[Mailman-Users] disaster recovery help

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Fri Apr 22 16:52:19 CEST 2011

Chris Haumesser wrote:

>My filesystem recently crashed, breaking some aspects of my mailman 
>The email portion of the list itself is still functioning (for 
>non-digest subscribers), and all the archives are intact. But I seem to 
>be missing some config pickles that are preventing digest delivery, 
>emergency moderation, and probably other features that I haven't 
>stumbled upon yet.
>All of the broken items generate the following message in the logs:
>Apr 21 09:00:01 2011 (29813) couldn't load config file 
>Apr 21 09:00:01 2011 (29813) couldn't load config file 
>[Errno 2] No such file or directory: 
>Apr 21 09:00:01 2011 (29813) couldn't load config file 
>[Errno 2] No such file or directory: 
>Apr 21 09:00:01 2011 (29813) couldn't load config file 
>EOF read where object expected
>Apr 21 09:00:01 2011 (29813) All .keep fallbacks were corrupt, giving up
>Indeed, these files were lost in the filesystem crash, and I do not have 
>backups of them.

If there are or were any config.db* files, they were left after
migration from Mailman 2.0.x to 2.1.x and contained old data from
before the migration.

Normally it is good to remove them because if they exist and are
useable, in a situation such as this Mailman may fall back to using
one which is not what you want.

The above seems to indicate that there is a
/var/lib/mailman/lists/.keep/config.pck, but it can't be unpickled for
some reason. Is that the case?

Given the above, I am amazed that the .keep list works at all, or is it
some other list?

>What are my options here? Can I do something like:
>- export list of users
>- move the broken list out of the way
>- create a new list with the same name
>- resubscribe members
>- copy the old archives back into the new list
>What gotchas am I going to run across trying to do something like the 

If the list you are talking about is the list named .keep, I don't
think you will even be able to export a list of users. If it is some
other list, I suggest you move the /var/lib/mailman/lists/.keep/
directory somewhere else (out of the /var/lib/mailman/lists/
directory), or, if .keep was not one of your lists, maybe just remove
the /var/lib/mailman/lists/.keep/ directory and its contents.

That in itself may be sufficient to fix the digests problem with other
lists (because cron/senddigests is dying on the .keep list and doesn't
get to the others). I'm not sure about emergency moderation, but at
least (re)move that .keep/ directory, and then see what problems
remain and what error log messages might be associated with them.

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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