System load very high

mikea mikea at MIKEA.ATH.CX
Tue May 20 21:08:20 IST 2003

On Tue, May 20, 2003 at 04:00:38PM -0400, Dan Leavitt wrote:
> Ok.  I finally got the load under control but I had to comment
> out the "Spam List" line, eliminating RBL checks and
> turn off SpamAssassin checking to do so.   I put rbl checks
> into the incoming sendmail to reduce spam somewhat.
> If I turn on either of these options the load starts to climb
> and time-out messages begin to appear in the log in just
> a few minutes and with only a few messages in
> Does this give anyone any more ideas?

Well, system load is related to the number of active (or ready-to-run)
processes, not to CPU busy, on most *nix/*nux systems, and this gives
me the idea that SpamAssassin is spawning processes to get DNSbl data
from remote servers, and that those processes are waiting.

Care to post the DNSbl check line(s) you were using in SA and/or
elsewhere? I'm interested.

(I use "DNSbl" because "RBL" is trademarked by MAPS.)

Mike Andrews
mikea at
Tired old sysadmin since 1964

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