification messages are now sent without a Precedence: header. Given by Mark Sapiro. (LP: #808821)
  • Fixed KeyError in retry runner, contributed by Stephen A. Goss. (LP: #872391)
  • Fixed bogus use of bounce_processing attribute (should have been process_bounces, with thanks to Vincent Fretin. (LP: #876774)
  • Fix test_moderation for timezones east of UTC+0000, given by blacktav. (LP: #890675)

3.0 alpha 8 – “Where’s My Thing?”



  • Factor out bounce detection to flufl.bounce.
  • Unrecognized bounces can now also be forwarded to the site owner.
  • mailman.qrunner log is renamed to mailman.runner
  • master-qrunner.lck -> master.lck
  • ->
  • Four new events are created, and notifications are sent during mailing list lifecycle changes: - ListCreatingEvent - sent before the mailing list is created - ListCreatedEvent - sent after the mailing list is created - ListDeletingEvent - sent before the mailing list is deleted - ListDeletedEvent - sent after the mailing list is deleted
  • Four new events are created, and notifications are sent during domain lifecycle changes: - DomainCreatingEvent - sent before the domain is created - DomainCreatedEvent - sent after the domain is created - DomainDeletingEvent - sent before the domain is deleted - DomainDeletedEvent - sent after the domain is deleted
  • Using the above events, when a domain is deleted, associated mailing lists are deleted. (LP: #837526)
  • IDomain.email_host -> .mail_host (LP: #831660)
  • User and Member ids are now proper UUIDs.
  • Improved the way enums are stored in the database, so that they are more explicitly expressed in the code, and more database efficient.


  • Preferences for addresses, users, and members can be accessed, changed, and deleted through the REST interface. Hierarchical, combined preferences for members, and system preferences can be read through the REST interface. (LP: #821438)
  • The IMailingList attribute host_name has been renamed to mail_host for consistency. This changes the REST API for mailing list resources. (LP: #787599)
  • New REST resource http://…/members/find can be POSTed to in order to find member records. Optional arguments are subscriber (email address to search for), fqdn_listname, and role (i.e. MemberRole). (LP: #799612)
  • You can now query or change a member’s delivery_mode attribute through the REST API (LP: #833132). Given by Stephen A. Goss.
  • New REST resource http://…/<domain>/lists can be GETed in order to find all the mailing lists in a specific domain (LP: #829765). Given by Stephen A. Goss.
  • Fixed /lists/<fqdn_listname>/<role>/<email> (LP: #825570)
  • Remove role plurals from /lists/<fqdn_listname/rosters/<role>
  • Fixed incorrect error code for /members/<bogus> (LP: #821020). Given by Stephen A. Goss.
  • DELETE users via the REST API. (LP: #820660)
  • Moderators and owners can be added via REST (LP: #834130). Given by Stephen A. Goss.
  • Getting the roster or configuration of a nonexistent list did not give a 404 error (LP: #837676). Given by Stephen A. Goss.
  • PATCHing an invalid attribute on a member did not give a 400 error (LP: #833376). Given by Stephen A. Goss.
  • Getting the memberships for a non-existent address did not give a 404 error (LP: #848103). Given by Stephen A. Goss.


  • bin/qrunner is renamed to bin/runner.
  • bin/mailman aliases gains -f and -s options.
  • bin/mailman create no longer allows a list to be created with bogus owner addresses. (LP: #778687)
  • bin/mailman start –force option is fixed. (LP: #869317)


  • Update the COPYING file to contain the GPLv3. (LP: #790994)
  • Major terminology change: ban the terms “queue runners” and “qrunners” since not all runners manage queue directories. Just call them “runners”. Also, the master is now just called “the master runner”.


  • New configuration variable in [devmode] section, called wait which sets the timeout value used in the test suite for starting up subprocesses.
  • Handle SIGTERM in the REST server so that the test suite always shuts down correctly. (LP: #770328)

Other bugs and changes

  • Moderating a message with Action.accept now sends the message. (LP: #827697)
  • Fix AttributeError triggered by i18n call in autorespond_to_sender() (LP: #827060)
  • Local timezone in X-Mailman-Approved-At caused test failure. (LP: #832404)
  • InvalidEmailAddressError no longer repr()’s its value.
  • Rewrote a test for compatibility between Python 2.6 and 2.7. (LP: #833208)
  • Fixed Postfix alias file generation when more than one mailing list exists. (LP: #874929). Given by Vincent Fretin.

3.0 alpha 7 – “Mission”



  • Significant updates to the subscription model. Members can now subscribe with a preferred address, and changes to that will be immediately reflected in mailing list subscriptions. Users who subscribe with an explicit address can easily change to a different address, as long as that address is verified. (LP: #643949)
  • IUsers and IMembers are now assigned a unique, random, immutable id.
  • IUsers now have created_on and .preferred_address properties.
  • IMembers now have a .user attribute for easy access to the subscribed user.
  • When created with add_member(), passwords are always stored encrypted.
  • In all interfaces, “email” refers to the textual email address while “address” refers to the IAddress object.
  • mailman.chains.base.Chain no longer self registers.
  • New member and nonmember moderation rules and chains. This effectively ports moderation rules from Mailman 2 and replaces attributes such as member_moderation_action, default_member_moderation, and generic_nonmember_action. Now, nonmembers exist as subscriptions on a mailing list and members have a moderation_action attribute which describes the disposition for postings from that address.
  • Member.is_moderated was removed because of the above change.
  • default_member_action and default_nonmember_action were added to mailing lists.
  • All sender addresses are registered (unverified) with the user manager by the incoming queue runner. This way, nonmember moderation rules will always have an IAddress that they can subscribe to the list (as MemberRole.nonmember).
  • Support for SMTP AUTH added via smtp_user and smtp_pass configuration variables in the [mta] section. (LP: #490044)
  • IEmailValidator interface for pluggable validation of email addresses.
  • .subscribe() is moved from the IAddress to the IMailingList
  • IAddresses get their registered_on attribute set when the object is created.


  • [devmode] section gets a new ‘testing’ variable.
  • Added password_scheme and password_length settings for defining the default password encryption scheme.
  • creator_pw_file and site_pw_file are removed.


  • ‘bin/mailman start’ does a better job of producing an error when Mailman is already running.
  • ‘bin/mailman status’ added for providing command line status on the master queue runner watcher process.
  • ‘bin/mailman info’ now prints the REST root url and credentials.
  • mmsitepass removed; there is no more site password.


  • Add Basic Auth support for REST API security. (Jimmy Bergman)
  • Include the fqdn_listname and email address in the member JSON representation.
  • Added reply_goes_to_list, send_welcome_msg, welcome_msg, default_member_moderation to the mailing list’s writable attributes in the REST service. (Jimmy Bergman)
  • Expose the new membership model to the REST API. Canonical member resource URLs are now much shorter and live in their own top-level namespace instead of within the mailing list’s namespace.
  • /addresses/<email>/memberships gets all the memberships for a given email address.
  • /users is a new top-level URL under which user information can be accessed. Posting to this creates new users.
  • Users can subscribe to mailing lists through the REST API.
  • Domains can be deleted via the REST API.
  • PUT and PATCH to a list configuration now returns a 204 (No Content).


  • Support Python 2.7. (LP: #667472)
  • Disable site-packages in buildout.cfg because of LP: #659231.
  • Don’t include eggs/ or parts/ in the source tarball. (LP: #656946)
  • flufl.lock is now required instead of locknix.

Bugs fixed

  • Typo in scan_message(). (LP: #645897)
  • Typo in add_member(). (LP: #710182) (Florian Fuchs)
  • Re-enable bounce detectors. (LP: #756943)
  • Clean up many pyflakes problems; ditching pylint.

3.0 alpha 6 – “Cut to the Chase”



  • The functionality of ‘bin/list_members’ has been moved to ‘bin/mailman members’.
  • ‘bin/mailman info’ -v/–verbose output displays the file system layout paths Mailman is currently configured to use.


  • You can now configure the paths Mailman uses for queue files, lock files, data files, etc. via the configuration file. Define a file system ‘layout’ and then select that layout in the [mailman] section. Default layouts include ‘local’ for putting everything in /var/tmp/mailman, ‘dev’ for local development, and ‘fhs’ for Filesystem Hierarchy Standard 2.3 (LP #490144).
  • Queue file directories now live in $var_dir/queues.


  • lazr.restful has been replaced by restish as the REST publishing technology used by Mailman.
  • New REST API for getting all the members of a roster for a specific mailing list.
  • New REST API for getting and setting a mailing list’s configuration. GET and PUT are supported to retrieve the current configuration, and set all the list’s writable attributes in one request. PATCH is supported to partially update a mailing list’s configuration. Individual options can be set and retrieved by using subpaths.
  • Subscribing an already subscribed member via REST now returns a 409 HTTP error. LP: #552917
  • Fixed a bug when deleting a list via the REST API. LP: #601899


  • X-BeenThere header is removed.
  • Mailman no longer touches the Sender or Errors-To headers.
  • Chain actions can now fire Zope events in their _process() implementations.
  • Environment variable $MAILMAN_VAR_DIR can be used to control the var/ directory for Mailman’s runtime files. New environment variable $MAILMAN_UNDER_MASTER_CONTROL is used instead of the qrunner’s –subproc/-s option.


  • Allow X-Approved and X-Approve headers, equivalent to Approved and Approve. LP: #557750
  • Various test failure fixes. LP: #543618, LP: #544477
  • List-Post header is retained in MIME digest messages. LP: #526143
  • Importing from a Mailman 2.1.x list is partially supported.

3.0 alpha 5 – “Distant Early Warning”



  • Add REST API for subscription services. You can now:
    • list all members in all mailing lists
    • subscribe (and possibly register) an address to a mailing list
    • unsubscribe an address from mailing list


  • ‘bin/dumpdb’ is now ‘bin/mailman qfile’
  • ‘bin/unshunt’ is now ‘bin/mailman unshunt’
  • Mailman now properly handles the ‘-join’, ‘-leave’, and ‘-confirm’ email commands and sub-addresses. ‘-subscribe’ and ‘-unsubscribe’ are aliases for ‘-join’ and ‘-leave’ respectively.


  • devmode settings now live in their own [devmode] section.
  • Mailman now searches for a configuration file using this search order. The first file that exists is used.
    • -C config command line argument
    • $MAILMAN_CONFIG_FILE environment variable
    • ./mailman.cfg
    • ~/.mailman.cfg
    • /etc/mailman.cfg

3.0 alpha 4 – “Vital Signs”



  • ‘bin/inject’ is now ‘bin/mailman inject’, with some changes
  • ‘bin/mailmanctl’ is now ‘bin/mailman start|stop|reopen|restart’
  • ‘bin/mailman version’ is added (output same as ‘bin/mailman –version’)
  • ‘bin/mailman members’ command line arguments have changed. It also now ignores blank lines and lines that start with #. It also no longer quits when it sees an address that’s already subscribed.
  • ‘bin/withlist’ is now ‘bin/mailman withlist’, and its command line arguments have changed.
  • ‘bin/mailman lists’ command line arguments have changed.
  • ‘bin/genaliases’ is now ‘bin/mailman aliases’


  • A near complete rewrite of the low-level SMTP delivery machinery. This greatly improves readability, testability, reuse and extensibility. Almost all the old functionality has been retained. The handler is gone.
  • Refactor model objects into the mailman.model subpackage.
  • Refactor most of the i18n infrastructure into a separate flufl.i18n package.
  • Switch from setuptools to distribute.
  • Remove the dependency on setuptools_bzr
  • Do not create the .mo files during setup.


  • All log files now have a ‘.log’ suffix by default.
  • The substitution placeholders in the verp_format configuration variable have been renamed.
  • Add a devmode configuration variable that changes some basic behavior. Most importantly, it allows you to set a low-level SMTP recipient for all mail for testing purposes. See also devmode_recipient.

3.0 alpha 3 – “Working Man”



  • Configuration is now done through lazr.config. is dead. lazr.config files are essentially hierarchical ini files.
  • Domains are now stored in the database instead of in the configuration file.
  • pre- and post- initialization hooks are now available to plugins. Specify additional hooks to run in the configuration file.
  • Add the environment variable $MAILMAN_CONFIG_FILE which overrides the -C command line option.
  • Make LMTP more compliant with Postfix docs (Patrick Koetter)
  • Added a NullMTA for mail servers like Exim which just work automatically.


  • ‘bin/mailman’ is a new super-command for managing Mailman from the command line. Some older bin scripts have been converted, with more to come.
  • Mailman now has an administrative REST interface which can be used to get information from and manage Mailman remotely.
  • Back port of Mailman 2.1’s limit on .bak file restoration. After 3 restores, the file is moved to the bad queue, with a .psv extension. (Mark Sapiro)
  • Digest creation is moved into a new queue runner so it doesn’t block main message processing.

Other changes

  • bin/make_instance is no longer necessary, and removed
  • The debug log is turned up to info by default to reduce log file spam.

Building and installation

  • All doc tests can now be turned into documentation, via Sphinx. Just run bin/docs after bin/buildout.

3.0 alpha 2 – “Grand Designs”



  • Mailman 3 is now licensed under the GPLv3.

Bug fixes

  • Changed bin/arch to attempt to open the mbox before wiping the old archive. Launchpad bug #280418.
  • Added digest.mbox and pending.pck to the ‘list’ files checked by check_perms. Launchpad bug #284802.


  • Converted to using zope.testing as the test infrastructure. Use bin/test now to run the full test suite. <>
  • Partially converted to using lazr.config as the new configuration regime. Not everything has been converted yet, so some manual editing of mailman/ is required. This will be rectified in future versions. <>
  • All web-related stuff is moved to its own directory, effectively moving it out of the way for now.
  • The email command infrastructure has been reworked to play more nicely with the plug-in architecture. Not all commands have yet been converted.

Other changes

  • The LMTP server now properly calculates the message’s original size.
  • For command line scripts, -C names the configuration file to use. For convenient testing, if -C is not given, then the environment variable MAILMAN_CONFIG_FILE is consulted.
  • Support added for a local MHonArc archiver, as well as archiving automatically in the remote service.
  • The permalink proposal for supporting RFC 5064 has been adopted.
  • Mailing lists no longer have a .web_page_url attribute; this is taken from the mailing list’s domain’s base_url attribute.
  • Incoming MTA selection is now taken from the config file instead of plugins. An MTA for Postfix+LMTP is added. bin/genaliases works again.
  • If a message has no Message-ID, the stock archivers will return None for the permalink now instead of raising an assertion.
  • IArchiver no longer has an is_enabled property; this is taken from the configuration file now.


3.0 alpha 1 – “Leave That Thing Alone”


User visible changes

  • So called ‘new style’ subject prefixing is the default now, and the only option. When a list’s subject prefix is added, it’s always done so before any Re: tag, not after. E.g. ‘[My List] Re: The subject’.
  • RFC 2369 headers List-Subscribe and List-Unsubscribe now use the preferred -join and -leave addresses instead of the -request address with a subject value.


  • There is no more separate configure; make; make install step. Mailman 3.0 is a setuptools package.

  • Mailman can now be configured via a ‘mailman.cfg’ file which lives in $VAR_PREFIX/etc. This is used to separate the configuration from the source directory. Alternative configuration files can be specified via -C/–config for most command line scripts. mailman.cfg contains Python code. is no more. You do not need to import in etc/mailman.cfg. You should still consult for the list of site configuration variables available to you.

    See the etc/mailman.cfg.sample file.

  • PUBLIC_ARCHIVE_URL and DEFAULT_SUBJECT_PREFIX now takes $-string substitutions instead of %-string substitutions. See documentation in for details.

  • Message headers and footers now only accept $-string substitutions; %-strings are no longer supported. The substitution variable ‘_internal_name’ has been removed; use $list_name or $real_name instead. The substitution variable $fqdn_listname has been added. DEFAULT_MSG_FOOTER in has been updated accordingly.

  • The KNOWN_SPAMMERS global variable is replaced with HEADER_MATCHES. The mailing list’s header_filter_rules variable is replaced with header_matches which has the same semantics as HEADER_MATCHES, but is list-specific.


  • All SMTP_LOG_* templates use $-strings and all consistently write the Message-ID as the first item in the log entry.

  • DELIVERY_MODULE now names a handler, not a module (yes, this is a misnomer, but it will likely change again before the final release).


  • Internally, all strings are Unicodes.

  • Implementation of a chain-of-rules based approach for deciding whether a message should initially be accepted, held for approval, rejected/bounced, or discarded. This replaces most of the disposition handlers in the pipeline. The IncomingRunner now only processes message through the rule chains, and once accepted, places the message in a new queue processed by the PipelineRunner.

  • Substantially reworked the entire queue runner process management, including mailmanctl, a new master script, and the qrunners. This should be much more robust and reliable now.

  • The Storm ORM is used for data storage, with the SQLite backend as the default relational database.

  • Zope interfaces are used to describe the major components.

  • Users are now stored in a unified database, and shared across all mailing lists.

  • Mailman’s web interface is now WSGI compliant. WSGI is a Python standard (PEP 333) allowing web applications to be (more) easily integrated with any number of existing Python web application frameworks. For more information see:

    Mailman can still be run as a traditional CGI program of course.

  • Mailman now provides an LMTP server for more efficient integration with supporting mail servers (e.g. Postfix, Sendmail). The Local Mail Transport Protocol is defined in RFC 2033:

  • Virtual domains are now fully supported in that mailing lists of the same name can exist in more than one domain. This is accomplished by renaming the lists/ and archives/ subdirectories after the list’s posting address. For example, data for list foo in and list foo in will be stored in lists/ and lists/

    For Postfix or manual MTA users, you will need to regenerate your mail aliases. Use bin/genaliases.

    VIRTUAL_HOST_OVERVIEW has been removed, effectively Mailman now operates as if it were always enabled. If your site has more than one domain, you must configure all domains by using add_domain() in your etc/mailman.cfg flie (see below – add_virtual() has been removed).

  • If you had customizations based on, you will need to re-implement them. has been removed.

  • The site list is no more. You can remove your ‘mailman’ site list unless you want to retain it for other purposes, but it is no longer used (or required) by Mailman. You should set NO_REPLY_ADDRESS to an address that throws away replies, and you should set SITE_OWNER_ADDRESS to an email address that reaches the person ultimately responsible for the Mailman installation. The MAILMAN_SITE_LIST variable has been removed.

  • qrunners no longer restart on SIGINT; SIGUSR1 is used for that now.

Internationalization Big Changes

  • Translators should work only on messages/<lang>/LC_MESSAGES/mailman.po. Templates files are generated from mailman.po during the build process.

New Features

  • Confirmed member change of address is logged in the ‘subscribe’ log, and if admin_notify_mchanges is true, a notice is sent to the list owner using a new adminaddrchgack.txt template.
  • There is a new list attribute ‘subscribe_auto_approval’ which is a list of email addresses and regular expressions matching email addresses whose subscriptions are exempt from admin approval. RFE 403066.

Command line scripts

  • Most scripts have grown a -C/–config flag to allow you to specify a different configuration file. Without this, the default etc/mailman.cfg file will be used.
  • the -V/–virtual-host-overview switch in list_lists has been removed, while -d/–domain and -f/–full have been added.
  • bin/newlist is renamed bin/create_list and bin/rmlist is renamed bin/remove_list. Both take fully-qualified list names now (i.e. the list’s posting address), but also accept short names, in which case the default domain is used. newlist’s -u/–urlhost and -e/–emailhost switches have been removed. The domain that the list is being added to must already exist.
  • Backport the ability to specify additional footer interpolation variables by the message metadata ‘decoration-data’ key.

Bug fixes and other patches

  • Removal of DomainKey/DKIM signatures is now controlled by variable REMOVE_DKIM_HEADERS (default = No).
  • Queue runner processing is improved to log and preserve for analysis in the shunt queue certain bad queue entries that were previously logged but lost. Also, entries are preserved when an attempt to shunt throws an exception (1656289).
  • The processing of Topics regular expressions has changed. Previously the Topics regexp was compiled in verbose mode but not documented as such which caused some confusion. Also, the documentation indicated that topic keywords could be entered one per line, but these entries were not handled properly. Topics regexps are now compiled in non-verbose mode and multi- line entries are ‘ored’. Existing Topics regexps will be converted when the list is updated so they will continue to work.
  • The List-Help, List-Subscribe, and List-Unsubscribe headers were incorrectly suppressed in messages that Mailman sends directly to users.
  • The ‘adminapproved’ metadata key is renamed ‘moderator_approved’.