[BALUG-Admin] BALUG lists ... blank body with command in Subject: header, ... subscriber options

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Wed Jul 19 23:55:03 PDT 2017

Quoting Michael Paoli (Michael.Paoli@cal.berkeley.edu):

> So, bit of searching (find(1)) and such ...
> looks like those relevant texts are configurable under:
> /etc/mailman/en/....

Sure, if what you want to do is tweak the text.  In some cases, you
might want to edit the HTML of one of the stock Web pages associated
with the list, specifically the

o  General list information page
o  Subscribe results page
o  User specific options page
o  Welcome email text file

A listadmin of a Mailman mailing list can do so via the admin WebUI.
I've sometimes found that useful and convenient.

I've personally never found anything in /etc/mailman/en/ that I really
wanted to change.

> Next up is then looking at subscriber options - looks like there are two
> python database formats mailman uses ... may be able to manipulate user
> options through that (especially in bluk) to match (transferring) per-user
> member options.

Python pickle format (the *.pck files)and the one that config.db is in,
which is a Python marshal containing a dictionary object.  Explanation:

~ $ ls -l /var/lib/mailman/lists/conspire
total 173
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root     list   357 Dec 24  2000 archives.html
-rw-rw---- 1 list     list 11228 May  6  2003 config.db
-rw-rw---- 1 list     list 11167 May  6  2003 config.db.last
-rw-rw---- 1 www-data list 27583 Jul 19 23:29 config.pck
-rw-rw---- 1 list     list 27247 Jul 19 21:13 config.pck.last
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root     list   189 Dec 24  2000 handle_opts.html
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root     list  3067 Dec 24  2000 listinfo.html
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root     list  4107 Dec 24  2000 options.html
-rw-rw---- 1 list     list  1590 Jul 19 21:13 pending.pck
-rw-rw---- 1 www-data list 71473 Jan 27  2016 pending.pck.tmp.19688.1453955821
-rw-rw-r-- 1 list     list  8675 Jul 19 21:13 request.pck
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root     list  1169 Dec 24  2000 roster.html
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root     list   185 Dec 24  2000 subscribe.html
~ $

There are a lot of really nice command-line tools available for site
admins to use in dumping and editing config.db and the various pck
databases, not limited to those shipped with Mailman.  But of course you
don't have site admin at Dreamhost.  So, yeah, the most you're going to
get out of Dreamhost would be for you (or maybe Michael Hubbard) to file
a trouble ticket asking for the files.  Here's a page about how to do
migration optimally: 


That page assumes that the target Mailman instance is able to perfectly
use the files from the old one, which is reportedly often true but maybe
not always.  The wisely pessimistic way to get config.db contents would
be to say 'Hey, Dreamhost NOC people, please send the three files produced by

/var/lib/mailman/bin/check_list -o /tmp/balug-talk-config-dump balug-talk-balug.org
/var/lib/mailman/bin/check_list -o /tmp/balug-admin-config-dump balug-admin-balug.org
/var/lib/mailman/bin/check_list -o /tmp/balug-announce-config-dump balug-announce-balug.org

Thank you.'

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