[Mailman-Users] How can I check if mailman is handling bounces correctly?

Richard Barrett r.barrett at openinfo.co.uk
Mon Jul 7 22:34:25 CEST 2003

At 11:55 07/07/2003, Angel Gabriel wrote:
>How can I check if mailman is habdling bounces correctly? I have an
>explicitly set return email address, so that anyone replying to the
>mail, would send the mail to a monitored alias. But I also get a lot of
>messages saying, undelivered mail etc. How does mailman know that these
>messages are bouncing??

Per RFC 2821, well behaved Mail Agents, send bounce messages back to the 
 From address of the envelope not to any of the headers of the message 
being bounced.

In the case of MM 2.1.x the From address of the envelope is 
<listname>-bounces at youremaildomain.tld In MM 2.0.13 it was the 
<listname>-admin alias if I remember correctly.

Essentially, it is irrelevant what the Reply-to: header is on the outgoing 
messages from your lists.

>Or that these email addresses, are no good?

Mailman receives bounce messages from Mail Agents that are reporting they 
are unable to deliver mail that MM has sent out. Mailman's bounce handlers 
analyses such a message to determine which address it sent the original 
message to. If it succeeds in identifying the address whose delivery failed 
it records the information against the address and eventually, depending on 
the list bounce criteria, disables the address concerned.

>And how can I check that mailman knows this?

You can take a look at the bounce logs to see what MM is doing. Tyr sneding 
a message to the address concerened yourself.

But bear in mind that you can set the criteria, on a per-list basis, which 
MM uses to decide on how to act when it gets bounces. This allows 
flexibility in coping with failures in mail delivery which may change over 
time; for instance a Mail server going off-line for a prolonged period and 
then coming back.

>About ten% of my list is
>bouncing, and I would like to clean that up.

Essentially, Mailman will clean up by disabling bouncing addresses. Once in 
a while you can go through and delete the disabled addresses form the wbe 
admin GUI, or re-enable them

Richard Barrett                                      http://www.openinfo.co.uk

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