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Install Sympa distribution: Installing from source


See also "Requirements".

Installation overview

  1. Create system group and user.

  2. Get and unpack source.

  3. Run configure script.

  4. Build and install.

Create system group and user

At first, create a group and a user dedicated to Sympa.

Most of Linux distributions

# groupadd sympa
# useradd -g sympa -c 'Sympa user' -s /sbin/nologin sympa


# pw groupadd sympa
# pw useradd sympa -g sympa -c 'Sympa user' -s /usr/sbin/nologin


# dscl . -create /Groups/sympa gid <new GID>
# dscl . -create /Users/sympa
# dscl . -create /Users/sympa UserShell /sbin/nologin
# dscl . -create /Users/sympa RealName 'Sympa user'
# dscl . -create /Users/sympa UniqueID <new UID>
# dscl . -create /Users/sympa PrimaryGroupID <new GID>

Get and unpack source

Release version

If you wish to install release version (this is recommended for production use), download the newest source tarball from Sympa release page.

The source tarball is named like sympa-6.2.XX.tar.gz. Version numbers containing non-numeric letter (e.g. 6.2.17b.1, 7.0a) represent prerelease versions which are a bit less stable in exchange for enhancements.

Unpack source tarball, and move into the new directory:

$ tar xzf sympa-6.2.XX.tar.gz
$ cd sympa-6.2.XX

Development version

If you wish to install development version, create local clone of git repository and checkout main branch:

$ git clone sympa
$ cd sympa

Once you have created your local clone, you can get the latest source at any time just doing:

$ cd sympa
$ git pull


  • If you are planning to contribute to Sympa by fixing bugs or adding enhancements, you would be better to create GitHub account of your own, "fork" original repository and work on it. For more details see GitHub documentation.

Run configure script

Run configure script with appropriate options:

$ ./configure (...options...)

Appropriate options are vary by situations. Subsequent sections describe how to choose options.

Upgrading earlier versions

If you are upgrading earlier version of Sympa, you may choose the same options you specified at the time of the last build.

New installation

If you are installing Sympa anew, --enable-fhs and --prefix options are recommended, for example:

$ ./configure --enable-fhs --prefix=/usr/local --with-confdir=/etc/sympa (...other options...)


  • On the future releases of Sympa, the --enable-fhs option will be enabled by default.

Other useful options

To know about all available options for configure script, run:

$ ./configure --help

Build and install

At last configure script has been run successfully, run make. If it succeeded, run make install to install Sympa.

$ make
# make install
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