File unlinking problem

Ray Gardener r.a.gardener at SHU.AC.UK
Fri Feb 22 16:39:20 GMT 2002

I had a unusual problem today - unfortunately I am only able to give a description rather that a full log on the instance because the symptoms aren't logged in syslog. (I am logging mail.debug level  BTW)

Briefly Mailscanner died and wouldn't restart even after several attempts to run check_mailscanner. I will try to paraphase the message it reported but I didn't record it as I was rather flustered at the time. 
It couldn't resolve an unknown dependency concerning -t option at line 420  of;  

that line reads

unlink "$OutQueue/$file"; 

and concerns "Removing Duplicates from the outgoing queue:\n";

after inspecting I decided to look at the outgoing queue; there was a file present which co-incided with the time mailscanner stopped. I moved this to another place and restarted mailscanner with check_mailscanner and mailscanner started to work again.

1) I think that the time it stop coincided with me killing mailscanner with kill -9 in order to then restart it with different options. Clearly the queue was confused by a duplicate file existing in the outgoing and incoming queues but also clearly the code tries to cater for this situation and in my case failed. Anyone help me with this might have been?

2) My other point relates to that fact that this error doesn't seem seem to be logged in syslog even though a diagnostic appeared on my console. Should I expect this to be logged somewhere?

3) is killing with kill -9 advisable?

4) Finally my queues once restart processed 3.5 thousand messages in a 1.30 hours. I suspect that this could have been faster if I adjusted the number of messages that could be process in a batch from 100 to some number. Is there a sane upper limit for this?

Technical details

system: Sunblade 1000
OS: Solaris 8
MTA: Exim 3.35
Version of mailscanner: 3.11-1
deliver in background set to yes 
delivery type is queue


Ray Gardener
Sheffield hallam University
0114 224 4926

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