[Mailman-Users] What the $%#*)^ causes this????!!!

Rich Ramos me at RichRamos.com
Wed Aug 1 20:42:28 CEST 2001

I had this same symptoms.  My problem was that I had screwed up my mailman 
entry in /etc/passwd such that mailman was assigned the wrong group id. 
Which ment that even though the group mailman has write permission to the 
file config.db the user mailman wasn't part of that group and could change 
the file.

When changes are made to the .db files through a web browser the user id of 
your web server (usually www) owns the file until the next time that a cron 
job gets kicked off.  If the user id mailman doesn't have group access to 
the file for whatever reason (like screwing up a passwd file) then mailman 
can't make changes and you get a perission denied and the file stays owned 
by the user id of the web server.


--- Original ---
From: Dave Klingler <davek at mail.commercedata.com>
To: mailman-users at python.org
CC: Dave Klingler <davek at mail.commercedata.com>
Date: 8/1/01 10:30 AM -0600
Subject: [Mailman-Users] What the $%#*)^ causes this????!!!

I periodically wake up to find this in my mailbox:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/home/mailman/cron/gate_news", line 222, in ?
  File "/home/mailman/cron/gate_news", line 203, in main
  File "/home/mailman/cron/gate_news", line 140, in process_lists
    mlist = MailList.MailList(listname, lock=0)
  File "/home/mailman/Mailman/MailList.py", line 79, in __init__
  File "/home/mailman/Mailman/MailList.py", line 891, in Load
    dict, e = self.__load(dbfile)
  File "/home/mailman/Mailman/MailList.py", line 868, in __load
    fp = open(dbfile)
IOError: [Errno 13] Permission denied:

Invariably the ownership of the config.db file has been changed to "www".
I'm sure it's because someone has logged in and unsubscribed or made other
changes to their account.  I usually react by changing the ownership to
"mailman" or making the file permissions permiscuous.  This seems to fix
the  problem for some random period.

This machine is an OpenBSD box.  I haven't yet figured out the ins and
outs of it yet, but for some reason the installation will only run as
root.  It's possible that there is something unique to OpenBSD that's
security-related causing my problem, but I've gotten this one before on
another machine, a  virtual host.  Anyone have any clues?

Dave Klingler

Mailman-Users maillist  -  Mailman-Users at python.org

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