[Mailman-Users] invites for large user list fails

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Fri Sep 14 18:10:58 CEST 2007

Anne Ramey wrote:

>Thank you very much for the script.  It didn't throw any errors that I 
>could see...just a lot of entries that look like this:
>cookie: 796cc3d566c11147296cd748690a972a364a479c
>    type: S
>    data: <UserDesc USER10 at domain.tld () [amekando] [digest? no] [en]>

These are the invitations. You would know if it threw an exception
becaus it would quit with a traceback. So, the pending.pck database is

>I increased this time on my server
># Timeout: The number of seconds before receives and sends time out.
>Timeout 1000
>from 300 to 1000 and managed to enter 1000 invites at once.  It did the 
>same thing with 2000.  I think you were right about apache terminating 
>the process.  Is anyone else running lists that process large #s of 
>invites at once?  What should my apache limit be to be effective?

Is this correct? I.e. it was taking 5 minutes before producing the
error, and now it can do 1000 invitations in under about 17 minutes,
but with 2000, it produces the error after about 17 minutes.

Given the size of your pending database (thousands of outstanding
invitations), I suppose it could take over 0.5 seconds to process an
invitation (includes adding the info to the pending database and
queueing the user notice in the virgin queue).

As far as a 'reasonable' value for timeout is concerned, I, personally,
would be unlikely to wait even 5 minutes for response to a button
click from a web page.

Is inviting thousands of users at a time to join this list a regular

One thing that might help is reducing the size of the qfiles/virgin/
directory. Even though it is normally empty, it's size on disk may be
quite large. This makes adding new entries a slower process than
necessary because the entire disk directory must be searched each time
a new entry is added to be sure it doesn't already exist. To reduce
the size, stop Mailman just to be sure nothing is lost, verify that
qfiles/virgin/ is empty, remove it and recreate it with the same
ownership and permissions and start Mailman.

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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