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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What is SELS ?
Answer: SELS or Secure Email List Services is an open
source software open source software for creating and developing secure
email list services among user communities. SELS uses Mailman as the
Email List Manager. SELS has three entities, List Server, List Moderator
and List Subscriber.
- Does SELS have a user mailing list, where I can
Answer: Yes, You can subscribe to the sels-users
mailing list by sending an email to email@example.com and
putting "subscribe sels-users" in the message body. Once subscribed you
can post a message to the mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Where do I install GnuPG from?
Answer: Install GnuPG software from http://www.gnupg.org/
- I cannot understand your instructions on how
to import keys for the list. Is there a step by step guide I can refer to
Answer: For a step by step guide using Thunderbird
with Enigmail click here.
- Why should I place "full trust" in the LM's
Answer: SELS recommends setting the key trust to
"full" for the LM's public key. Then signing the public key locally (i.e.
with non exportable signature). This step makes the other keys signed by
the LM (i.e., those in the "Accept" email message) automatically trusted
when they are imported. This is the most straightforward approach for
novice GPG users.
If you do not want to place "full" trust in a key then sign all the
list keys individually. You can sign the keys locally to create "non
You should do a fingerprint verification of the key before trusting or
signing it. To do so please contact the List Moderator by some out of
band means, ex telephone.
- Are encrypted attachments supported in
Answer: SELS supports attachments when they are
encrypted together with the message body as a PGP MIME block. SELS does
NOT support inline attachments encrypted individually at present.
- I sent a message to the list. It has not been
delivered to list members, why ?
Answer : The reason could be one of the following:
- I use PGP desktop as my key manager. I cannot import the revocation certificate for the old List key ?
Answer : PGP Desktop does not support GnuPG generated revocation certifcates. You will have to disable the old List Key manually.
- During List Key generation, when I import the
List Server (LS) public key to my keyring , I get weird errors such as:
"missing self signature" and "time warp problems". What should I do to
get rid of these ?
Answer: Synchronize the time between the List Server
and the List Moderator machines using ntpdate.
For example : /usr/sbin/ntpdate ntp.ncsa.uiuc.edu
- Where do I install Python and Java from ?
Answer: Install Java from the Sun download page.
Python can be installed from the Python website.
- I am upgrading to a new version of SELS. Can I
use my old lists and keys associated with the list?
Answer: You should be able to use your old list with
the new version. You can use the old key pairs' too unless the new code
has changed to affect them or there is a security issue. You will be
notified in either case. Before upgrading to a new version make a backup
of your list folder, for e.g.
~sels-0.3/LM/lists/<listname>. After upgrading to the new
version copy the <listname> folder back to your new
lists directory, for e.g. ~sels0.4/LM/lists/.
- Why is the List Server (LS) code run from
/usr/local and not user space ?
Answer: We support running the LS code from
/usr/local as root because of permissions and ownership issues
Typically mailman is installed in /usr/local. If you have a
Mailman installation elsewhere for example : /home/user , then
*technically* you can run the LS code from the same directory.
Since all list keys and corresponding user keys are stored in
~mailman/lists/, it is recommended that Mailman and SELS LS code
be installed in /usr/local.
- Where do I install Mailman From ?
Answer: Mailman can be downloaded from here. Follow
- Where do I install Apache Webserver from
Answer: Apache can be downloaded from here. Apache is usually comes with a
default Linux installation. Run "locate httpd" or "locate
apache" or "locate apache2" as root to find out more.
- How do I set up sendmail ?
Answer: Sendmail comes with a default Linux
installation. Run "locate sendmail" as root to find out more.
LS should be equipped with an SMTP server. To set one up follow the steps
Copyright 2000-2008 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.