[Mailman-Users] Uhhuh, my GID blues goes on... :( - Case SOLVED!

John Dennis jdennis at redhat.com
Mon Nov 28 17:08:40 CET 2005

On Mon, 2005-11-28 at 10:23 +0200, Niemi Hannu wrote:
> > This would seem to say that postfix is using two different 
> > GIDs to invoke the wrapper depending on the list (or, if this 
> > is the case, on where the list's aliases come from). I think 
> > you need to carefully look over your Postfix configuration 
> > and see if it might be getting mailman aliases from two 
> > different places and using different GIDs for the different places.
> Aargh.. I feel dumb, dumber, dumbest...
> Though, I still don't 100% grab it, I managed to solve the problem,
> which was MUUUCH silleer I did even anticipate. I had read the postfix
> configuration many times through but forgot to check the postfix
> aliases-file, which had all the vintage lists in it. After removing the
> lists form the aliases file everything started to act logically. 
> I did put the lists in there when setting the listserver fast up after
> the previous server crashed (physiaclly). Afterwards I added the
> mailman-generated aliases-file into postfix aliases and just forgot to
> delete the mailman-related aliases from the aliases file. As the lists
> worked all right (through the probably primary aliases file) I didn't
> notice any problems during that time. The problem just manifested itself
> as now, as we needed a new list. 
> What is strange is that the wrappers in the aliases file was just the
> same as in the mailman aliases file, so it still beats me, why it didn't
> work. But, let's hope this cured the problem until forever! :)

The reason is because of a Postfix feature. Postfix will by default,
although it is configurable, run external commands found in an alias
file under the uid/gid of alias file it found the alias in. Thus you can
have postfix run external commands using a specific uid/gid by
partitioning your aliases into separate files, all of which share a
common uid/gid requirement. If you keep all the mailman aliases in an
mailman only alias file with mailman specific uid/gid then when those
aliases instruct postfix to run a command (e.g. the wrapper) then it
will do so with the uid/gid of the mailman alias file.

In your case you ended up with a mixed bag of aliases and depending on
which bag the alias was found in first you got the uid/gid of that bag,
hence the seemingly inconsistent behavior, which was in fact very

John Dennis <jdennis at redhat.com>

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