[Mailman-Users] Messages disappear after moderator approval

Nicholas Waller Nicholas.Waller at unbc.ca
Tue Sep 3 18:56:21 CEST 2013

Thanks Mark, your guess was correct. The messages were getting put in the
qfiles/in/ queue on the frontend and never processed by IncomingRunner on
the backend. My resolution was to change *QUEUE_DIR config lines on both
servers to point to a shared NFS mount.

Now that you've clarified the problem, it seems like the misconfiguration
should have been obvious. However, it wasn't obvious to me, and I had
trouble finding guidance online about which directories should be shared. Is
there already an FAQ addressing this issue, and if not, would it be
reasonable to have one created?

For the sake of completeness, here are answers to your first questions.
- The only shared directories were DATA_DIR, LIST_DATA_DIR, VIRGINQUEUE_DIR,
and both of the ARCHIVE_FILE_DIR's.
- Yes, implying the log files were not shared. Is it normal and safe to have
multiple servers writing shared logfiles on an NFS mount?
- There were no entries in the "error" logs on either server.
- VAR_PREFIX = /var/lib/mailman
- QUEUE_DIR = /var/spool/mailman -- note this directory is not an NFS mount
- INQUEUE_DIR = /var/spool/mailman/in

Nic Waller
System Administrator
Phone 250-960-5919

-----Original Message-----
From: Mailman-Users
[mailto:mailman-users-bounces+nicholas.waller=unbc.ca at python.org] On Behalf
Of Mark Sapiro
Sent: Sunday, September 01, 2013 9:28 PM
To: mailman-users at python.org
Subject: Re: [Mailman-Users] Messages disappear after moderator approval

On 08/22/2013 03:46 PM, Nicholas Waller wrote:
> We are seeing messages get dropped after passing through moderation on 
> every one of our mailing lists.
> == Moderation fails when performed on a *separate* webserver == Our 
> Mailman environment is split across two servers, front-end and 
> back-end. The back-end server handles Postfix and the Mailman 
> qrunners, while the front-end server hosts Apache and the Mailman CGI 
> scripts for moderating lists. The two servers share an NFS mount 
> between them that includes all the shared Mailman data.

ALL? Exactly what directories are shared?

> All normal
> mail flow is working correctly, but when a list moderator logs into 
> the web frontend and approves a message, it disappears without a 
> trace.
> 1. Postfix smtpd receives the incoming message over SMTP, then 2.
> Postfix smtpd delivers the message to /usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman. 
> 3. Mailman marks writes to vette logfile (backend server) that message 
> is held for approval. 4. List moderator uses CGI web interface to mark 
> the message as approved. 5. Mailman writes an entry to vette logfile 
> (on frontend server) saying held message approved.

Implying the log files are not shared?

> 6. At this point, the .pck file related to the held message 
> disappears, but nothing is delivered, and no further log entries are 
> created.

Is there anything in Mailman's 'error' log(s)?

Is the Mailman/ directory shared? If not, what is the value of VAR_PREFIX,
QUEUE_DIR and INQUEUE_DIR in Mailman/Defaults.py or Mailman/mm_cfg.py on the
frontend? I.e., are the queues NFS shared with the backend?

I'm guessing that the message gets put in the qfiles/in/ queue on the
frontend and this is not the queue processed by IncomingRunner on the

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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