[Mailman-Users] failing qrunner

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Sun Sep 16 00:30:24 CEST 2007

Jaco Kroon wrote:
>Mark Sapiro wrote:
>> Jaco Kroon wrote:
>Ok.  That covers the 4xx and 5xx responses to rcpt to:, what happens if
>the MTA simply closes the connection?  What I gathered the smtp
>conversation had to look like was something like:
>S: 220 servername ESMTP Exim ....
>C: helo servername
>S: 250 servername Hello localhost []
>C: mail from: <???-bounces at hostname>
>S: 250 OK
>C: rcpt to: <legal at addr>
>S: 250 OK
>C: rcpt to: <illegal at addr?>
>S: --- force close connection ---

It will be logged in the 'smtp-failure' as a 'Low level smtp error' and
in the 'post' log with the number refused. It shouldn't be retried.

What's in Mailman's 'smtp', 'smtp-failure' and 'post' logs?

>Now, the problem here is that you don't really know whether it's a 5xx
>or a 4xx error code, and it actually looks like the entire run for that
>message gets interrupted and put to sleep in it's entirety.  Thus may
>have been a bug that got fixed at some point (I don't even know which
>exact version of mailman I'm working with, but it's at the latest
>something released around Feb 2007).
>So at this point it simply wouldn't continue any further, and
>smtp-failures actually logs the address after the faulty one as the one
>causing a problem.

It depends on what exception is returned by Python's smtplib. If Exim
really just closes the connection, it will be logged in 'post' with a
number of failures as well as being logged in 'smtp-failure' as a 'Low
level' error and in 'smtp', and each attempted recipient from that
transaction (all the ones up to SMTP_MAX_RCPTS (default 500) that were
going to be delivered, not just the ones whose rcpt to was not sent)
will be logged in 'smtp-failure' as 'code -1: error'. Then the message
will be put in the retry queue with the same recips list minus any
that were successfully delivered in a prior smtp transaction.

What is in the Mailman logs?

>> This continues for DELIVERY_RETRY_PERIOD (default 5 days) after which,
>> Mailman gives up on this message.
>>> Is there a manual way to remove the problem-causing email
>>> addy from this list for the particular message?  We've already removed
>>> it from the main list so it won't cause issues in future but it's now
>>> holding up the delivery of an already sent message.
>> First find the entry (a long, mostly numeric, name ending in .pck) in
>> qfiles/retry, and move that file aside. Then use Mailman's bin/dumpdb
>> to dump the file. This will output the raw message and the message
>> metadata. The metadata contains a list of 'recips' which is the
>> addresses remaining to be delivered.
>I saw the dumpdb program, had no idea what it does though.  Now I do,
>and it'll make my life a lot easier next time.  Any way to repack the file?
>> If you are proficient in Python, you could write a short script to
>> unpickle the message and metadata from the file, remove the bad
>> recipient from recips and repickle the message and metadata. then you
>> could put the file in qfiles/out for delivery. (I'm currently
>> debugging one I just wrote - I'll post a link soon).
>... or issue mailmanctl stop, use vim on the file, find the invalid
>address and without changing the size of the file change the address to
>an RFC legal address that is bogus, ie, jaco at kroon.co.za? can be changed
>to jaco at kroon.co.zaa which causes the pickle to not break, and will
>cause exim to not close the connection ... instead it will bounce back
>to mailman, harmlessly since this server isn't using VERP.

Yes, you could do that, but as I posted later in this thread, there is
now a script to just delete the bad address at
<http://veenet.value.net/~msapiro/scripts/remove_recips> and mirrored
at <http://fog.ccsf.edu/~msapiro/scripts/remove_recips>.

And, if you really wanted to use vim, there's no need to stop Mailman.
Just move the file out of the queue directory, edit it, dump it with
bin/dumpdb to verify it can still be unpickled and move it back.

Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net>       The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list