The revenge of the empty message bodies

Julian Field mailscanner at
Mon Nov 24 19:08:10 GMT 2003

Can you try the latest code to see if the problem persists?

At 18:28 24/11/2003, you wrote:
>Hello Julian and the crowd ;-)
>Like others, I'm regularly hit by the « Skipped Messages Of Death »
>problem with Postfix. The symptoms are already known : lots of messages
>like this in /var/log :
>Nov 24 17:08:06 sceuzi postfix/qmgr[27007]: 18CD91B8368: skipped, still 
>being delivered
>and empty messages in the mailboxes. I searched the list archives for
>someone having had the same problem, and I found an exchange of mails in
>October covering the subject. The reporter explained that MS was reading
>files in the wrong queue (see <>). Well,
>I managed to catch MS in the act, and put the 'lsof | grep postfix' and
>'ps -afx' outputs on a web server nearby (note : the load at the time I
>took these snapshots was very high, around 9.0~11.0) :
>I have the full lsof output if you need it, it's just too long to
>sanitize it, so if it's needed I'll just mail it to you. BTW, I did a
>'cat lsof.out.txt | sort --key=8,8 | grep incoming' and wasn't able to
>find any postfix process in the output (or more precisely any postfix
>process accessing an inode concurrently with MS). But maybe I just got
>the data at a bad time... Another strange thing is that I restarted
> soon after the incident, and I got this warning :
>Also, I saw that a patch for this problem has been proposed at the time
>(see <>). Should I apply this patch ? Has
>the original reporter (or anyone else, for that matter) tested it, and
>what were the results ?...
>For the record, here is the configuration I run MS on :
>* The server is a (rather busy) 2×PII-233 with 384 MB RAM running 
>* Program versions (dpkg -l) :
>ii  mailscanner                         4.24.5-1 
>  An email virus scanner and spam tagger
>ii  postfix                             2.0.16-1 
>  A high-performance mail transport agent
>ii  spamassassin                        2.60-1 
>  Perl-based spam filter using text analysis
>* I did it « by the book », except that some configuration files are in
>fact hard links to avoid me the hassle of changing these at two
>locations. I've done this for the following files :
>/etc/             <-> /etc/postfix/mydestination
>/etc/                <-> /etc/postfix/mynetworks
>/etc/             <-> /etc/postfix/relay_domains
>/etc/                   <-> /etc/postfix/virtual
>/etc/MailScanner/spam.assassin.prefs.conf <-> /etc/spamassassin/
>Anyway, this shouldn't have any impact on the problem, but I'm telling
>it preventively. Another depart from the normal (?) configuration is
>that I've two init scripts to take care of the two instances of Postfix
>(the second is just the same script with all references to
>{/etc,/var/spool}/postfix replaced with Works OK).
>* The MS configuration file is IMHO too long to be included in a mailing
>list posting, so I did put it at
><> (that's the
>MailScanner.conf file, minus comments and empty lines). Same for the
>(rather non-standard) SA configuration file at
>OK, cannot think of anything else at the moment. If you need more
>information or another configuration file, ask away. If this has already
>been discussed and solved, well I apologize for being such a lousy
>searcher :-)
>PS : BTW, another recurring problem is that MS sometimes just stops
>processing e-mail altogether. The MS processes are still alive, but they
>just idle. I haven't so far been able to spot any distress message in
>the logs, and it causes big problems everytime (e-mails piles up in the
> deferred queue and MS takes time to empty the queue, thus
>causing huge delays in mail delivery). Has a solution been found to this
>(I did a quick search but found nothing) ?...
>[ Jacques Caruso <jacques at>                  Développeur PHP ]
>[ Monaco Internet                  ]
>[ Tél : (+377) 93 10 00 43                        Clé PGP : 0x41F5C63D ]
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Julian Field
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