temporary file spawning

Julian Field MailScanner at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Fri Jan 28 18:06:30 GMT 2005

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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?
>> These files are generated by SpamAssassin and not MailScanner itself. So
>> that is where you need to look. Check you are running a recent
>> File::Temp module and that your Perl is new enough (I don't think
>> SpamAssassin supports anything older than about 5.6.1).
>> You can easily install a new perl from www.sunfreeware.com and then just
>> mv /usr/bin/perl /usr/bin/perl.SUN
>> ln -s /usr/local/bin/perl /usr/bin/perl
>> This will ensure that the new Perl is always used regardless of the
>> $PATH.
>> My own production MailScanner servers are mostly Solaris boxes and I
>> have never seen this problem on there, so it's not a general problem.
>> Let me know if the new perl helps.
> 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.

Julian Field
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