[Mailman-Users] utf-8 error with all lists

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Sat May 11 14:13:25 EDT 2019

On 5/10/19 12:37 PM, Jason Morrill wrote:
> Since the beginning of May I've had a problem with all messages going through Mailman. They are being delivered to the lists properly but copies are staying in qfiles/shunt
> The errors appearing in the Mailman error.1 log file indicate
> "
> May 05 10:16:29 2019 (1167) Uncaught runner exception: 'utf8' codec can't decode byte 0xaa in position 26: invalid start byte
>   File "/var/lib/mailman/Mailman/Archiver/pipermail.py", line 63, in fixAuthor
>     while i>0 and (L[i-1][0] in lowercase or
> UnicodeDecodeError: 'utf8' codec can't decode byte 0xaa in position 26: invalid start byte
> May 05 10:16:29 2019 (1167) SHUNTING: 1557065787.914554+25c37ef6e662cc98d41ac9d45855fe04f151e11a
> "
> This is on Debian 9.6 with Python 2.7.13 and Mailman 2.1.23 , all installed from the Debian package manager.
> I've spent several hours hunting around for a potential solution. Then stumbled upon this:
> https://mail.python.org/pipermail/mailman-users/2019-March/084243.html

If you read the entire thread (which is split in the archive with the
second part beginning at
you will see that I think the issue is that whatever changed in your
system at the beginning of May is causing the Python

from string import lowercase

in /var/lib/mailman/Mailman/Archiver/pipermail.py to import a lowercase
object which should be the string 'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz', but in
fact is longer and has non-ascii accented characters following 'z'.

The OP in that thread couldn't verify that that was the case, but I am
convinced that it is.

There doesn't seem to be a Debian patch to mailman 1:2.1.23-1+deb9u4
that would affect this so it is apparently something in Python or the OS.

I am certain that if you start with the base
/var/lib/mailman/Mailman/Archiver/pipermail.py and change

from string import lowercase

at line 13 to

lowercase = 'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz'

the problem will be fixed.

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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