[Mailman-Users] Attachments are unexpectedly re-created.

Masaharu Kawada mkawada at redhat.com
Tue Mar 2 09:21:02 CET 2010

Dear list,

I am kind of new to use mailman on administrative, so if this is
an known issue I'm sorry. I would very much appreciate it if you
would kindly answer my questions.

Firtst of all, one of my customer wanted to delete attachments to
make more disk spaces on the server. The server's disk resource
was getting full because the size of the directory for attachments
was very big. So the customer did the following works first.

Digest options -> Disabled(Digestable 'NO')
Archiving options -> Disabled(Archive 'NO')

Secondly, after the above, the customer deleted directories located
under the following directory such as 20091201, 20091202 and so on.

/var/lib/mailman/archives/private/<list name>/attachments/<date>

# rm -rf 20091201,20091202,.....
Finaly, the customer got the "Digest options" and "Archiving options"
back to enabled as follows.

Digest options -> Enabled(Digestable 'YES')
Archiving options -> Enabled(Archive 'YES')

With this operations, the directories under attachments directory
were deleted and the disk space is now enough, however, by unknown
timing, directories that are named with past's date, which were
manually deleted, are re-created automatically. And in that 
directories, it seems that the same attachment files are repeatly

One thing that I realized to stop this weird action is to disable
both "Digest options" and "Archiving options". Once those options
are disabled, no more unexpected attachment files would be created
under that directory. 

To know what was going on to the mailman server at that moment
(in the meantime of the unexpected action), I asked the customer
for logs such as error log in /var/log/mailman direcoty, and 
in the error log, I saw the following errors regarding "send_digests".

xxx xx xx:xx:xx 2010 (2129) send_digests() failed: EUC-JP decoding error:
invalid character ......
xxx xx xx:xx:xx 2010 (2129) send_digests() failed: EUC-JP decoding error:
invalid character ......
xxx xx xx:xx:xx 2010 (2129) send_digests() failed: EUC-JP decoding error:
invalid character ......

I have not yet been sure if these errors are related to the cuase,
but it seems that "send_digests()" appearently fails and retries

My questions this time are as follows.

1.Why are attachment files re-created? Is it a normal action whenever
  "Digest options" and "Archiving options" are available?

2.If the answer for the question 1 is "NO", what could be the cause?
  The fail of send_digests() is it?

3.Does the send_digests() repeat(retry) if the action fails?

4.Is there anything else that should be done after deleting attachments
   manually to avoid being suffered this weird behavior?


Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Masaharu Kawada
Associate Technical Support Engineer
Red Hat K K
Ebisu Neonato 5F
1-18 Ebisu 4-chome, Shibuya-ku
Tokyo 150-0013, Japan
Direct: +81-3-5798-8482

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