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The Dice Project

DICE - Mailing Lists and Aliases

Note that the current mail server (mail.inf) is crunchie (but it has been flakey and nutty and so you may see references to those). so any of the commands and paths below related to that machine. And the virtual mail relay (virtualrelay.inf) is beeknow.

IMPORTANT - The @inf address space overlaps the UUN username space, therefore care must be taken when a request is received for a mail alias/address/list such as 'buid@inf'.

Now that's out of the way, onto the fun stuff!

Editing aliases on the mailhost

The alias files are in /opt/sendmail on the mailhost.

The aliases file (on which the newaliases command works) is built from several smaller files using the make aliases command from within the sendmail directory. All these files are under RCS control.

To add an alias:


Remember the -u option in the ci command. This will leave a copy of the file and not delete it.

Creating or deleting a mailing list on the mailhost

First make sure you've read the important bit at the top of this page.

All mailing lists are now mailman lists. The list must be created or deleted using mailman commands (in /var/mailman/bin, or ~mailman/bin). Then the list must be added to (or removed from) the sendmail aliases file so that sendmail knows what to do with mail sent to the list.

To add a mailman list

To remove a list:

There's now a couple of basic scripts /disk/mailraid/scripts/delete-list and /disk/mailraid/scripts/remove-mailman-aliases that do the "cp"s and "rmlist", and remove the alias lines. See their code for instructions!

ITO Lists

ITO Lists - student classes, and groups of lecturers and tutors and so on, are owned by ito-listmaster@inf.ed.ac.uk. And should have a standard set of settings, eg privacy settings, HTML pages to remove unsubscribe options (as the membership is driven from the database). There is a long standing action to agree and state these settings, but for now cloning and existing similar list seems sensible.

There is now a wrapper script /disk/mailraid/scripts/newstudentclasslist which you should use instead of the normal /var/mailman/bin/newlist script for ITO lists. This sets up the list settings as I believe they are intended. See the script for details, basically it clones the "students@inf" list, sets the listowner, password, pivacy settings and uses the spamwrapper. You still need to paste the entries into the sendmail aliases file.

We also need to clear out old list postings at the beginning of each new session. Again this needs to be stated and formalised somewhere!

Update Nov 2006: There is now a wiki page detailing the setup of ITO lists: https://wiki.inf.ed.ac.uk/DICE/ServicesUnitITOLists. The newstudentclass script will do the right thing for new student lists, but not for course/class related staff lists. eg inf1a-tutors. It nearly does, but the posting permissions are different. So you'll need to fix them.

Capability Driven List Membership

There is a now a script /opt/mailman/inf_scripts/capability2list which is run along with the other daily mailman scripts that can synchronise a list's membership with the list of UUNs with the specified capability. The script is the documentation!

BAYES or SICSA email lists

To create a BAYES or SICSA email lists, you do that on virtual mail relay (beeknow) by editting /opt/mail/virtusertable (under RCS control). Note that there's is a script to make sicsa mailing lists. As mailman on crunchie run:

 /disk/mailraid/scripts/newbayeslist directors 
 /disk/mailraid/scripts/newsicsalist maa-leader 

note the missing leading "bayes" or "sicsa" prefix . The scripts will actually create a list called bayes-directors (or sicsa-maa-leader) and configure the list to expect to be called directors@bayes.ed.ac.uk (or maa-leader@sicsa.ac.uk)

You then need to paste the output as normal into aliases-mailman, but also add two variations of it into

, to cover all the various possible names that might get used/leakout.

sicsa-maa-leader@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader@inf.ed.ac.uk
sicsa-maa-leader-admin@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-admin@inf.ed.ac.uk
sicsa-maa-leader-bounces@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-bounces@inf.ed.ac.uk
sicsa-maa-leader-confirm@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-confirm@inf.ed.ac.uk
sicsa-maa-leader-join@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-join@inf.ed.ac.uk
sicsa-maa-leader-leave@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-leave@inf.ed.ac.uk
sicsa-maa-leader-owner@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-owner@inf.ed.ac.uk
sicsa-maa-leader-request@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-request@inf.ed.ac.uk

maa-leader@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader@inf.ed.ac.uk
maa-leader-admin@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-admin@inf.ed.ac.uk
maa-leader-bounces@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-bounces@inf.ed.ac.uk
maa-leader-confirm@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-confirm@inf.ed.ac.uk
maa-leader-join@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-join@inf.ed.ac.uk
maa-leader-leave@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-leave@inf.ed.ac.uk
maa-leader-owner@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-owner@inf.ed.ac.uk
maa-leader-request@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-request@inf.ed.ac.uk
maa-leader-subscribe@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-subscribe@inf.ed.ac.uk
maa-leader-unsubscribe@sicsa.ac.uk sicsa-maa-leader-unsubscribe@inf.ed.ac.uk similarily for bayes.ed.ac.uk lists.

VENTURES aliases and legacy aliases

To create an INFORMATICS-VENTURES alias for a new member of commercialisation team, you do that on virtual mail relay (beeknow) by editing /opt/mail/virtusertable (under RCS control)

This is also where legacy aliases live, e.g. @dai, @cogsci, @dcs should they ever need modified.

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