[Dovecot] What does mailman do with a 'post' command?

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Fri Feb 26 18:03:38 EET 2010

On 11:59 AM, Masaharu Kawada wrote:
> One of my customer gets the following log message into /var/log/maillog
> at around 12:00 every day.
> ---</var/log/maillog>---
> 12:00:04 relay postfix/pickup[6279]: 244811C805C: uid=41 from=<mailman>
> 12:00:04 relay postfix/cleanup[21529]: 244811C805C:
> message-id=<20100215030004.244811C805C at example.co.jp>
> 12:00:04 relay postfix/qmgr[20068]: 244811C805C:
> from=<mailman at example.co.jp>, size=1728, nrcpt=1 (queue active)
> 12:00:04 relay postfix/local[21232]: 244811C805C:
> to=<mailman at example.co.jp>, orig_to=<mailman>, relay=local, delay=0.17,
> delays=0.05/0/0/0.12, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (delivered to command:
> /usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman post mailman)
> ----

This question should have been posted to mailman-users at python.org, but
since I am the Mailman developer that probably would have answered it
there, I'll try to answer here.

The above Postfix log entries are from a normal message to a mailman
list (such as this one). It is a message that was sent to
mailman at example.co.jp from mailman at example.co.jp.

Since it occurs daily at noon, the default time for sending digests, I
think it is related to that.

> This message seems that it delivers a command
> '/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman post'
> to execute against the mailman mailing list, however, the customer never
> use mailman mailing list on their system. One thing that I doubt is that 
> a cronjob in /etc/cron.d/mailman does something relevant of this because
> the post time of the messages is always reight after the following work.
> ---</etc/cron.d/mailman>---
> 0 12 * * * mailman /usr/lib/mailman/cron/senddigests
> or
> 0,5,10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50,55 * * * * mailman
> /usr/lib/mailman/cron/gate_news
> ---

It is almost certainly not gate_news. I'm sure it is senddigests.

Every Mailman 2.1.x installation has a site list which is normally named

> I'm afraid that I don't have /etc/mailman/aliases file of cutomer's, 
> but by default(in my test env), it should looks like below.
> </etc/mailman/aliease>
> # STANZA START: mailman
> # CREATED: Mon Jan 25 16:48:18 2010
> mailman: "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman post mailman"
> mailman-admin: "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman admin mailman"
> mailman-bounces: "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman bounces mailman"
> mailman-confirm: "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman confirm mailman"
> mailman-join: "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman join mailman"
> mailman-leave: "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman leave mailman"
> mailman-owner: "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman owner mailman"
> mailman-request: "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman request mailman"
> mailman-subscribe: "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman subscribe mailman"
> mailman-unsubscribe: "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman unsubscribe mailman"
> # STANZA END: mailman

Yes, it would be that.

> My questions are as follows.
> 1.What exactly is the cause the message in /var/log/maillog?

A message sent to mailman at example.co.jp which via the alias above is
posted to the 'mailman' list by piping to the command

  /usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman post mailman

> 2.Why does the messages send to mailman(mailman at example.co.jp) user
> even though that mailing list never be used?

The mailing list is used. The address is the source of some messages and
is also on the listinfo overview page in the message

If you are having trouble using the lists, please contact
mailman at example.co.jp.

and on the admin overview page in the message

(Send questions and comments to mailman at example.co.jp.)

What exactly is happening is not clear. My first guess is that
mailman at example.co.jp is a member of the mailman at example.co.jp list, and
every day, a digest is sent to that member and posted back to the list
ensuring there will be another digest the next day, but there is
protection in Mailman against this kind of loop, so that probably isn't it.

The bottom line is there is a mailman at example.co.jp list, and someone
needs to examine its membership and archives and also Mailman's logs on
that machine to figure this out.

If you need to follow up, please join mailman-users at python.org
<http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/mailman-users> and follow up there.

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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