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15. Migration to Ezmlm from other Mailing List Managers.

This section describes differences and similarities between ezmlm and other mailing list managers. It also details functions of ezmlm-idx that allow you to configure ezmlm to respond to commands utilized by such other mailing list managers so the command syntax will be familiar to such users. Contributions to complete this sections are welcome.

15.1 Basic Concepts.

Ezmlm is different from other mailing list managers in that it is list-centric rather than host-centric. With a list-centric interface, you address the list directly with administrative commands. With ezmlm, the command is embedded in the list address thus becoming part of it (i.e., the ``command address''.) With smartlist, again you address the list, but send all administrative commands to the list-request address. Ezmlm lists can support this if you use the ezmlm-make(1) ``-q'' switch to configure ezmlm-request(1) in DIR/manager.

Other mailing list managers are host-centric, i.e. administrative commands for any list on that particular host are addressed to a central address such as majordomo@host, listserv@host, or listproc@host. Then the user is required to place the command in either the subject header or more commonly in the body text of the message. The listname has to be included with the command. [Note: The above concept is not universally applicable to all host-centric mailing lists. While intended to to used in a host-centric manner, many such mailing list managers also support listname-request@host addressing. See the applicable list manger documentation for details. Coverage of this aspect of other mailing list manager functionality is beyond the scope of this FAQ.] To make the migration to ezmlm easier, support for a host-centric style mailing list manger is available. This is based on the use of ezmlm-request(1) with the ``-f config_file'' switch.

15.2 Setting up ezmlm to respond to host-centric commands.

ezmlm-request(1) can be used a a ``majordomo/listserv-emulator''. You can create the necessary accessory files manually. However, ezmlm-idx>=0.32 contains ezmlmglrc(5) which makes is very easy for you:

        % su
        # su alias
        # ezmlm-make -C/usr/local/bin/ezmlmglrc dir dot local host
where ``local'' may be e.g. ``majordomo''. Even easier is to set it up under a virtual domain ``host'' controlled by a user ``user''. Just put ``user'' in place of ``alias'' in the example.

If you use a character set other than US-ASCII, put it's name, optionally followed by ``:'' and the desired content-transfer-encoding character (``Q'' for quoted-printable and ``B'' for base64) into ezdomo/charset.

All that remains is to set up DIR/ with information on the lists (local and/or remote) that you want to make accessible via this interface. Another script, ezmlm-glconf(1) can help you with this for your local lists. To configure for all your lists:

        ezmlm-glmake ~/ > ~/dir/
See man page for details. Alternatively, do it manually:

The DIR/ contains a list of mailing lists which the ``majordomo'' (in this case) can provide information about in the following syntax:

To show a list in ``lists'', but not include it in a ``which'' search, simply omit the ``listdir'' for that line:

For the ``which'' command to work, the DIR/, which contains the subscriber database, must be readable by the user under which mail is delivered. This means that ``which'' is usually limited to lists owned by the user or virtual domain under which the ``ezdomo'' interface is set up.

15.3 Commands of other mailinglist managers recognized by ezmlm.


When set up as above, substituting ``listproc'' or ``listserv'' for ``majordomo'' as appropriate, ezmlm will recognize and respond to the following commands placed in the body of the e-mail with the syntax below. Note: ezmlm will only respond to one command per message.

syntax: command listname [subscriber@host]

Supported commands

subscribe, sub, unsubscribe, unsub, list, help, review.

Additional supported commands

All ezmlm commands, such as ``thread'', ``index'' and ``get'' as well as the list owner's commands.

This interfaced makes information available via command messages to the appropriate mailing list. Thus, ``list'' and ``review'' will send a subscriber list only to remote administrators and only if specifically allowed by the list owner.


syntax: command listname [subscriber@host]

Supported commands

lists, subscribe, unsubscribe, help, which, who.

Additional supported commands

All ezmlm user and ezmlm owner commands.

This interfaced makes information available via command messages to the appropriate mailing list. Thus, ``who'' will send a subscriber list only to remote administrators and only if specifically allowed by the list owner.


Unlike ``listproc/listserv'' or ``majordomo'', ``smart-list'' does not provide ``host-centric'' services. Rather, commands are addressed to listname-request@host and the command placed on the ``Subject:'' line:

  To: listname-request@host
  Subject: command [subscriber@host]
The body of the message is normally ignored. If the subject is empty, the first body line that starts with a letter is interpreted.

Supported commands

subscribe, unsubscribe.

Additional Supported Commands

All ezmlm user and ezmlm owner commands.

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