MailScanner stopping

Kevin Miller Kevin_Miller at
Tue Sep 12 23:12:09 IST 2006

Last week there was a thread about MailScanner ceasing to work.  I was
seeing that behavior - it was running, but was all balled up.  Turned
out that when 'MailScanner restart' was called that some sendmail
processes persisted past the $RESTART_DELAY time.  This only appears to
happen on later MS servers.  Not sure what changes to the init script
make the difference - my 4.48 server doesn't have a problem.  

The pids that MailScanner creates all evaporate almost immediately; the
persistent sendmail processes are generally (as nearly as I can tell)
connections that smf-sav initiates.  (smf-sav is sorta like
milter-sender and milter-ahead rolled into one.)  I wasn't seeing the
problem until I installed it, but it's too nifty to get rid of even if
it's not as robust as the milters from Snertsoft.

It can take up to a minute or two for all the connections to expire.
I'm guessing the remote hosts are maybe doing greet-pause or graylisting
when I do the sender verification, which causes them to sit around for a

Anyway, my workaround was to introduce the following bit of code in
/etc/init.d/MailScanner so that the all the orphaned sendmail processes
are gone before trying to restart MailScanner.  

    $0 stop
    # Initialize the test variable
    # Loop as long as there's a sendmail process
    while [ "$Pidval" != "" ];
	  # Look for sendmail but ignore the grep
        Pidval=`ps aux | grep sendmail | grep -v grep`
        echo $Pidval
        sleep $RESTART_DELAY
    $0 start

FWIW, I'm running on SUSE.  Not sure if this will affect Postfix/Exim,
etc.  I assume no responsibility if it breaks your server and all that.

Hope this helps others.  Julian, et al., is free to use it in future
releases at their discretion...

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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