SpamAssassin timed out and was killed... box too slow?

Julian Field mailscanner at
Mon Jun 2 21:23:03 IST 2003

At 21:14 02/06/2003, you wrote:
>Kevin Spicer <mailto:kevins at BMRB.CO.UK> wrote:
> > > On Mon, 2003-06-02 at 20:59, Chris W. Parker wrote:
> >
> > Hello.
> >
> > We have relatively low email traffic (approx. 450/day on work days)
> > and I receive quite a few of these in my /var/log/maillog:
> >
> > > May 17 04:03:08 filter MailScanner[3324]: SpamAssassin timed out and
> > > was killed, consecutive failure 1 of 20
> >
> > > Does this mean my computer is too slow? It's a 200mhz pentium!!!
> >
> > Probably not - more likely this was an RBL which failed to respond in
> > a timely fashion.  It probably a good idea to tweak the SpamAssassin
> > Timeout in MailScanner.conf to 40s (if its not there already) as some
> > internal SpamAssassin timeouts are 30s.
>Actually I've got RBL checking turned off and my SA timeout is already set
>at 60s.
>Any other ideas?

Kill all the MailScanner processes (some of them will take several seconds
to die, let them get on with it).
Edit /etc/MailScanner/MailScanner.conf.
Set Debug = yes
Set Debug SpamAssassin = yes
Wait until you have a few messages collected in /var/spool/
Then run "check_MailScanner". It should spew output about SpamAssassin,
during which it will hopefully pause, waiting for something to happen. The
output when it pauses should hopefully give you some clue about why it is
timing out.
It will run 1 batch of messages and then quit.
Julian Field
Professional Support Services at
MailScanner thanks transtec Computers for their support

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