[Mailman-Users] Cloning a Mailman server to a virtual machine.

David Newman dnewman at networktest.com
Wed Aug 17 23:50:29 EDT 2016

On 8/16/16 1:19 PM, The Mailing List Server Admin wrote:
> Dear Mailman Cognoscenti,
> We have Mailman (and ListProc) running on a physical machine which
> needs to be decommissioned.  Cloning the system to a virtual machine
> (VM) shouldn't be a problem, but I am unsure about the tasks needed to
> make a smooth transition.  I've looked at several articles about
> moving Mailman to new hardware, but a lot of the lower level service
> details are not mentioned.  Here's my first stab at what I think needs
> to be done.
>   Mailman v2.1.20
>   RHEL v5.11
>   Semdmail v8.13.8
>   Apache v2.2.3
> After informing the list owners of date/time mailing list services
> will be unavailable, at the appointed time...
> On the existing machine:
>    1. stop cron        sudo service crond stop
>    2. stop Sendmail    sudo service sendmail stop
>    3. stop Apache    sudo apachectl stop
>    4. stop Mailman    sudo service mailmain stop
>    5. stop ListProc    su --command=/home/server/stop server
>    6. check mail queue    sudo mailq
>    7. Wait ?? for machine to quiet down?

Shouldn't be necessary because of steps 2 and 5 -- the old system can't
send or receive list messages or other email.
> Clone existing system to VM.

>    8. shutdown old machine
>    9. boot VM clone
>   10. test email and lists
>   11. alert list owners

Provided the VM is an exact copy with the same IP address(es) this
should be OK. If the address changes, don't forget to update your DNS
zone files.


> My concern is that a mailing list server is a very stateful beast, so
> I want to avoid sending duplicate posts/digests, or accidentally
> dropping new postings on the floor.  Thanks for any insights you may
> have to offer on the process.

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