Virus scanner lock file not removed

Julian Field mailscanner at
Fri Apr 4 19:03:11 IST 2003

Your OS should clean up advisory locks when the process finishes, however
cleanly it does it. But it's possible that an OS bug could fail to release
a lock.

At 17:46 04/04/2003, you wrote:
>Julian -- thanks for the explanation. Yesterday, a batch of messages was
>only processed by MailScanner when I deleted the lock file. I've just
>rebooted the machine and a test message went straight through.
>On Fri, 2003-04-04 at 16:25, Julian Field wrote:
> > The file is created but it never needs to be deleted. When the autoupdate
> > script does its job, it locks the file with an exclusive lock, does the
> > update, then unlocks it again.
> >
> > MailScanner processes always lock the file with a "shared" lock when they
> > want to use the scanner. Lots of "shared" locks can be used on a file at
> > the same time (in this case, one per MailScanner child process), but only 1
> > "exclusive" lock can be held at a time, and that stops any "shared" locks
> > as well (which is what the autoupdate script uses).
> >
> > So it's not the presence of the file that is stopping MailScanner running,
> > it's something else.
> >
> > I use Sophos myself and have never had a problem of this sort, so I'm not
> > quite sure what is going wrong...
>David Osborne <david.osborne at>
>Information Services, University of Nottingham

Julian Field
Professional Support Services at
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