Recovering a Corrupted Mailman Installation

One day a Mailman installation that I maintain became corrupted.

Instead of presenting the typical web interface, it only showed the directory listing or returned 404’s, just as if the Python handler could not be found to process the requests.

Anxious to lose the configuration and content of several mail lists, I followed two tutorials to backup the Mailman data:

After completing the backups, I gave it a try and re-installed Mailman. However, the first uninstall statement

apt-get remove mailman

stopped with a message that some directories still contained data, so I had to manually delete the “bounces” directory under /var/lib/mailman/qfiles.

Finally, the statements

apt-get remove mailman
apt-get install mailman

were executed successfully, and Mailman was up and running again (without restoring any of the backups).

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