Dennis Willson taz at
Tue Sep 5 19:53:20 IST 2006

My hubs (I have two of them) get about 75,000 emails per day. It's a 
2.4Ghz P4 Zeon processor with 512MB of RAM and dual IDE hard drives 
(mirrored). They run with a load average of .10 (it goes up and down, 
but on average that's what I see, this ia also only on my secondary 
hub, where most of the Spam attempts to come in, the primary has even 
less load and most of the real email comes in there).  However as long 
as MailScanner is processing in a reasonable time the overall load 
average doesn't mean too much.

There are a couple of things that brought it down a lot, Greet pause, 
HELO validation (only simple validation to be sure the sending server 
isn't using my own servers name or IP as its HELO string), Sender 
Address Verification (smf-sav milter), Recipient Address Verificaton 
(smf-sav milter), Grey listing (milter-greylist) and I also use 
Connection throttling, all of which occur during the SMTP phase. 

Out of the approx 75,000 per day of emails, only 2,000-3,000 get by 
the SMTP phase to reach MailScanner/Spamassassin/ClamAV. Adding the 
SMTP phase filtering really brings down the CPU load. 

Hope this helps.

On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 11:03:16 -0500
  "Rob Poe" <rpoe at> wrote:
>Is there a way to start MailScanner so that it processes any messages 
>in it's queue, but does not accept new incoming messages?
>I have a client with an older linux box running MailScanner and it's 
>just being crushed ... with spam....
>It's a Celeron 2.0 ghz / 512mb ram / dual IDE disk
>  10:55:02  up 19:05,  1 user,  load average: 6.23, 4.56, 4.04
>Running access lists in Sendmail (to block out other countries) and 
>running the greet_pause feature (which is helping a lot)
>Seeing things like this:  Sep  5 10:56:12 mail MailScanner[25809]: 
>Batch processed in 61.70 seconds 
>I've tried 5, 3 and now 2 MS children.
>MailScanner mailing list
>mailscanner at
>Before posting, read
>Support MailScanner development - buy the book off the website! 

Dennis Willson

taz at

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