[Mailman-Users] How to reduce list archives

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Thu Dec 17 18:00:15 CET 2009

Hans Joachim Wenzel wrote:
>we "private" archive all our lists - and its come the time where we
>need to free space up on the volume that its archiving to. We are using version 2.1.12.
>We tried to edit the archives/private/listname.mbox/listname.mbox file to remove the messages we don't want and then run 'bin/arch --wipe listname' and got:
>exim at mailhost-locust] /usr/local/mailman/bin $ ./arch --wipe security  
>#00000 <20090102122338.D9D2A15804B at flens.dfn-cert.de>
>Schreibe Archivzustand in Datei /HAmailhost/mailman/archives/private/security/pipermail.pck
>Traceback (most recent call last):
>  File "./arch", line 201, in ?
>    main()
>  File "./arch", line 189, in main
>    archiver.processUnixMailbox(fp, start, end)
>  File "/usr/local/mailman/Mailman/Archiver/pipermail.py", line 578, in processUnixMailbox
>    a = self._makeArticle(m, self.sequence)
>  File "/usr/local/mailman/Mailman/Archiver/HyperArch.py", line 684, in _makeArticle
>    mlist=self.maillist)
>  File "/usr/local/mailman/Mailman/Archiver/HyperArch.py", line 308, in __init__
>    charset = message.get_content_charset(cset_out)
>  File "/usr/lib/python2.4/email/Message.py", line 800, in get_content_charset
>    charset = unicode(charset, 'us-ascii').encode('us-ascii')
>TypeError: decoding Unicode is not supported
>The archive was completely lost and restored from backup. Any help would be appropriate.

This is due to an incompatibility between Mailman 2.1.12 and the email
package in some Python 2.4.x releases. See the March 2009 note in the
FAQ at <http://wiki.list.org/x/pYA9> which includes a link to a patch
to the Python lib/email/Charset.py module to fix this.

Also see the comment thread in the bug report at

I'm surprised that this was the only place you noticed this problem.
Are there occasional shunted messages and error log tracebacks?

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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