[Mailman-Users] Delivery to SMTP server very slow

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Sun Feb 21 22:05:19 CET 2010

On 2/21/2010 2:15 AM, Stefan Foerster wrote:
> Bad news. I was not able to reproduce the problem on a VM, using
> backups from the day the problem first occured. And worse, this night,
> while I slept a troubled, disturbed sleep, dreaming of SMTP dialogues,
> the list roster changed (one new member)- and the problem is gone.

Since I couldn't understand what possibly caused the problem in the
first place, I'm not totally surprised.

> I've been doing system administration tasks since 1997, and this still
> feels more like voodoo than science, sometimes.

Yes, it does, but I've found that there usually is an explanation. It's
just that finding it may not be easy.

You could try taking the problem list's config.pck from the backup and
dropping that into a lists/ directory with a different name (effectively
creating a new list with the exact configuration of the old one).

Then you could install this withlist script in Mailman's bin/ directory
as bin/test_smtp.py

from Mailman import mm_cfg
mm_cfg.SMTPPORT = 10123   # or whatever you want
from Mailman import Message
from Mailman.Handlers import CalcRecips
from Mailman.Handlers import SMTPDirect

def test_smtp(mlist):
    msg = Message.Message()
    msg['From'] = 'the usual poster to the list'
    msg.set_payload('message body')
    msgdata = {}
    CalcRecips.process(mlist, msg, msgdata)
    SMTPDirect.process(mlist, msg, msgdata)

And then run smtp-sink on the port defined in the script and run

bin/withlist -r test_smtp listname

where listname is the name of the new lists/ directory into which you
put the old config.pck. This will short circuit a lot of Mailman stuff
and strip it down to building the recipient list and sending the mail to
the smtp-sink port.

Possibly you've already done something similar, but this would give you
a low impact way to determine if you can duplicate the problem with the
old config.pck.

Unfortunately, I don't have any good ideas as to how to proceed from
there, even if this does duplicate the problem, but Barry indicated he
has a couple of ideas.

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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