spamassassin causing Mailscanner defunct {Scanned}

Chris Wilber chris at WILBER.ME.UK
Mon Oct 13 10:25:46 IST 2003

First of all, let me say that when it works it works well, and I am very 
pleased with the performance and features of MailScanner.

I am having problems with MailScanner failing to start correctly when I have 
it configured to use SpamAssassin . The first process starts and appears to 
be OK, but never actually processes mail. Further instances of MailScanner 
fail to start up correctly - ps shows [MailScanner <defunct>] and top shows 
bursts of very high cpu usage.

I have seen various references to this in the archives, but no explanation of 
what causes it and therefore how to resolve the problem. I am coming to the 
opinion that it is file permissions somewhere, but I don't know where.

I have had this situation twice now. The first time I fiddled around and 
changed various settings and eventually it went away. I think that I removed 
the RBL lists from the spam.assassin.prefs.conf file. On the other hand I 
changed lots of things in increasing desperation, including re-installing 
both MailScanner and spamassassin ;-)

MailScanner then worked fine with SpamAssassin for a couple of weeks before 
the same thing started happening.

Thinking back to what was common to each situation, I had been trying to 
manually learn the bayesian engine - set up scripts to run under cron, and 
ran them maually as root to test them. It was after this that things stopped 

This time, reinstalling SpamAssassin didn't improve things.

For the record, I am running:
MailScanner from MailScanner-4.23-11.rpm.tar.gz
F-Prot as the anti-virus engine
SpamAssassin Mail-SpamAssassin-2.60.tar.gz
I also have:

Any help that can be provided would be much appreciated. Anything that I can 
provide by checking permissions, or by sending off spam.assassin.prefs.conf 
files or MailScanner.conf file, or by running traces I will be more than 
happy to do.

Chris Wilber

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