Howto: Sympa 6.2 on Ubuntu 17.04

2 minutes, 55 seconds

This post is a continuation of the my last post on the topic, “Howto: Sympa 6.1 on Ubuntu 16.04“.  It should come as no surprise that this is about installing Sympa on the most recent version of Ubuntu to get the most recent version of Sympa (at the time of this writing).  That’d be Sympa 6.2.16 and Ubuntu 17.04. The steps only vary a little between between the two, but here’s the all them for completeness.


Like the last post, this one assumes you have root on your box.  It assumes you have Apache2 installed.  It assumes you’re running a stock Ubuntu 17.04 install.  It assumes you want to run Sympa on your server.  It also assumes you’ll be using Postfix as the lists MTA. It assumes you have a DNS entry (A record) for the server.  As well it assumes you also have an MX record pointing to the A record or no MX record so the MX defaults to the A record.  If this doesn’t apply to you, caveat emptor!

To recap, that’s:

  • Apache 2 installed and working
  • Postfix as MTA
  • Ubuntu 17.04 server
  • Existing DNS entry
  • Run all commands as root

I also was using this server solely to serve Sympa mail and web traffic so if you have a multi-tenant/multi-use server, it may be more complicated.


These steps assume you’re going to install Sympa on  There’s no reason you couldn’t use instead. Your zero step should be sudo apt-get update&& sudo apt-get upgrade.

  1. First step is to install Sympa. As well, we’ll install some packages that are used to fix a bug in 6.2’s GUI where the drop down nav menus don’t work:
    apt-get install -y sympa javascript-common libjs-jquery-migrate-1
  2. When prompted during this install:
    1. Choose a good mysql root password and enter it when prompted
    2. Please select the mail server configuration type that best meets your needs: Internet Site
    3. System mail name:
    4. Which Web Server(s) are you running?: apache 2
    5. Configure database for sympa with dbconfig-common?: Yes
    6. Database type to be used by sympa: mysql
    7. MySQL application password for sympa: <blank> (will assign random one)
  3. Now it’s time to fix that css bug in 6.2 with a copy:
    cp /usr/share/sympa/default/web_tt2/head_javascript.tt2 /etc/sympa/web_tt2

    And then edit /etc/sympa/web_tt2/head_javascript.tt2 and add the jquery-migrate-1.js file after jquery.js:

    <script src="[% static_content_url %]/external/jquery.js"></script>
    <script src="/javascript/jquery-migrate-1.js"></script>
  4. Edit /etc/sympa/sympa/sympa.conf to match the following values:
    default_home home
    create_list intranet

    The “intranet” value will prevent some one from signing up and requesting a list with any approval. should show the sympa UI, w00t!

  5. Ensure Sympa starts at boot:
    update-rc.d sympa defaults
    update-rc.d sympa enable
  6. ensure postfix is updated in /etc/postfix/ edit these values to match:
    myhostname =
    alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases,hash:/etc/mail/sympa/aliases
    alias_database = hash:/etc/aliases,hash:/etc/mail/sympa/aliases
    mydestination = $myhostname,,,, localhost
    relay_domains = $mydestination,
    local_recipient_maps =
  7. add default aliases for sympa at the top of /etc/mail/sympa/aliases:
    ## main sympa aliases
    sympa: "| /usr/lib/sympa/bin/queue"
    listmaster: "| /usr/lib/sympa/bin/queue"
    bounce+*: "| /usr/lib/sympa/bin/bouncequeue"
  8. reboot and rebuild aliases:

Sympa should now be up and running at!  All mail in and out should work so you can run your own list server. Please report any problems so I can keep this post updated and accurate – thanks!

13 thoughts on “Howto: Sympa 6.2 on Ubuntu 17.04

  1. Brian

    How do you log in once it is up and running?

    Thank you for this tutorial it is bounds and leaps better than sympa’s instructions!

          1. mrjones Post author

            Rad – Hopefully Chris will respond, but I do see that his Google Doc link doesn’t work any more – sorry :(

          2. Bob Radvanovsky

            No worries. Actually – after 2 attempts – I’ve got the MLM server up and running. Now comes the part of customization. I will see about providing additional instructions such custom logos and graphics, etc., etc.

            More to come… -rad

          3. mrjones Post author

            Rad & Chris – Sorry! I thought I had approved Chris’ comment with this google doc updated link, but just saw that I didn’t!

            Rad – glad you got it up and running!

            And comments are still wonky/giving errors sorry :(

  2. Bob Radvanovsky

    Have any of you configured either DKIM or DMARC (or both)? -rad
    P.S. I have been performing custom changes to the application; if any of you are interested, just reply here…

  3. Bob Radvanovsky

    Gr33tz…have you or any of the members here installed DKIM and/or DMARC on your Sympa server? The online documentation seems to suck explaining this, or for that matter, providing any examples of what to-do. Thoughts? Anyone? Anyone? -rad

    1. mrjones Post author

      Bob – happy to host the discussion here, but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve been actively administering a Sympa instance, so I don’t have anything to add. Best of luck!


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