Endymion MailMan Installation
This is probably the most important section in this
documentation, so we have tried to make everything here as clear
as possible. If you have any questions about anything here, then
us directly and just ask. We're very friendly and happy to
help. If you decide at any point that you would rather just have
somebody else do the installation for you then let us know, we
also perform MailMan
installations for a small fee. Your message will not fall
through the cracks and our support staff will not be rude or dismissive.
There really is no such thing as a dumb question.
If you're in a hurry, then you might want to skip directly
to the installation section for Unix
servers or or Windows servers.
If you're interested in an overview of how everything is organized
before you start, then keep reading.
When we say "distribution", we are referring
to the archive files that you can download from our web site.
That's the "mailman_xxxxxx.zip"
There are two different distributions
of each edition of MailMan, a Unix distribution and a Windows
distribution. In reality either distribution should work on
any server, but we have found it to be more convenient for our
users to package the application in a way that is more targeted
to the final platform. The primary difference between the two
distributions is that the files in the NT distribution have
been processed so that the lines in the mail MailMan source
file end with a CR-LF, while the lines in the same file in the
Unix distribution are terminated with a simple LF. If you don't
know what that means, don't worry about it, it's really not
that important usually. Another difference is that the main
MailMan script file in the Unix distribution is called "mailman.cgi",
while the same file in the Windows distribution is called "mailman.pl".
We have found that this arrangement reduces confusion in most
cases. If you disagree about our file naming conventions you
are perfectly welcome to rename the files to whatever you want,
MailMan doesn't care at all what it's called. It's very common
for people to rename the script file to "mail.cgi"
or even "index.cgi".
Files in the Distribution
A MailMan distribution contains four major parts:
the templates, the script, the graphics, and documentation.
There will be some minor differences between the editions of
Edition or Professional
Edition), but those differences primarily relate to exactly
which files are included, there are more templates included
in the Professional Edition installation because it provides
Once you have downloaded the distribution file, just
un-zip or un-tar the file. If you need help with that part then
we describe distribution-specific methods in the Unix and Windows
installation sections. The files included in the distributions
Templates: All templates are named "t_*.htm".
Those are files that MailMan needs to be able to access locally,
not necessarily through a web server. If you want to put the
templates in a location where they are not visible by your
web server then that's fine, as long as they are in a place
where MailMan can load them and as long as MailMan has permission
to load them. You can explicitly specify the location of the
templates with a simple configuration option at the top of
the MailMan script. MailMan assumes that the templates are
in the same directory that it lives in by default, so in most
cases you don't have to configure that.
Scripts: There will be two scripts in your
(or "mailman.pl" if you
are looking at the Windows distribution) and "simple.cgi"
(or "simple.pl" in the
Images: All graphics are named "i_*.gif".
The image files need to be accessible by your users' web browsers
through your web server. As with the template files above, you
can put these files anywhere as long as you tell MailMan about
it. MailMan assumes by default that the image files will be
accessible from the same directory where the script lives, but
that's easy to change. Many web servers do not allow static
files (like images) to be served from a directory that has CGI
enabled, so if you are installing MailMan and everything seems
to work except for the images then don't freak out about it,
it's easy to fix. Just drop
us a message if you need help, the solution will most likely
involve moving your image files to a different directory and
then configuring MailMan to load them from there.
The file "s_style.css"
is also considered an image file because it is referenced by
your HTML output and pulled from your server by your users'
browsers in pretty much the same way that your images are. Don't
forget to include this style sheet file in whatever directory
your images end up. If you have to move your images to a different
location, then move this file there also.
Documentation: If you're reading this, then
you managed to find the documentation. The docs are available
under the "doc" subdirectory in your MailMan distribution
or on the Endymion web
Once you have oriented yourself and verified that you
have the files that you are supposed to have, you can start the
actual installation process. Installing MailMan is ridiculously
simple, and in many cases it's just a matter of copying the "mailman"
directory from your distribution into a directory that your web
server can see. If you're feeling lucky, just do that right now
and then try accessing the "mailman.cgi"
script through your web server. Do not try to directly access
template files through your web server, they won't make much sense
to your web browser until they are processed by MailMan. Just
access the script file directly.
Just hoping for luck and trying it works
frequently enough to give it a shot, really, go give it a try.
If you get a "500 Internal Server Error"
or some other error then don't freak out about it, just continue
on to the specific installation section for the distribution that
you're installing, either the Unix section or the Windows section.
Most of the errors produced by web servers look cryptic and ominous
but they are actually not all that bad and they are usually very
easy to work around. Web servers are actually a lot dumber than
they look, and the reason why the error message is so scary-looking
is because the server likely has absolutely no clue how to handle
what you are asking it to do. Don't be intimidated, web servers
are easy to configure once you know what you're doing, and we
definitely know what we're doing.
If you feel like you need assistance at
any point then please just contact
us, we're more than happy to help you. If you give up at any
point then you always have the option of just paying
us a small fee to do your installation.
Specific Distribution Installation Instructions
If you weren't one of the lucky ones who managed to
get MailMan working by simply copying it into a directory on the
server and trying it, then don't worry. The road ahead is still
pretty short and simple.
If you are using a Unix server, as most
people will be, then you should take a look at our Unix
installation instructions. If you are using an Apple OSX machine
as a server then you're a Unix user too whether you know it or
not, use that installation manual.
If you are a Windows user then you will
be interested in our Windows
installation instructions. Serving web sites from Windows
is such a chaotic, unreliable, insecure, moving target sort of
proposition that we really just don't even recommend it, but you're
welcome to it if you're into that. At the very least we recommend
using Apache instead of IIS on Windows machines, but MailMan will
work just fine with IIS if you're determined to do that for some