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Thread: account migration ?s (domains and mailman)

  1. #1
    bdominick's Avatar
    bdominick is offline I am a Glowru!
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    Default account migration ?s (domains and mailman)

    So I'm migrating a client from his own dedicated server to a cPanel account on my dedicated server. (His setup is overkill for his needs, and he wants to save some money, and I want him hosted in a familiar environment, and I want his money)... His server uses Plesk, and his previous admin/dev guys had a lot of CGI and PHP stuff with hard-coded paths, MySQL connections, etc -- so I had to do EVERYTHING manually (not fun).

    Anyway, I have two questions I'm hoping others might be able to advise on, now that I'm 95% done with the migration...

    FIRST, and I should have asked this a while ago, but... He of course has multiple domains for the same site. In order to not cause problems during migration, I used one of his unadvertised domains (the .org version) to establish the account in cPanel while I did the work. I intend to park his main domain (the .com) at the end of this process and set up an email domain forwarder from the .com to the .org. I know this seems ass-backwards, but when I first set up the account as .com, our email communications got screwed up, presumably because my mail server rejected email from his mail server, since MINE thought itself was the .com server (due to local DNS entries) and thought HIS was spoofing (does that make sense?).

    Well, what I'm wondering is if we never actually use the .org domain for anything, is it a problem to have the MAIN domain be the PARKED domain? Does this fill up the error logs, delay HTTP request time, etc? If so, is there any way once the account is set up to reverse that, and have the account be the .com domain and just park the .org domain? Sorry if that's convoluted -- best I could do...

    SECOND, he has one massive MailMain email list set up. I have copied a directory that was /var/lib/mailman/lists/listname on HIS server to /usr/local/cpanel/3rdparty/mailman/lists/listname_domain on MY server. Is there anything else I need to do? The admin UI looks right, but I can't test with actual mail until I go live (or can I?). Does exim know what to do vis-a-vis bounce aliases, etc?

    Any help on these two issues would be much appreciated, mostly just to give me confidence to change domain nameservers and let other unforeseen problems come pouring in...

  2. #2
    jmarcv's Avatar
    jmarcv is offline Cranky Coder
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    YoW!!!!

    WAY over my head.... we will wait for Matt to show up (any minute now!)

    But as for testing, remember that you can always put an entry in your local hosts file to point to the new site and test.

  3. #3
    Matt's Avatar
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    Well, as JM says, the best way to do it is to make the .com in WHM and use your PCs hosts file to direct requests for that domain directly to the new server. That way you can test in a "live" environment. You can also test via http://IP/~cpanelusername/ but can have mixed results with that method based on how the software is coded.

    If you want to do it the way you describe, where the .org is used for staging, then the .com is parked on that when it is "go time," there is no need for an email forwarder. When you park a domain it adds the ability for you to create real email accounts @primary-domain.com and @parked-domain.com

    Now if you want to go the hosts file route, and you are trying to email the REAL .com remove the domain from /etc/localdomains and put it in /etc/remotedomains and you may need to restart exim (forgot, but I believe so). That should send it to the remote .com

    Then when the site is ready to go, reverse the process and stick the domain back in localdomains, and point the DNS over to the new box.

    Well, what I'm wondering is if we never actually use the .org domain for anything, is it a problem to have the MAIN domain be the PARKED domain?
    Not usually, but it's a clumsy way to do it, and can get confusing when trying to debug problems because the customer refers to it as the .com when in reality it is a .org you will be looking at when trying to fix / update / etc things...

    I've done a few sites that way and don't do it that way anymore for cleanliness.

    Does this fill up the error logs, delay HTTP request time, etc? If so, is there any way once the account is set up to reverse that, and have the account be the .com domain and just park the .org domain?
    Delays with http? Probably minor if any.

    Yes, you can reverse it, you'd have to manually edit httpd.conf and God knows how many other cPanel related configuration files to do it manually. The alternative is to suck it up and take a few minutes of potential downtime and unpark the .com so that the only configs on the server are for the .org

    Then, go into WHM and use the modify account function and change the domain from .org to .com and that SHOULD take care of everything. Then go into the new .com cPanel and park the .org on the .com

    That is the best way to do it in this scenario, just MAKE SURE if you go this route that you let "modify an account" COMPLETELY finish what it is doing before changing screens n WHM or you will end up with a half-baked .com/.org hybrid

    The page is a little deceptive and seems to be done working in about 10 seconds when really it takes a minute or so to do. Make sure WHM says "done," and that the browser says "done," Then get out of your chair, go to the kitchen and grab a beer, and open it, then slowly walk back to your chair and continue your business.

    As for mailman I will have to look at my docs, been a while since I had to deal with that.
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  4. #4
    Matt's Avatar
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    Re: Mailman

    Here are the best docs I have on the subject, the rest you can find at list.org

    One these servers, /usr/local/cpanel/3rdparty/mailman/bin/ has the utilities you need for performing processes like this I do believe. The path should be similar on your old system.

    Running any command alone or with -h (or --help) will give you the parameters for the command.

    example usage:

    Export all list members to a file called /home/members.txt

    ./list_members -o /home/members.txt newsletter_lists.foo.org

    I'd assume other utilities in there will deal specifically with settings and the like.

    There is no way to test Mailman AFAIK before the site resolves I'd imagine you would get a lot of bounces but then I have never tried it.

    Hope it helps.
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  5. #5
    bdominick's Avatar
    bdominick is offline I am a Glowru!
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    Default that's a relief...

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Well, as JM says, the best way to do it is to make the .com in WHM and use your PCs hosts file to direct requests for that domain directly to the new server. That way you can test in a "live" environment. You can also test via http://IP/~cpanelusername/ but can have mixed results with that method based on how the software is coded.
    Yeah, I'm not worried about testing HTTP so much -- I've been doing the above. The only shortcoming there is that most of the links are absolute, so every link on his site on my server just takes me to his current server, which means a lot of retyping base URLs to test. But I'm pretty confident in most of the HTTP stuff. Luckily I haven't had to test too many forms or anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    If you want to do it the way you describe, where the .org is used for staging, then the .com is parked on that when it is "go time," there is no need for an email forwarder. When you park a domain it adds the ability for you to create real email accounts @primary-domain.com and @parked-domain.com
    Ah, hence the drop-down menu in the email account setup that now only offers the .org domain. I've already set up the accounts, and I don't see a way to edit them in cPanel. Luckily, there are only a few, so I can redo those manually. Thanks for that insight -- big help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Now if you want to go the hosts file route, and you are trying to email the REAL .com remove the domain from /etc/localdomains and put it in /etc/remotedomains and you may need to restart exim (forgot, but I believe so). That should send it to the remote .com

    Then when the site is ready to go, reverse the process and stick the domain back in localdomains, and point the DNS over to the new box.
    Okay, that's good to know for the future, but we're close enough now that I'm not going to sweat it for this operation. We can use my GMail if the client needs to reach me during the final hours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    The alternative is to suck it up and take a few minutes of potential downtime and unpark the .com so that the only configs on the server are for the .org
    But I can do this while 3rd party DNS entries are not yet sending the world to our site -- right after I switch the nameservers at the registrar -- so it shouldn't effectively be "downtime" at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Then, go into WHM and use the modify account function and change the domain from .org to .com and that SHOULD take care of everything. Then go into the new .com cPanel and park the .org on the .com
    I just do this via List Accounts > [Username] > Alter Account Settings ? I see that's editable -- for some reason I thought it was not, or I couldn't find it before. This is a relief. Again, thanks.

    No need to respond to this message unless it sounds like I'm not getting something.

  6. #6
    bdominick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    I'd assume other utilities in there will deal specifically with settings and the like.
    Cool, I'll spend some time reviewing those utils.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    There is no way to test Mailman AFAIK before the site resolves I'd imagine you would get a lot of bounces but then I have never tried it.
    It's a one-way list, so the only incoming mail is stuff we don't want. What I was most concerned about is there are several email aliases related to the list, which I don't quite understand. I recall from my previous linux experience (in the '90s) that we had to manually set up email aliases in an alias for ListServ lists when we did something like this with them. MailMan sends from a SENDER: address of list_name-bounces@domain.com. I have no alias for that set up, but I don't see one on the client's current Plesk, either. The REPLY-TO: address I have set up, so maybe that's all that matters. I was just worried that there was exim-related stuff that might be missing in terms of handling addresses or whatever, if all I was doing was copying list config files from his mailman path to mine. I'll look and see what others have to say about that.

    Thanks again for all your thoughtful input. It's been quite helpful and reassuring.

  7. #7
    bdominick's Avatar
    bdominick is offline I am a Glowru!
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    Default Aha!

    Okay, it looks like my suspicion about external settings may have been correct. I found this resource about using MailMan via cPanel:
    Mailman FAQ Entry

    It concludes:

    All of this mumbo-jumbo is why you can't create lists in the normal way if you're using cpanel, either via the command line or via the Mailman interface. That's OK, use the Cpanel -> Mail -> Mailing Lists -> Create New List and it'll handle everything for you, including making the aliases entries for your list and all that good stuff.
    So I think I'll create the list in cPanel then copy the list's own directory over again from the old server, that way any external settings will be put in place during setup and the list's config settings (and addresses!) will overwrite the defaults. Hopefully. I'll report how that goes...

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