[Mailman-Users] error log - Failed before cPickle:

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Sat Feb 11 22:52:25 CET 2006

Susan Feng wrote:
>I noticed the following messages in mailman error log every time when a
>list is accessed, for example:
>Feb 09 09:49:38 2006 (13810) Failed before cPickle:
>Feb 09 09:50:38 2006 (13813) Failed before cPickle:
>It doesn't seem to be harmful, because all operations seem normal.
>The permission for the list is:
> drwxrwsr-x  2 mailman mailman 4096 Feb  9 09:49 email-team/
>and under email-team:
>-rw-rw-r--  1 www-data mailman    24 Jan 21 08:55 request.pck
>-rw-rw----  1 mailman  mailman 12595 Feb  9 09:49 digest.mbox
>-rw-rw----  1 mailman  mailman  6184 Feb  9 09:49 config.pck.last
>-rw-rw----  1 mailman  mailman  6184 Feb  9 09:49 config.pck
>What does the error mean? Should I worry?

I don't know what the error means. I couldn't find the message anywhere
in Mailman 2.1.7 or in Python 2.4.

I might be somewhat concerned since the above shows your list's
config.pck last updated at 09:49 and there was one of these messages
at 9:50:38, so what was happening then.

I'm also, curious about why the PIDs in the file names don't match the
PID of the process doing the logging, at least not in every case. Or
maybe they do. Maybe you have shown us the end of entry 1, all of
entry 2 and the start of entry 3.

Basically, here's what happens when a list is saved (__save() in
MailList.py). There are three file names:

fname = config.pck
fname_last = config.pck.last and
fname_tmp = config.pck.tmp.<hostname>.<PID> which in your case becomes
fname_tmp = config.pck.tmp.mailman.Stanford.EDU.ppppp where ppppp is
the PID of the process doing the save.

The save consists of
1. open fname_tmp
2. call cPickle to pickle and dump the list to fname_tmp
3. if IOError write to the error log a message that begins
   "Failed config.pck write, retaining old state." and remove
4. remove fname_last
5. link fname to fname_last
6. rename fname_tmp fname

So apparently, your list is being saved successfully at least some of
the time, but I would try to find where those messages are coming from.

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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