SpamAssassin Timeouts

Matt Kettler mkettler at EVI-INC.COM
Wed Apr 16 20:44:43 IST 2003

No, this is likely a continuation of sillyness between MailScanner and
spamassassin about default choices of timeout.

MailScanner by default runs SA with a 30 second timeout.

SA by default queries DNSBL's with a 30 second timeout.

Thus, any time a DNSBL server fails to respond, MailScanner kills SA before
SA can complete. It's a bug to expect an application to complete within 30
seconds, when you know that one of the operations used within that can take
30 seconds on it's own.

As far as I know this bug has always been present in the default
MailScanner config. I'm running a very old version (almost a year old) and
it was there, and well known, back then. Apparently this has not changed.

The appropriate part of man Mail::SpamAssassin::Conf is:

        rbl_timeout n       (default 30)
            All RBL queries are started at the beginning and we try to read
            the results at the end. In case some of them are hanging or not
            returning, you can specify here how long you're willing to wait
            for them before deciding that they timed out

Either the SA timeout that MS uses should be 35 (or longer), or the
rbl_timeout that SA uses should be changed to 25 (or less) in
spam.assassin.prefs.conf to prevent this sillyness. I personally run with a
10 second rbl_timeout.

At 11:04 AM 4/16/2003 -0700, Mark Nienberg wrote:
>I'm not sure how to troubleshoot the timeouts but after I installed
>SpamAssassin it timed out for about 10%-15% of the messages.  When I
>changed to
>SpamAssassin Timeout = 40
>from its default value of 30, the problem disappeared entirely.  Maybe a
>function of our internet connection speed or the server speed or
>something, I don't know.

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