Discussion List


I’m new to the world of webhosting, and have noticed that Dreamhost does NOT currently offer discussion list options. I’ve also noticed that there’s no stated date when they will be offered… but I need a list now! So…

Why is there a discussion list tab in the control panel? I get the impression that adding a list can be done through another host somehow like Yahoo or whatever, but could find no information on how to do it in the help files. Can it be done, and if so, who would Dreamhost recommend (until they get thier own discussion list software going)?

%J%a r a n t h


we do offer discussion lists, although they’re a relatively new feature. why do you say that we don’t offer them?

in any event, if you’re having any trouble adding a list, let support know and they’ll help get you setup.

the discussion lists use GNU Mailman, which is a python based mailing list manager. it is a very effective and scalable service, and we’re happy that we’re finally offering it to customers again (we used to offer it a long time ago).

i hope that answers your questions.



Hmm!!! I suppose it was the statement I saw in the KBase… see: https://kbase.newdream.net/index.cgi?area=861&keyword=discussion list …plus the fact that it didn’t seem to work when I tried it… my fault, I am sure.

I admit I’m a bit lost on how to add this feature to my site, and finding help on the subject seems a tad difficult. I’ll keep reading up on it and post here again if I can’t figure it out.

By the way, thanks for your unbelievebly quick replies!!!


[quote]Hmm!!! I suppose it was the statement I saw in the KBase.


You have a good point :> I will try to make sure that someone updates the documentation. The discussion list feature is new, but it should definitely work (pretty well in fact… i’ve used mailman for lists both at newdream hq and for personal stuff, and it’s really easy to use once / configure from a user perspective).

Since the integration with the panel is still being worked out, i’m not sure if we have officially ‘announced’ it, but you can definitely add lists and use them. I think going through the ‘add a discussion list’ section of the panel should do pretty much everything for you as far as setting stuff up, but please let us know, or contact support if there’s anything specific you find confusing and we’ll try to clear it up.

Mailman has its own web interface for management which you can use once the list is setup; I’m pretty sure the defaults should be fairly sensible, and i think our system sets everything up in a working configuration.

As it’s a recent feature, there may well be some things that aren’t clear though, and it would be very helpful to us if you would let us know anything that you’re having trouble with. The only catch is you need to try and be as specific as possible so that we can fix it.

Basically, clicking ‘create a new discussion list’ should walk you through setting it up…



I was successfully able to create a list and I’m currently waiting for it to propogate through the web (we’ll see what happens after that…), configured my site options, and altered the HTML pages that were made available to me. Thanks again for you help!

QUESTION: Is there any documentation on Mailman that is geared more towards a remote website host that doesn’t really have deep access to the server? I can’t seem to locate any decent help files other then the complex technobabble-oriented stuff for Mailman developers, Python-related stuff, and server-installation info, which I don’t THINK applies to me… and the Mailman users group list also seems to be relegated to server ops.

I’d LIKE to be able to alter the appearance of my list output… in fact, I’d like to custom design the appearance of the ENTIRE list. Can this be done either directly (the HTML pages offered for alteration in the General Options section are insufficient), or can I filter the output to my site somehow?


As per your request:
My confusion in setting up my discussion list was mainly due to the error given at the top of the Admin Links page. Before I received an email stating that it would take a few days for the list to propogate through the web, this page reported “No such list anything-goes-jaranth.com”. This led me to think that I’d done something wrong, so I immediately destroyed the list I’d just made!

However, my strongest suggestion would definitely be that someone take the time to hack together, for the average user, at least SOME clear definition of what Mailman is, does, and could do. I’m positive that more of Dreamhost’s website clients would opt for this service if there was some clear information. I realize that Mailman is GNU, so layperson’s docs are hard to come by, but…



Mailman has some very good user guides written by a variety of authors. Go to the Mailman homepage at http://www.list.org/, and you will find the following user guides right there on the home page :slight_smile:

User Guides for …

List Managers
Site Administrators
Other Documentation

You might find the FAQ useful, and you might also want to subscribe to thediscussion list.



Thanks SO much for that link!!! I think it will help me immensely.