I have been asked to disable a single mailing list on mailman. I do not want to destroy the list - we may want to revive it later. Also, we want to keep the archives accessible for the list members.

We are using mailman 2.1.14, with Postfix 2.9.6, on a VM running Ubuntu 12.04.

It seems that mailman does not have an option to disable a list. Searching the web, I found that I should instead solve this at the level of the MTA.
Specifically for Postfix, I found that I should use header_checks.
(For reference, I found a similar advice for sendmail users).

I have updated the /etc/postfix/main_cf:

# Disable mailing lists
header_checks = pcre:/etc/postfix/header_checks.pcre

And created an /etc/postfix/header_checks.pcre file containing:

/^Sender: <test-ml-bounces@example.com>/ REJECT
/^Sender: <real-ml-bounces@example.com>/ REJECT

(All mails come with "-bounces" attached to the Sender, for some reason).

Then I sent a mail to the test mailing list, and it did not arrive or appear in the archives - as intended.
A mail I had sent before changing the configuration had arrived in my mailbox and in the archives, also as intended.

The question is - is this a proper way of doing this? Or could this setup cause me trouble later on?

1 Answer 1


It should be possible to remove the list's aliases from postfix by editing the mailman/data/aliases file (see integrating postfix and mailman)

Other options (from this question):

  • You could use the emergency moderation feature of a mailing list to prevent any mail delivery (although the moderators would still receive emails if someone mails the list
  • Change the rights on the list files: chmod 000 lists/LISTNAME, and when you want to re-enable the list, chmod 2775 lists/LISTNAME. If the list has public archives and you want to disable access to them, rm archives/public/LISTNAME*. When you re-enable the list, these symlinks will be automatically recreated when you access the list. In this case you may still want to remove the list's aliases from postfix as above

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