[Mailman-Users] List Member Set Back

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Wed Jul 9 23:13:46 CEST 2008

David Andrews wrote:

>I run a Cobalt RAQ550 server with about 125 Mailman lists on it.  On 
>several occasions, one of the lists has had its membership roster set 
>back to one from the past.  It turns out I had a defective UPS, and I 
>would guess that it happened when there was a power glitch and some 
>operation got upset, and the membership list was set back to an old one.
>I have two questions:
>First, am I right in my guess of the problem,
>and second, the list that is put in place has been, in some instances 
>a couple years old.
>I have a new UPS, so hope this happens less, but if it does, is there 
>any way to make the list that is auto restored more recent?

Look through your Mailman lists/* directories. For any given list,
there should be a lists/listname directory with a few files including
a config.pck and a config.pck.last file. If there are also config.db
and config.db.last files, remove them. These are old files left ofer
from a Mailman 2.0.x to 2.1.x migration and their contents are that

What happens is this. When Mailman instantiates a list, it tries to
load the list data from config.pck. If that fails, it falls back to
config.pck.last, config.db and config.db.last in that order. So if
both config.pck and config.pck.last (the immediately prior generation)
get corrupted in a power outage so they can't be loaded, Mailman may
fall back to the out of date config.db, so remove those old config.db*
files to prevent that.

Then if in the future, both config.pck and config.pck.last should
become unusable, that list will just not work and you will have to
restore config.pck from a (hopefully recent) backup, but at least it
won't silently fall back to years old data.

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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