[Mailman-Users] What happened to my archive? Why isn't the archive process running?

TGPlatt, WebMaster webwitchcraft at webwitchcraft.com
Tue Oct 28 15:03:39 CET 2008

First, I was wrong here. I was so horrified at the thought of having lost
all those old messages that I got the date wrong. It's actually worse than I
remembered. The last archive update appears to have happened in early
July... not early August. My last backup from the old server was September
28. It took 3 weeks for me to get mailman working again on the new host in
multi-domain (virtual host) mode. So there are 3 months worth of archive
updates that appear to be lost. I looked close at our 9/28 tar-ball backup
from the old server and there seems to be nothing in the qfiles/archive
directory at all. Indeed, there's nothing in qfiles/bad, bounces, command,
in, news, out, retry or virgin either. Shunt has a few pck files but they
all begin on 10/21 which is when mailman started running again on the new

For the record, I see no evidence the cron for archive updates is running
now on the new server either. In fact from your comments, I'd say the pck
files in qfiles/shunt strongly suggest that it's NOT running or at least not
running correctly. Here's what I see when I look at the current mailman
archive/private/listname.mbox directory

   4 drwxrwsr-x 2 ourlist    mailman    4096 2008-10-28 06:34 .
   4 drwxrws--- 8 nobody     mailman    4096 2008-07-10 06:53 ..
   0 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root       mailman      41 2008-10-28 06:34 arc ->
/www/ourlist/newtest/mailman archives/
5624 -rw-r--r-- 1 root       mailman 5743206 2008-07-07 06:22 ourlist.mbox

Note the date on the ourlist.mbox file. That's the last time the archive
process ran successfully.

Something is obviously wrong here; but I'm not sure exactly what.

Can you advise me, Mark?


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Sapiro [mailto:mark at msapiro.net] 
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 5:51 PM
To: webwitchcraft at webwitchcraft.com; mailman-users at python.org
Subject: Re: [Mailman-Users] What happened to my archive? Why isn't the
archiveprocess running?

TGPlatt, WebMaster wrote:
>I seem to be missing two full months worth of archives. From what I can
>looking at my backups, it appears that the last time the archive process
>actually ran on our old server was in early August. 
>Then for some reason it stopped funning and thee have been no archive
>updates since then. I suspect those "lost messages" aren't really lost at
>all but are merely caught in some sort of internal blockage in mailman.
>I'm trying to figure out here is how to clear the clogged drain pipe and
>the archive working again. 

There are a few possibilities:

1) ArchiveRunner died on the old server in early August. In this case,
the messages would be on the old server in the qfiles/arch/ directory.
If that is the case, you could just move the contents of that
directory to the corresponding directory on the new server and that
should do it.

2) Some error was shunting the archived messages in which case they may
be in qfiles/shunt/ and they may or may not be in the individual
archives/private/listname.mbox/listname.mbox files. If the messages
are in qfiles/shunt/, you could just move them and rin bin/unshunt,
but you need to be careful as not all the files in qfiles/shunt/ may
be messages you want. You can look at these entries with
bin/show_qfiles or bin/dumpdb.

If the messages are in the listname.mbox files, the easiest thing is
probably to rebuild the archives with bin/arch --wipe.

>When I first installed the backup from the old server to the new one and
>then checked the list's configuration parameters, I saw some parameters on
>the Archiving options page that provided for "rebuilding" the archive. But
>now those options seem to have disappeared now too.

I don't know what you say, but there's nothing in the web Archiving
Options page about rebuilding archives.

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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