[Mailman-Users] Will this cause problems for the lists?

Steff Watkins s.watkins at nhm.ac.uk
Thu Aug 23 14:29:40 CEST 2012

Hi all,

 Just been reading the wonderful emails and pages about upgrading Mailman, which is a task I've had to do once before. Now one thing that really gives me the shivers is the idea of installing the new updated version of Mailman right over the old/current version as I've seen suggested a couple of time. OK, if it works for you fine but I feel that that leaves you very little room for rollback should the new version not perform quite as expected.

So I currently have a nice working setup that's installed as /usr/local/mailman-2.x.x symlink'ed to /usr/local/mailman and that works just fine. It allows me to have the current version and the previous version there for comparison/rollback/experimenting.

Now one thing I have noticed that has bothered me/caused me some problems with this sort of setup is that everytime I have to upgrade I have to copy all the mail-list data out, then make sure that ownerships/permissions of the mail-list data in its new location is correct.

So I had an idea. What if I make a directory, /usr/local/mailman-data for instance and then symlink the data, lists and archive directories from the current active mailman directories back into this separated data directory. I've been running with this setup for a few days now and it seems to be working just  fine, no complaints from users or systems. I'm also thinking that it is likely to make upgrades require less downtime as the new version can be built and linked into the current list data and then rolled over. OK, maybe not if there a file format conversion needed but in general yes.

However, I'm just wondering if I may be building up a problem for myself when one of the "less frequent" Mailman processes or events occur. So is separating the data out from the mailman binaries in this way a good idea or not worth the effort?

Steff Watkins
Steff Watkins                   Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London,SW75BD
Systems programmer               Email: s.watkins at nhm.ac.uk
Systems Team                     Phone: +44 (0)20 7942 6000 opt 2
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans." - HHGTTG

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