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Majordomo Page 3

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Majordomo’s installation procedure, like ListProc’s, involves a number of steps. Some of them must be performed with root access. The especially important details with a package like Majordomo are security and permissions. Majordomo’s installation document warns that the typical installation procedure is not secure, and one must consult the Majordomo FAQ for a detailed look at how to secure the list server. Proper file permissions are also critical to ensure security and allow the list server access to the files it needs. Majordomo, like ListProc, is best installed by someone familiar with Unix.

It is here, however, that the similarities pretty much end. Whereas ListProc is designed as a large application supporting many functions, Majordomo is a modular collection of smaller tools. The latter approach is beneficial if there are tools that are not needed and whose omission can save resources. On the other hand, because Majordomo is written in Perl, a list server with heavy traffic may experience resource penalties due to the Perl overhead across many invocations.

While Majordomo is primarily a text-based system with subscriber and administration commands sent as e-mail messages to the list server, several graphic front ends have been contributed by developers. Most prominent among them is MajorCool, which is primarily a Majordomo administration interface (rather than a subscriber interface) for managing subscriptions and viewing/searching list archives. Subscriber-oriented interfaces include LWGate and MailServ.

Because the server is basically a collection of tools, putting together a Majordomo installation with the desired access tools is something of an adventure. Also, as it is a free product, there is no central support authority. Distributed support resources do abound though, including the detailed Majordomo FAQ and O’Reilly & Associates’ book, Managing Mailing Lists.



This article was originally published on May 24, 2001

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Latest Version 1.94.5
Platforms Supported All Unix-based systems
Status Free for most uses, except commercial reselling

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