temporary file spawning

Mon Feb 28 18:00:13 GMT 2005

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Julian Field wrote:

> Ade Fewings wrote:
>> -zip- && apologies for excessive headers.....(but, it was a long time
>> ago and may be needed for reminder services)......
>>>>>>>>> We have two mail servers running on Solaris 9 Sparc.  Sendmail
>>>>>>>>> 8.12.10
>>>>>>>>> utilizing MailScanner 4.36.4 to call SpamAssassin 3.0.1.  Earlier
>>>>>>>>> today, one of our large mailing lists got hit a couple of times
>>>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>>> the servers got a bit busy.  However, something went wrong and
>>>>>>>>> /tmp
>>>>>>>>> filled up with
>>>>>>>>> spamassassin.25755.Bdgxlb.tmp esque files.  Hundred of thousands
>>>>>>>>> were
>>>>>>>>> created in a short time, running /tmp out of i-nodes and thus
>>>>>>>>> effectively stopping MailScanner.
>>>>>>>>> Killing MailScanner, cleaning /tmp and restarting would then
>>>>>>>>> reproduce
>>>>>>>>> the problem again soon after.  I truss'd the output of a few of
>>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>> MailScanner processes that were going bad and all they were doing
>>>>>>>>> was
>>>>>>>>> trying to open new files in /tmp.
>>>>>>>> We have further discovered that this problem definitely only
>>>>>>>> occurs
>>>>>>>> when
>>>>>>>> MailScanner is set to use SpamAssassin.  Switch off SpamAssassin
>>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>> there are zero problems.  So, being relatively unknowledgable
>>>>>>>> about
>>>>>>>> MailScanner, the question that comes up is what is creating these
>>>>>>>> temporary files?  It is either SpamAssassin itself or something in
>>>>>>>> MailScanner that gets switched on when you tell it to use
>>>>>>>> SpamAssassin.
>>>>>>>> Can anybody offer any guidance on whether MailScanner itself
>>>>>>>> creates
>>>>>>>> these files?
>> Hi Julian et al,
>> An update on this situation.......
>> I thought i'd fixed the problem.  I updated MIME::Tools and File::Temp
>> with the existing perl 5.6.1 and all was well for the best part of two
>> weeks (during which we didn't have any massive influxs, but did have a
>> couple of inqueues up in the 100-200 mark) until  about 45 minutes ago
>> (Friday afternoon/evening.....grrr.......why send massive mailing list
>> mails at that time?!!), when one of the two affected servers exhibited
>> the problem again.  Both had inqueues up in the 600s, one survived and
>> got through it all ok, the other got down to 400 and then went bonkers.
>> So, my next step is a new Perl as Julian also suggested and i'll keep
>> the list informed as to the results of this.
> What is your SpamAssassin Timeout set to? Set it to 100 at least and
> then see if things improve.

A further update.....

Having increased the SpamAssassin Timeout considerably (to 300), I
thought I had got round this problem, until today.  Got hit very hard
and things went wrong again.  In order to prove whether the SpamAssassin
Timeout is anything to do with this problem or not, I increased it to
3600 and the problem reoccurred within 3 minutes.  I'm therefore
favouring two possibilities: one, a bug in SpamAssassin; or two,
something a new Perl might fix.  I think i'm going to go with option two
and will hopefully get back to the list with some good news next time!


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