[Mailman-Users] Mail Delivery System

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Tue Sep 11 17:24:35 CEST 2007

Alexandros G. Fragkiadakis wrote:
>the last few days i get hundreds of warnings like the following:
>Transcript of session follows.
> Out: 220 xxx.xxx.xxx.xx ESMTP Postfix
> In:  ehlo xxx.xxx.xxx.xx
> Out: 250-xxx.xxx.xxx.xx
> Out: 250-SIZE 20480000
> Out: 250-VRFY
> Out: 250-ETRN
> Out: 250-8BITMIME
> Out: 250 DSN
> In:  mail FROM:<mylist at xxx.xxx.xxx.xx> size=1059
> Out: 250 2.1.0 Ok
> In:  rcpt TO:<megan>
> Out: 451 4.3.0 <megan>: Temporary lookup failure
> In:  rset
> Out: 250 2.0.0 Ok
> In:  quit
> Out: 221 2.0.0 Bye
>For some reason mailman tries to send email to users like "megan". This
>user does not even exist.
>Do you have any ideas what can be wrong?

First, your MTA appears to be doing DNS verifies during SMTP from
Mailman. This is not good. See

When your MTA receives the 'rcpt TO:<megan>' and responds with a '451',
Mailman queues the message in it's retry queue and retries in 15
minutes. Thus the vast number of attempts to send to 'megan'.

The 'megan' address can come from anywhere. It is unlikely to be a list
member, but it may be an owner or moderator. Mailman's

  bin/find-member --owner megan

will find an owner or mmember, but not a moderator.

More likely, this is a rejection notice in response to a non-member
post (undoubtedly spam) to a list.

You need to find Mailman's retry queue (normally qfiles/retry, but in
FHS compliant RedHat /var/spool/mailman/retry). You can look at the
entry/entries with

  bin/show_qfiles qfiles/retry/*

which will show you the contents of the entries. From this, you can
then determine the list and whether this is an owner or moderator or
just spam and remove the unwanted files from the queue.

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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