[Linux-aus] SPF problems too

Steve Walsh steve at nerdvana.org.au
Fri Jan 15 23:04:45 AEDT 2016

condensed email answering several complaints and addressing some statements;

On 01/15/2016 09:16 PM, ac wrote:
> There seems to be a bug when the sendque is calculated

On 01/15/2016 09:37 PM, Noel Butler wrote:
> AC,
> There is nothing to worry about, this list server has always been slow 
> ass,taking 20-30 mins at times to send out, clearly an issue with the 
> server itself

Mailman's Qrunner doesn't process the queue FIFO. Instead, it opens up 
the directory and processes the entries sequentially. As qrunner 
processes stuff, it deletes those files. So as new stuff comes in, they 
get stored as close to the start of the directory inode as possible, so 
when qrunner reaches a timeout, quits and restarts, if it hasn't 
processed everything in the directory, it starts over with newer stuff, 
leaving older stuff deep into the inode -- and it'll never GET to that 
stuff deep in the inode until the system quiets down and it's given a 
change to catch up.

As I've already indicated, we're working to fix this issue, but that's 
why AC is seeing mail come in out of order. It's the way the software 
unfortunately operates. It's a bit of a stretch to jump from the way the 
software operates to indicate that people aren't doing their job, or 
that the system is broken, and just being ignored, but, congratulations, 
you made it.

On 01/15/2016 08:57 PM, Russell Coker wrote:
> Thanks for the vote of confidence in my abilities.   I do make mistakes on
> occasion, and in retrospect just adding a DMARC entry and sending mail to
> lists was a mistake.  But a correctly behaving list won't unsubscribe people
> because of a mistake made by one member.

In all seriousness, how will the list server know what happened here? 
You were experimenting with DMARC, there was a configuration error made 
( a mail server error? from RC? uh oh Brent, better find some tightey 
whiteys), and a flurry of bounces came in. Mailman did what mailman is 
programmed to do.

On 01/15/2016 09:06 PM, Russell Coker wrote:
> Also do we even have a problem that greylisting will solve?  The server does
> SPF checks so anyone who has a SPF record with -ALL won't have their mail
> spoofed.  The server will only accept mail from subscribers so we won't have a
> problem of spam from random addresses being sent.

As you've probably seen in the mail headers, the host is called "mailhost".

"mailhost" does many things for LA, of which the mailman lists is only a 
small thing. It does all the SMTP and IMAP for the LCA and PyCon-AU 
teams, and, when we have the chance, it will do it all for Linux 
Australia. It also does mail filtering for the various RT instances that 
are in use by LA, LCA, PYCON and others. This means we get a lot of 
spam. A lot. Any of the list admins will tell you how much spam gets 
through the filters as it stands, even when we're quite aggressive.

Add to that the amount of time it takes a conference team to police spam 
into RT queueus (hint - we spent at least 2.5 hours a week clearing spam 
out of the queues for LCA2013 as the conference approached and the 
addresses got wider and wider exposure. that's 2.5 hours a week we're 
not prepping for the conference. After a while, that adds up), and 
you'll probably start to understand why mailhost is configured the way 
it is.

I'm happy to discuss any aspect of this with people at LCA, which I'm 
sure everyone here will be attending.


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