MailScanner on Mac OS X

JLM JLM939 at
Wed Feb 18 08:50:04 GMT 2004

Hi folks,

I'm trying to get MailScanner (4.26.8-1) functioning properly on Mac OS X
Server (10.3.2), and I'm running into a few trouble spots. I'm using
MailScanner along with XAMS 0.0.15-RC4, which is a flexible and intuitive
email management system that is designed to work along with Exim,
Courier-IMAP, and MySQL.

The trouble spots I'm running into are:

[1] At launch, MailScanner complains: "ps: illegal option -- f"  This seems
to be related to check_mailscanner, but other than that I don't anything
about this error, how important it is, and whether there's anything we can
do to fix it on Mac OS X. Any thoughts or suggestions would be much

[2] I can't seem to get MailScanner to run as mail:mail (GID=6, UID=6). This
occurred on both the Jaguar (10.2.6) and Panther (10.3.2) versions of Mac OS
X that I have installed MailScanner on. I have to comment out the "Run as
user = " and "Run as Group = " lines in order to get MailScanner to run.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how we might fix this? We'd rather
not have MailScanner running as root if we can avoid it.

[3] Other than the above, MailScanner appears to function normally. However,
after a few hours of normal operation, the following error began repeatedly
appearing in the mail log:

Feb 17 12:44:31 localhost MailScanner[2965]: File containing list of
incoming queue dirs (/var/spool/exim-incoming/input) does not exist

There is indeed a /var/spool/exim-incoming/input directory. I'm a bit
puzzled as to why MailScanner thinks there is a file containing a list of
incoming queue dirs at that location. Both the incoming and outgoing queue
directories are specified in the mailscanner.conf file.

MailScanner appears to continue functioning normally, so once again it's not
clear how important this error is. Nonetheless, can anyone shed any light on
what's causing this and how I might fix it?

[4] After mail has been scanned for viruses and run through SpamAssassin, it
may then be fed to TMDA if the spam/ham analysis is inconclusive.

[I fully realize that many people are not big fans of challenge/response
systems such as TMDA. Please keep in mind that messages with low spam scores
are delivered unchallenged, and messages with high spam scores are discarded
outright (again, without being challenged). The only messages that will be
challenged are the very rare messages that SpamAssassin can't convincingly
classify as either spam or ham. It is our hope that this method will address
many of the objections against challenge/response systems.]

I'm working with the other folks on the XAMS team to put together a few
routines to pass mail from MailScanner to TMDA. The following test routines
were added to the component of MailScanner:

### Begin: Test routines added to ###

use Data::Dumper;
sub InitXAMSTMDAMailer {}

sub XAMSTMDAMailer
    my ($message) = @_;
    open XAMS_TMDA_FH, '>>/tmp/xams_tmda_mailer.log';
    print XAMS_TMDA_FH Dumper($message) . '=' x 80 . "\n";
    print XAMS_TMDA_FH "XAMSTMDAMailer was here\n";
    close XAMS_TMDA_FH;
    return '/usr/local/exim/bin/exim -DMAILSCANNER_OUTGOING=On';

sub EndXAMSTMDAMailer {}

### End: Test routines added to ###

When a message is received by MailScanner and triggers the above routines,
it delivers the mail but does two unexpected things:

1. The output of the first print command is:  "$VAR1 = undef;"
   Can anyone think of why that might be? Any suggestions would be very,
   very helpful.

2. It repeats the output five times (see below). I realize that MailScanner
   has five processes running at any given time, but why are all five
   processing these routines when a message is received?


     $VAR1 = undef;
     XAMSTMDAMailer was here

     (repeated another four times)

   Does anyone have any ideas as to why this is being repeated five times?

I realize this is a lot of questions to throw to the list at once. I and the
other members of the XAMS team would be most grateful for any advice you can

On behalf of the XAMS team, thanks in advance for any pointers you might
have for us!




I'd like to take a moment to recognize the superb support I've received so
far from Nick Phillips, who has selflessly devoted his time to help me get
MailScanner running on Mac OS X (in at least a basic incarnation). Without
his guidance, I would never even made it this far. Many thanks, Nick!

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