2.2 Create the installation directory

Typically, Mailman is installed into a single directory, which includes both the Mailman source code and the run-time list and archive data. It is possible to split the static program files from the variable data files and install them in separate directories. This section will describe the available options.

The default is to install all of Mailman to /usr/local/mailman2. You can change this base installation directory (referred to here as $prefix) by specifying the directory with the --prefix configure option. If you're upgrading from a previous version of Mailman, you may want to use the --prefix option unless you move your mailing lists.

Warning: You cannot install Mailman on a filesystem that is mounted with the nosuid option. This will break Mailman, which relies on setgid programs for its security. If this describes your environment, simply install Mailman in a location that allows setgid programs.

Make sure the installation directory is set to group mailman (or whatever you're going to specify with --with-groupname) and has the setgid bit set3. You probably also want to guarantee that this directory is readable and executable by everyone. For example, these shell commands will accomplish this:

    % cd $prefix
    % chgrp mailman .
    % chmod a+rx,g+ws .

Warning: The installation directory, $prefix, cannot be the same directory that the source tarball has been unpacked to and in which you run configure, but it can, if you wish, be a subdirectory, e.g., $prefix/src.

You are now ready to configure and install the Mailman software.


This is the default for Mailman 2.1. Earlier versions of Mailman installed everything under /home/mailman by default.
... set3
BSD users should see the 15.2 section for additional information.