[Mailman-Users] "-owner" works, "-admin" doesn't...

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Thu Apr 27 02:47:50 CEST 2006

Kris Wilk wrote:

>SHORT VERSION...sending to "-owner" gets delivered fine, but sending to 
>"-admin" gets vanishes (no bounce) and tallys a bounce count against the 
>owner address. What would cause this??

Short answer... The -admin address is a synonym for the -bounces

>- A few weeks ago, I stopped getting subscription notifications

I don't know what would cause this since Mailman sends these to -owner.
Mailman never sends to -admin. (I have an idea - see below)

>- A few days later, I got a message from Mailman saying that my address 
>had excessive bounces and was disabled. I had to re-enable MY OWN 

I actually think there is or was a problem with delivery to your
address and your address is or was actually bouncing.

>This prompted me to test the "LIST-owner" and "LIST-admin" addresses...
>- The "-owner" address is delivered to me just fine.
>- The "-admin" address never delivers. No bounce msg to sender either.
>- EVEN WORSE...each mail sent to "-admin" seems to get treated as a 
>BOUNCE event against MY (owner) address!

This should not be the case. Unless you specifically crafted the
message to look like a DSN or other actual bounce notification, mail
to the -admin address should be treated as an unrecognized bounce and
forwarded to the owner as such.

This leads me to think as above that at least some mail from mailman to
you (like an unrecognized bounce notice or a subscription notice) is
actually bouncing and it is this secondary bounce that is being


In Mailman 2.0, bounces were sent to the -admin address which was the
owner. There was no automated bounce processing. In Mailman 2.1,
automated bounce processing was introduced with bounces returned to
the -bounces address. The "contact the admin" address was made the
-owner address. The -admin address was deprecated but retained as a
synonym for the -bounces address to handle transition bounces.

Mailman never sends anything to or from the -admin address. Mail
received at the -admin address is not scored as a bounce unless it is
a recognized bounce format. Arbitrary test messages you send to -admin
will be unrecognized bounces and if the option is set, will be
forwarded to the -owner address and then to the actual owner. I think
in your case, it is this unrecognized bounce notification that is in
fact bouncing and scoring a bounce for you.

I do not think your issue has anything to do with the handling of mail
to -admin. I think some mail (notifications) from mailman to you are
actually bouncing and this is what started a few weeks ago.

Did you start or change the way you reject spam? If you have spam
filtering, try white listing the -bounces address so notices from
list-bounces will get through.

Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net>       The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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