[Mailman-Users] Digest options -> list configuration

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Fri Aug 8 16:30:08 CEST 2008

Brad Knowles wrote:

>On 8/7/08, Mark Sapiro wrote:
>>  After some off list back and forth, Alan determined that the problem was
>>  that the mailman user had /bin/false as a login shell. Once that was
>>  changed, the script worked as expected.
>Was this on a Solaris box?  I've had problems with them lately not 
>allowing cron jobs to run under a specific userid, even if they were 
>in the /etc/cron.allow list, unless the user had a valid password 
>hash and a valid shell.

No, I don't think this was Solaris, but the problem is that bin/false
is a 'valid' shell except that all it does is return an error without
running any commands.

So when the user tested with

  su mailman -c "path_to_python -S path_to_script args"


  su mailman -c "path_to_script args"

su passed the command to bin/false which happily exited with a failure
status that the user never saw and the command was never run.

Also, after the fact, he discovered entries in the cron log indicating
mailman's crons were failing, but this was a new installation, and he
hadn't yet noticed the symptoms of this.

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

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