[dvlug] It's back...

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Jun 8 18:40:30 PDT 2009

Quoting Rick Moen (rick at linuxmafia.com):

> Yes, and I have the back postings from March 30 to April 14 that are
> currently missing from the archive, thanks to the kind work of Robert
> Wall in saving and providing them.  (I just have to try to merge those in
> carefully when I have time.)

OK, I've now done this.  It turned out to be pretty simple.

1.  Make a safety copy of the pre-merge
/var/lib/mailman/archives/private/dvlug.mbox/dvlug.mbox.  That's the
cumulative mbox of all postings ever sent to the mailing list -- and,
FYI, can always be downloaded as
http://linuxmafia.com/pipermail/dvlug.mbox/dvlug.mbox .[1]
Given that safety copy, I had high confidence, based on earlier
experience, that I could back to where I started (not burn any bridges).

2.  Open up in mutt the mbox file of missing postings that Robert Wall
# mutt -f /var/backup/dvlug.mbox
Mark all.  Then, copy all to
/var/lib/mailman/archives/private/dvlug.mbox/dvlug.mbox (which merges
them into that mbox).  Mutt commands:

;t   (tag all)
;c /var/lib/mailman/archives/private/dvlug.mbox/dvlug.mbox  (copy all)

Quit mutt.

3.  Do mutt -f /var/lib/mailman/archives/private/dvlug.mbox/dvlug.mbox ,
to sanity-check it.

4.  Run "arch", the Mailman archiving script, to rebuild the HTML and
text archives of the mailing list from the reconstructed mbox:

# cd /var/lib/mailman
# bin/arch --wipe dvlug archives/private/dvlug.mbox/dvlug.mbox

This erases ("--wipe") and then rebuilds the
/var/lib/mailman/archives/public/dvlug/ tree, which is what you are
looking at when you browse http://linuxmafia.com/pipermail/dvlug/ ,
and contains individual HTML and quarterly ASCII files presented in
various ways.

On some prior Mailman instances I've administered, the "arch" utility 
got the ownership of /var/lib/mailman/archives/public/dvlug/ wrong,
root:list instead of list:list, or something, such that (initially) 
you would get HTTP 403 Forbidden errors, until you figured out that
"arch" had gotten it wrong and fixed the subtree ownership to match 
the ownership of all the other mailing lists.  Refreshingly, somebody
seems to have finally fixed this bug.

[1] Grabbing the raw mbox file is, among other things, a useful way to
make an unofficial third-party backup of a mailing list.  If the server
blows up, you have all the postings to date.  (With that plus the roster
of subscribers, you could in fact reconstruct the collapsed mailing list

Cheers,                      Notice:  The value of your Hofstadter's Constant 
Rick Moen                    (the average amount of time you spend each month 
rick at linuxmafia.com          thinking about Hofstadter's Constant) has just 
McQ!  (4x80)                 been adjusted upwards.

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