What is nobody doing?

Kevin Miller Kevin_Miller at ci.juneau.ak.us
Fri Mar 3 16:12:35 GMT 2006

I posted the following a month ago, but didn't receive any responses so
thought I'd try again.  Is anyone else seeing this behavior?  I'd hazard
a guess that it's something in the bayes cache mechanism.


Kevin Miller wrote:
> Since I upgraded one of my machines the other day (from 4.33 to 4.50.?
> beta) my /var/log/messages has been filling up with the messages
> below. I opened two term windows, one running 'tail -f /var/log/mail'
> and the other running 'tail -f /var/log/messges' then watched to see
> what it was happening.
> /var/log/messages:
> ==================
> Feb  2 08:18:23 mail3 su: (to nobody) root on none
> Feb  2 08:18:23 mail3 su: pam_unix2: session started for user nobody,
> service su
> Feb  2 08:18:23 mail3 su: pam_unix2: session finished for user nobody,
> service su
> /var/log/mail:
> ==============
> Feb  2 08:18:21 mail3 sendmail-in[6185]: k12HIK0g006185:
> to=<AStubblefield at juneaupolice.com>, delay=00:00:00, mailer=esmtp,
> pri=33805, stat=queued
> Feb  2 08:18:22 mail3 MailScanner[5160]: New Batch: Scanning 1
> messages, 4424 bytes
> Normally I see a few 'session started for user nobody' when updatedb
> runs, but these are happening everytime new mail arrives.  The su
> seems to happen just after the message is queued, that is between the
> first and second lines in the mail log.  Is this expected behavior? 
> Why does root need to su to nobody to do whatever it's doing, when it
> never had to before?

Kevin Miller                Registered Linux User No: 307357
CBJ MIS Dept.               Network Systems Admin., Mail Admin.
155 South Seward Street     ph: (907) 586-0242
Juneau, Alaska 99801        fax: (907 586-4500

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