Performance problems...

Eric J Merkel merkel at METALINK.NET
Fri Jan 30 19:49:17 GMT 2004

I am in the process of converting our SMTP(sendmail) relay servers to
MailScanner & F-PROT. Previously we had been using RAV antivirus with
libmilter to scan all incoming and outgoing emails for viruses. Since moving
to MailScanner & F-PROT it seems as though my messages are getting back
logged quite quickly. The server prior to the switch had an average uptime
of 1.0 - 3.0. Now I am consistantly running at 10.00 - 13.00 load average
and have about 28,000 files waiting in the directory to be
processed only a few hours after putting into production.

I've tried turning off all virus notifications and tweaked the
mailscanner.conf to process messages both in batch and in queue. While in
batch mode, I also tried changing the number of messages in the batch to
process at any one time but it doesn't seem like mailscanner can keep up
with the number of incoming messages passing thru the system. I've also
lowered sendmail's logging level to 0, turned off fsync on /var/log/maillog.
I tried splitting the directory into multiple directories but
couldn't get sendmail to drop the files into directories under
Yes I did change the sendmail startup command to change the incoming queue
directory to* and also in mailscanner.conf. So at last, I am
wondering what else I can try to improve the throughput of the system?

The specs on the system are as follows:

Intel PIII 700Mhz
512K RAM
Ultra2-160 SCSI LVD drives
RedHat 9 + Sendmail 8.12.8 + MailScanner 4.25-14

I know this system is not very high powered, but I have systems identical to
this one in a SMTP load-balanced cluster runnig RAV + libmilter wirh no such

Thanks for any advice you might lend.

Eric Merkel / MetaLINK Technologies, Inc
Email: merkel at
Phone: 419-782-3472

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