[Mailman-Users] Follow-up Weird problem data format error. Commandoutput Mailbox does'nt exist

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Fri Aug 3 03:40:52 CEST 2007

carconni wrote:
>I've just been updated by more of the users/list admins.  It seems  
>that every-time the mail-server bounces/restarts, configurations are  
>lost.  Members fall off lists, lists stop running, or are no longer  
>recognized by the mail server.  Is there a central DB or something  
>that is rolling back to an earlier version?

Could be, but it is pretty clear to me that the problem is with your
MTA, not with mailman. Since your MTA is Postfix, and delivery is via
aliases, this can't be a Mailman (other than aliases) issue because
the mail is being bounced by Postfix because "Recipient address
rejected: User unknown in local recipient table" which means that
somehow the aliases for this list are being lost.

When the problem occurs, are the aliases still in
/var/mailman/data/aliases? What is the mod time on
/var/mailman/data/aliases.db? Are all the list's (working and
non-working) aliases in /var/mailman/data/aliases and nowhere else (eg
/etc/postfix/lmail/company.aliases or /etc/aliases)?

>> I have spent the better part of 6 hours looking for a reason.  I've
>> checked permissions, not just with checkperms but manually, step by
>> step, directory by directory comparing the broken list to a list that
>> is known to be working.

Nothing in Mailman is causing this. It is postfix that 'forgets' how to
deliver to qvc-requests at mail.mailserver.com. Apparently deleting and
recreating the list fixes the problem because it runs Postfix's
/usr/sbin/postalias command abd rebuilds /var/mailman/data/aliases.db
from /var/mailman/data/aliases. Probably just running postalias would
fix it too without the pain of recreating the list.

<stuff not relevant to the issue snipped>

>> I've checked the alias file in /var/mailman/data/aliases:
>> (Everything looks ok)
>> # STANZA START: qvc-requests
>> # CREATED: Wed Aug  1 09:09:12 2007
>> qvc-requests:             "|/usr/share/mailman/mail/mailman post qvc-
>> requests"
>> qvc-requests-admin:       "|/usr/share/mailman/mail/mailman admin qvc-
>> requests"
>> qvc-requests-bounces:     "|/usr/share/mailman/mail/mailman bounces
>> qvc-requests"
>> qvc-requests-confirm:     "|/usr/share/mailman/mail/mailman confirm
>> qvc-requests"
>> qvc-requests-join:        "|/usr/share/mailman/mail/mailman join qvc-
>> requests"
>> qvc-requests-leave:       "|/usr/share/mailman/mail/mailman leave qvc-
>> requests"
>> qvc-requests-owner:       "|/usr/share/mailman/mail/mailman owner qvc-
>> requests"
>> qvc-requests-request:     "|/usr/share/mailman/mail/mailman request
>> qvc-requests"
>> qvc-requests-subscribe:   "|/usr/share/mailman/mail/mailman subscribe
>> qvc-requests"
>> qvc-requests-unsubscribe: "|/usr/share/mailman/mail/mailman
>> unsubscribe qvc-requests"
>> # STANZA END: qvc-requests
>> I've checked locks: - nothing regarding this list there.

Mailman locks aren't relevant to this.

>> main.cf shows: alias_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/lmail/
>> company.aliases,hash:/var/mailman/data/aliases

Looks OK to me, but I'm not a postfix guy?

>> Where else can I check?

Something is happening when Postfix is restarted that is causing this,
but I don't know what or why. I'm guessing the
/var/mailman/data/aliases.db file gets modified somehow using data
other than that in /var/mailman/data/aliases, but I have no idea how
this can happen.

But, I can tell you, look to Postfix, not Mailman. Other than
/var/mailman/data/aliases*, there's nothing in Mailman that's relevant
to this issue.

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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