[Mailman-Users] a corrupt pickle

Ken Crater ken at control.com
Mon Jan 8 20:42:38 CET 2007

Hi all,
We're using Mailman 2.1 (in fact, our control.com site was the impetus for
v. 2.1) and appear to have suffered a severe problem in connection with a
system crash over the weekend.

Attempting to access our more important email list via the web interface
results in the following traceback:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/var/mailman/scripts/driver", line 87, in run_main
  File "/var/mailman/Mailman/Cgi/admin.py", line 70, in main
    admin_overview(_('No such list %(safelistname)s'))
  File "/var/mailman/Mailman/Cgi/admin.py", line 228, in admin_overview
    mlist = MailList.MailList(name, lock=0)
  File "/var/mailman/Mailman/MailList.py", line 101, in __init__
  File "/var/mailman/Mailman/MailList.py", line 588, in Load
    raise Errors.MMCorruptListDatabaseError, e
MMCorruptListDatabaseError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory:

Further troubleshooting using (attempting to use) dumpdb and check_db
indicates that BOTH config.pck and config.pck.last (the above error message
referring to config.db.last seems to be incorrect, since this version uses
pickles) are experiencing EOFErrors.  Actually, dumpdb and check_db in this
version crash against these target files, but I brought the list files into
a new version of Mailman and both files appear empty there.

And, wouldn't you know it, this led us to discover that our hosting site has
not been backing up the /var/mailman directory, so we don't have backups.

Are there any tools or techniques for data recovery in such circumstances?
The files appear to still contain data -- in fact, I've been frantically
using a text editor to extract the 1000 or so email addresses as a
last-resort, but probably won't be able to capture individual settings with
this approach.

I can't imagine why both files are corrupted, but they both produce the same
result (a compare shows that they are slightly different).

Our formerly-active list is down now, so any help will be GREATLY

Thanks in advance,
Ken Crater
ken at control.com

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