[Mailman-Users] Backing up Mailman list installations

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Thu Nov 29 06:34:41 CET 2001

<<Reply-To: set>>

A moderately frequent request on these lists has been, "How can I
back up my Mailman lists/membership/etc?"  I happened to be in the
area today touching up the scripts I use.  Please feel free to adapt

Note: You'll need to have a reasonably recent version of nmh
installed as the scripts rely on the MH tools to build a MIME


The scripts:
    #set -x
    echo "To: ${addr}
    From: nobody
    Subject: ${subject}
    #application/octet-stream [${subject}] ${file}
    " | /usr/bin/mh/mhbuild - > /tmp/mimemail.tmp.${$}
    /usr/lib/mh/post -verbose -watch /tmp/mimemail.tmp.${$}
    rm /tmp/mimemail.tmp.${$}
    #set -x

    datestr=`date +%Y%m%d`
    host=`hostname -f`

    cd /var/lib/mailman
    tar zcf ${filepath} lists
    cd ~/backups
    mimemail ${file} ${filepath} ${sendto}
    #rm ${file}
Yeah, there are some hard coded paths in there.  Sue me.  I never
said they were pretty, merely that they worked.  Brief explanation:

  mimemail takes three arguments: the Subject: of the message its
  going to send, the file it is going to send, and the address it is
  going to send it to.  mimemail depends on the nmh tools to build
  the MIME message.

  mailman.backup takes no arguments.  It creates a compressed
  tarball of ~mailman/lists in the file

    eg: mailman.lists.20011128.tar.gz

  And then uses mimemail to send that file to root at localhost
  (edit/change if you want) before deleting it.

To use drop them in a cronjob something like:  

  0 6 * * 0 /home/archiver/bin/mailman.backup

A sample execution should look something like:

  $ ./mailman.backup
   -- Posting for All Recipients --
    -- Local Recipients --
    root: address ok
   -- Recipient Copies Posted --
  Message Processed
The result will be that every time the cronjob runs it will send you
(in this case root at host.dom) a message looking something like:

  Subject: mailman.lists.20011128.tar.gz
  From: nobody at kanga.nu
  Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 21:12:55 -0800
  To: root at kanga.nu

  <MIME attachment application/octet-stream> 

Where the MIME attachment is the tarball constructed by
~/bin/mailman.backup.  Edit the value of sendto in mailman.backup if
you want them going somewhere else.

I've added this to FAQ at:


J C Lawrence                
---------(*)                Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas. 
claw at kanga.nu               He lived as a devil, eh?		  
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/  Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.

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