[rt-users] Failed mail delivery when web server is not running

Tim Pritlove tim at ccc.de
Wed Oct 5 00:00:51 EDT 2005


we recently needed shut our web server down for two days effectively  
taking our RT 3.0.11 installation offline. But the system was still  
installed and we expected it to still receive mail locally via postfix.

postfix delivers each e-mail using the rt-mailgate program.

What we didn't know was that rt-mailgate obviously expects the web  
service to be running as it contacts the RT system for permissions  
and other information before delivering the message to a particular  
queue. As the web server wasn't running, the delivery failed.

This is already strange as I would have expected delivery to be  
totally independent from the running web server using a local binding  
to the database and do proper checking based on its contents.

But it got worse: when the connection to the mail server fails and  
produces errors, this error condition is not signaled back to the MTA  
(in this case: postfix). The MTA thinks the e-mail has been delivered  
the message by rt-mailgate properly (which it didn't) and erases the  
message from its queues.

Result: we lost 2 days of incoming messages.

My questions:

- did we understand how RT works here correctly?
- if yes, is there an option for webserver-less delivery?
- why does the rt-mailgate process not produce proper errors to postfix?

During re-installation we moved to RT 3.2 (3.4 did not install  
properly due to various depency problems and other weird errors).

Does 3.2 or 3.4 address any of the above mentioned problems?

Maybe we're wrong with our assumptions. But if we're right, we  
consider this behaviour to be really dangerous as any webserver- 
downtime would potentially lose messages at any time.


Tim Pritlove, Discordian Evangelist
<mailto:tim at ccc.de> <http://tim.geekheim.de/> <skype://timpritlove>
<aim:timpritlove> <jabber:tim at jabber.ccc.de>
Project Blinkenlights <http://www.blinkenlights.de/>
"Sure it corrupts your files, but look how fast it is!"

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