migration project


Meeting notes


As part of the alioth deprecation plan, will be migrated to a separate system run by DDs. List owners will need to opt in to having their lists migrated.

This is likely to be time limited period of a few years (1-2 release cycles).


Whilst many of the functions of the alioth list server can be readily transferred elsewhere (eg discussion lists on, or commit notification lists integrated with gitlab) around 50% of all packages in the archive use alioth mailing lists in the Maintainer field and are thus the primary contact point for the BTS and other contact with package maintainers. Whilst there are discussions on how to replace this need, we do not believe the upload of half of Debian to replace the Maintainer field will be practical (particularly for teams with many thousands of packages). This migration project will therefore allow continued these package maintainers to continue to receive bug reports and other emails for their packages during this transition.


The following individuals are working on this project:


The service is being actively developed, and the draft announcement below will be sent out soon (27th January 2018).


The project would need to be completed by the time the existing alioth infrastructure is shut down, which is roughly the end of April (wheezy LTS EoL).

Architecture and infrastructure

The planned approach is to set up a virtual machine provided by Dominic Hargreaves hosting an instance of Mailman 2 and the necessary front-end services (Apache, Exim et al). Administrative access would be made available to selected Debian Developers so that the administrative burden on individuals was not excessive.


Migrating all lists is the simplest possible approach but it was noted that many lists are unused and/or their archives are full of spam, so my preferred approach currently is to ask each list owner to opt-in to migration. This will also reduce the disk space requirements to more manageable levels.

This will also allow us to seek explicit permission to copy data from the current alioth to the less-official new one.

A migration method using SSH from alioth is now set up.