README file for Ecartis
For now, this file assumes you have a modicum of unix experience, it will
get better over time.  If you have questions about getting this code set
up and installed on your machine, please feel free to subscribe to the (send an email to with the word 'subscribe' (no quotes) in
the subject). 

Edit the top level makefile to set up configuration settings for your
machine.  I'm assuming some type of advanced makefile (ala GNU)

After editing, perform a make in the top level.  This will create the
modules and the ecartis executable.

You probably want to create a ecartis user/group so that the program runs
as an unpriveledged user.  Chmod the ecartis executable to this user and
make sure this user is a trusted user of your sendmail program.  Also make
sure all the list directories have the correct permissions and can be
read/written by the ecartis user/group.

You'll want to rename the ecartis.cfg.dist to ecartis.cfg, if this is a
first time install.  The reason for the .dist extension is to prevent a
user from accidentally unpacking over an existing installation and
destroying their previous configurations.

If you want to use the bounce-management on a nightly basis, just add
'ecartis -procbounce' to your crontab.  Similarly, if you want to ensure
the digest processing is handled at a certain time, add the command 
'ecartis -procdigest' to your crontab.  Both CAN be omitted; Ecartis will
then handle it automatically when something is posted to the list after
too long has passed.  If you have virtual hosts set up, and choose to use
the -procbounce feature, you will need to set a crontab line for each
virtual host, with the appropriate -c parameter.

To make new mailing lists, you will want to run Ecartis with the -newlist
parameter.  Be sure to run Ecartis with the full path *as used by your mail
aliases*, for example:

/home/ecartis/ecartis -newlist mylist
/etc/smrsh/ecartis -newlist mylist

You can follow the instructions Ecartis will give you, and the list will be
generated for you.  Ecartis will spit back the aliases on stdout, for
sendmail-style aliases. Thus, you can do:

/home/ecartis/ecartis -newlist mylist >> ecartis.aliases

And the aliases will be in that textfile.  Once you have the aliases in a
valid alias file for your mailserver, run newaliases (or your equivalent)
and it should be ready.

If you have qmail, and use dot-qmail aliases files as opposed to
FastFoward, you can do:

/home/ecartis/ecartis -qmail -newlist mylist

Then, Ecartis will make a 'qmail-aliases' directory under the new list
directory, containing the dot-qmail files (for example .qmail-mylist,
.qmail-mylist-request, and so on).  You can copy those to the qmail
aliases directory.

If you have virtual hosts set up, you can pass in the host config file
when doing newlist:

/home/ecartis/ecartis -c virthost.cfg -newlist mylist

If your mail server runs smrsh (sendmail restricted shell), then you will get
errors like the following when you try to send mail to a ecartis list.

    "|/home/ecartis/ecartis -s alist" 
          (expanded from: alist@some.machine.dom)
        ----- Transcript of session follows -----
    sh: ecartis not available for sendmail programs
    554 "|/home/ecartis/ecartis -s alist"... Service unavailable

If this is the case, then you need to do some additional setup.
First, find out where your mail server's smrsh directory is.   For RH 6.0,
this is /etc/smrsh.   For other OS's and MTA's this may be different.  Ask
your sysadmin (or if you are the sysadmin, ask the support people for your
OS or MTA where it is).

In that directory, create a shell script containing the following
---->8---- cut here ---->8----
/home/ecartis/ecartis $@
----8<---- cut here ----8<----

Of course you should use /your/path/to/ecartis instead of /home/ecartis.
Then, all your Ecartis aliases should be set up as /etc/smrsh/ecartis (or
whatever the path to the wrapper is) instead of the actual Ecartis path.

This should be sufficient to make ecartis work with your MTA.

You *should* now have an operational ecartis mailing list server.

Please report any bugs to so that they can be fixed as
soon as possible.  Posts to this address will automatically go into the
Ecartis bug tracking system (

Please also feel free to submit changes, enhancements, and ideas for
ecartis as well.  Feature requests can be mailed to for
addition to the 'Wishlist' section of the Ecartis database.  Please note
that it is a feature request in the message, though.  (Ideally, put
SUGGESTION: or REQUEST: at the beginning of the subject line.)

In addition to (open subscription via, there is also be an open mailing list
for developers called (subscribe via which can be used to discuss changes and
implementations of various modules, extensions to existing modules, bug
fixes and the like. 

Thank you.
Rachel Blackman  (Sparks)
Joseph Traub     (JT)

As the authors, we'd really like to know about any improvements, fixes,
changes and such that are made to this software so that we can incorporate
them into future versions as well as improve the software over time.