[Mailman-Users] Migration to a new server: recommendations for testing the new Mailman server before changing DNS records; also how to avoid lost/bounced messages during change-over?

David dave at fiteyes.com
Thu Jul 4 20:58:17 CEST 2013

Hi. Well, Mailman and Linode have been very trouble-free for the last year
(or more). It's been great! We are making some changes although we are
sticking with Mailman and Linode. We are moving to a new physical server
(and new OS -- Debian). Our hostname and domain name are not changing. (In
fact, our IP address won't change either, thanks to Linode's ability to
easily swap IP addresses between servers.)

Our sysadmin has the new Debian server set up, Mailman is installed and our
lists are copied over. This new server does not yet have our domain name or
IP address. We want to test the new setup before making those changes.

I would appreciate some recommendations for how to do this testing. What
mail functions can we test? (Our MX records don't point to the new server
yet.) Afaik, we can't really test normal mail processing in advance of
making the final cut-over (or can we?). Are there things in addition to
changing /etc/hosts that I can implement on my computer for testing the new
Mailman server? Any ideas or suggestions are appreciated.

Also, in terms of the actual cut-over, how can we avoid bounced or lost
messages if it takes several hours to transition?

My plan is roughly something like this:

First I will moderate any pending messages. Then I will stop mailman. At
this point our sysadmin will do a final data migration. Then I will shut
down the server. I will do the IP swap at Linode. Then I will boot up the
new server. I hope we can do all that within a window of about an hour. I
appreciate any advice on this too.

For reference, here are some posts I have read in preparation for this move:

How do I move a list to a different server-Mailman installation. -
Documentation - Confluence

Re: [Mailman-Developers] Upgrading from 2.0.10 to 2.1.b2

[Mailman-Users] migrating mailman lists

[Mailman-Users] migrating mailman lists

[Mailman-Users] export/import of lists

BTW, does anyone have an itemized check list of all files that need to be
copied? The posts above are not 100% complete (afaik) because, for example,
they don't consider that some apache config settings may be related to
Mailman. In our case we have ScriptAlias /m/ /usr/lib/cgi-bin/mailman/ and
related changes.

Furthermore, files like /etc/mailname are related to Mailman configuration.

If anyone has or can come up with an itemized, file-by-file, checklist, I
would like to be able to offer that to our sysadmin. The only alternative I
know is a trial and error approach to making sure we don't overlook
anything, and I prefer to avoid that method (especially the "and error"


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