[Mailman-Users] Cancelling new subscriber notifications

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Wed Apr 18 06:25:54 CEST 2012

runner at winning.com wrote:
> Someone set up a legit list with 35,000 subscribers and they accidentally checked the box to send out subscribe notifications. So now there are 35,000 emails going to users telling them they are new members of this list. I went in and changed the list settings but it's too late. Is there any way I can stop mailman from finishing sending out subscribe notifications? It will probably take hours to get through the entire list. I can't find anything. I am going to check to see if I can do anything in postfix but thought I'd try one last ditch effort here in the mailman forum.

It's probably moot at this point, but the notifications are created and
queued in Mailman's 'virgin' queue. They are then processed by
Mailman's VirginRunner and queued for delivery in Mailman's 'out'
queue from where they are picked up by Mailman's OutgoingRunner and
delivered to Postfix.

You could first stop Mailman. That will stop the runners and leave
unprocessed messages in the queues. These will be *.pck files in the
virgin/ and/or out/ queue directories (default source install puts
these in /usr/local/mailman/qfiles/, but they could be anywhere).

I suspect however, that by the time you figured out what was happening,
all the messages had been delivered to Postfix and deleting any that
weren't sent was a Postfix issue.

You could look at Mailman's 'smtp' log to see when Mailman started and
finished delivering these to Postfix.

Note that you can't just remove virgin/*.pck and out/*.pck as there may
be other notices and list posts there too. You might be able to tell
by size or timestamp (timestamp for 'virgin') which ones you want, but
to be certain, you'd need to examine the files with the strings
command or Mailman's bin/dumpdb or bin/show_qfiles.

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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