[Mailman-Users] Analysis of reasons for bounce responses

Christine De La Rosa chris at christinedelarosa.com
Fri Aug 1 06:30:24 CEST 2003

Hi Richard,

Here is what I know so far, mail for most list members seem to be going
through for the most part.  About two weeks ago MM mass unscribed about
300 folx. Now we seem to have stablized the members but the owners of
the lists are getting routinely bounced.  Yahoo email address do not
have a problem, aol is a major headache as is hotmail.  What is
happening on my side is that the sub notices are never reaching the
owners, so they are bouncing like mad and eventually hit the excessive
bounce phase after five days (since we have the settings set to set to
nomail after 5 bounces and mailman set to send notifcations once a day).

I have been monitoring this list and the cpanel forums
(http://forums.cpanel.net) to see if this issue is resolved.  I have
tried several of the fixes they had on there to no avail.  Although they
have set out a new fix
man for the qrunner eating up cpu, but I haven't tried it yet.  I am
basically trying to find bits and pieces and make them into a whole that
will fix my problems.    

 this is clipped and pasted from a final bounce message I am getting
from MM.  Since I don't really know how to read bounces I am not sure if
the issue is on my side, their side or somewhere in the middle.  Please
note that the email that bounced on the sub notice is getting all its
mail from just regular list mail.

Hope this helps!  Back to the quest!



This is a Mailman mailing list bounce action notice:

    List:       Vegas
    Member:     WCDancer at aol.com
    Action:     Subscription disabled.
    Reason:     Excessive or fatal bounces.

The triggering bounce notice is attached below.

Questions? Contact the Mailman site administrator at
mailman at domain.com

From: "Mail Delivery System" <Mailer-Daemon at alpha.domain1.com> 
To: mailman-bounces at alpha.domain2.com 
Subject: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender 
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 08:02:13 -0700 

This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) 

  WCDancer at isp.com
    SMTP error from remote mailer after MAIL 
FROM:<mailman-bounces at alpha.domain2.com>:
    host mailin-01.mx.aol.com []: 550 REQUESTED ACTION 
  mcknz at isp.com
    SMTP error from remote mailer after MAIL 
FROM:<mailman-bounces at alpha.domain.com> SIZE=2643:
    host nymx-2.nyroc.rr.com []: 553 5.1.8 
<mailman-bounces at alpha.domain.com>... Domain of sender address 
mailman-bounces at alpha.domain.com does not exist

------ This is a copy of the message, including all the headers. 

Return-path: <mailman-bounces at alpha.domain2.com>
Received: from alpha.domain2.com ([])
	by alpha.domain2.com with esmtp (Exim 4.20)
	id 19h9UO-0006jA-VB; Mon, 28 Jul 2003 08:00:40 -0700
Received: from [] (helo=alpha.domain2.com)
	by alpha.domain.com with esmtp (Exim 4.20) id 19h9U7-0006h2-MD
	for Finewine-owner at bdomain2.com; Mon, 28 Jul 2003 08:00:23 -0700
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Subject: 3 Finewine moderator request(s) waiting
From: Finewine-bounces at domain2.com
To: Finewine-owner at domain2.com
<mailman.11.1059404401.25640.finewine_domain2.com at domain2.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 08:00:01 -0700
Precedence: bulk
X-BeenThere: Finewine at domain.com
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.2
X-List-Administrivia: yes
Sender: mailman-bounces at alpha.domain.com
Errors-To: mailman-bounces at alpha.domain.com

The Finewine at domain.com mailing list has 3 request(s) waiting 
your consideration at:

Please attend to this at your earliest convenience.  This notice of
pending requests, if any, will be sent out daily.

Pending subscriptions:
    funnygirlster at isp.com (Sue) Sat Jul 19 17:23:45 2003
    dpoday at isp.com (deborah) Thu Jul 24 22:38:08 2003
    pupigrl1 at isp.com (Jen) Sun Jul 27 04:36:20 2003


-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Barrett [mailto:r.barrett at openinfo.co.uk] 
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 7:30 PM
To: Christine De La Rosa
Cc: 'Mailman'
Subject: Re: [Mailman-Users] Analysis of reasons for bounce responses


On Friday, August 1, 2003, at 12:48  am, Christine De La Rosa wrote:

> This is the EXACT problem I am having with mailman, using cpanel and 
> exim.  I, however, am on a dedicated box and have root access.  I have

> been working on this problem for over three weeks.  I am tired and 
> frustrated and wishing I knew a little more about mailman and its 
> inner workings.

As I said in my post, this bounce issue is not, in my view, at heart a  
bug in Mailman. The evidence I saw of bounce notices from local MTA  
(Exim) say that the MTA is having problems getting outgoing mail off  
the system and finally bouncing it back to Mailman when it fails to do  

If you are getting final bounce notices from Mailman when it disables a

subscriber because of these problems what is the reason reported in the

bounce message from the MTA, which should be attached to the bottom of  
the final bounce notification from MM? In the example final bounce  
notice passed to me for comment the MTA was reporting it was having an  
IP routing problem; that is hardly a Mailman generated problem as far  
as I can tell.

One of my problems with looking at this is I am trying to help out a  
fairly new user with a problem I have not seen on my systems, while I  
have no access to the Mailman or MTA logs on a system experiencing the  
problem. I have no standing with the CPanel owners to raise matters  
with them in case they are contributing to the problem with the way  
they set things up. Deeply frustrating.

Let me know if you gain any insight or information related to this.

> I come from a majordomo background.  When I got this dedicated server,

> it had mailman pre-installed so I thought kewl I will use it instead.

> It ran fabulously until cpanel did their last upgrade. I have been in 
> hell since then.
> I wish I could help you, but I have not been able to figure out even 
> from the logs what the issues are.  Granted, looking at the logs are 
> like gobbledigook to me.  So I have spent a lot of time searching the 
> archives for this problem.  Although, I haven't been able to find
> anyone
> with my specific issue.  I can tell you that qrunner has been
> my cpu at astonishing rates.

Mailman can consume large amounts of CPU when the MTA it is trying to  
hand mail over to repeatedly returns temporary failures. MM can be too  
aggressive in repeatedly trying to get the MTA to either accept or  
permanently fail the handover. There are changes in the Mailman CVS to  
moderate MM's efforts in this respect but so far as I know those  
changes are not available as a patch for MM 2.1.2 stable. This issue  
may be affecting you but I am no expert myself in setting up Exim so as

to avoid this undesirable interaction; I do not see it with my Sendmail

setup. There have been posts to mailman-users on the topic of high CPU  
utilisation. This one fromJon Carnes relates to Postfix MTA but its  
substance/recommendations may be applicable to Exim:


>  But there is no rhyme or reason to that,
> that I can see.  If I find anything out I will post it here.
> Chris
> -----Original Message-----
> From: mailman-users-bounces+chris=christinedelarosa.com at python.org
> [mailto:mailman-users-bounces+chris=christinedelarosa.com at python.org]
> On
> Behalf Of Richard Barrett
> Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 5:08 AM
> To: Mailman
> Subject: [Mailman-Users] Analysis of reasons for bounce responses
> This is not my problem but one soemone approached me about off list.
> I'll summarise their situation and I would appreciate any thoughts,
> comments, sanity checking on my analysis.
> Situation:
> 1. List admin's domain is hosted by a server run by a hosting company.
> 2. The server is (probably) running Linux
> 3. Mailman 2.1.2 is provided on the server with, I believe, CPanel
> 4. The server's MTA appears to be Exim 4.20 handling both incoming and
> outgoing messages to/from Mailman
> 5. Mailman list's basically work OK much of the time
> 6. Periodically messages out from Mailman are being bounced en masse
> leading to the subscriber accounts being disabled
> 7. The bounce response attached to the bounce action notice produced
> Mailman when subscribers are disabled in these circumstances is from
> the server local MTA. The MTA lists what appears to be all the
> addresses to which the outgoing message was sent with a note against
> each saying "unrouteable mail domain maildomain.tld". The bounce
> response asserts that this is a permanent failure. The messages are
> each being sent to a number of different mail domains not just a
> one
> 8. The list admin with the problem has no access to either the Mailman
> or MTA logs
> 9. The server administrator is supposedly claiming that these bounces
> are a result of "a bug in Mailman for which no patch is available"
> My analysis is:
> 1. The problem is not obviously due to any bug in Mailman
> 2. The problem is more likely due to an IP routing problem which
> periodically afflicts the server and its ability to reach the MTAs for
> the mail domains addressed by the outgoing messages
> 3. The MTA is accepting the outgoing messages from Mailman and then
> finding it has problems of its own in delivering mail which are
> unrelated to Mailman as the origin of the messages
> But I have to concede I know nothing about Exim 4.20. I know even less
> about CPanel.
> Any thoughts or anatomically feasible suggestions welcome.
> -
> -----
> Richard Barrett
> http://www.openinfo.co.uk

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