Great Circle Associates Majordomo-Users
(July 2003)

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Subject: Avoiding mailloops
From: susan barnes <s . barnes @ uni-koeln . de>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2003 18:28:02 +0200
To: majordomo-users @ greatcircle . com


Last night one of our majordomos got caught in a kind of mailloop, when someone tried to query majordomo using a sending address serviced by an autoresponder.

Each Email hitting said account would trigger one of these We-will-answer-your-email-later messages, which caused majordomo to send its helpfile once again, which would trigger....

3000 Mails and 30 MB later I stopped the loop using the Mailservers AccessDB.

We use Majordomo 1.94.5  and sendmail 8.12.9/8.12.8

I am wondering if there is anything to avoid this situation?

Things I thought about:

Giving majordomos outgoing administrative mails a reply-to header pointing to majordomo-owner(I do not like that, for quite a few mailinglists are open+confirmed and half of the confirmation mails will then go to majordomo-owner)

Incorporate another sanity-check, so mails with
Return-Path: <>
in their headers, do not get processed.

It would be nice if majordomo could act similar to a (wellbehaved) vacation, sending out a Maximum of X messages to a single recipient and resetting the counter every hour or so.

(All this should only affect the majordomo results mails, not the list traffic)

Ideas anyone?

Thank you for your input.

Susan Barnes

Susan Barnes <>
Zentrum fuer Angewandte Informatik - Universitaetsweiter Service RRZK
Universitaet zu Koeln / Cologne University        - Tel:0221-478-5594 

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