Mailscanner server becoming unresponsive, high disk activitity

Chris W. Parker cparker at SWATGEAR.COM
Mon Jul 7 22:10:48 IST 2003

Orbitel Webmaster <mailto:webmaster at ORBITEL.COM> wrote:

> This is without load, or a very small load, going through
> mailscanner.  If I turn off the mailscanner service the problem
> disappears. 
> Any advice?

Try reducing the child processes from the default of 5 to 1 or 2. I had this same problem (although a little less severe than you describe it) and my problem went away without any hardware mods once I reduced the child processes. The child processes setting can be found in /etc/MailScanner/MailScanner.conf

The child processes is determined by how many mails you receive in one day and how much ram you have. If you receive a low amount of mails like us (700-800 inbound/day) you'd probably do fine with 1 child process (like me). Even if you have lots of ram (I only have 64) there's no need to add child processes since they will never get used. You'll only waste memory because some of the child processes will just be sitting around waiting for mail to process but they'll never get any.

On the other hand if you have a high mail count you'll need more child processes. BUT if you have a low amount of ram with a high amount of mail you'll definitely need to upgrade your ram because the extra child process required to process all the mail will not work properly because of the lack of sufficient ram. (I think the average usage is about 20megs per child process.)

More Mail = More Child Processes
More Ram != More Child Processes


p.s. extra ram is always good though.

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