MailScanner stopping

Kevin Miller Kevin_Miller at
Wed Sep 13 17:01:39 IST 2006

Glenn Steen wrote:
> On 13/09/06, Kevin Miller <Kevin_Miller at> wrote:
>> 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 bit. 
> Sounds a bit odd... You're not getting tar-pitted by your own internal
> servers, are you?

Nope - doing a ps aux shows the connections and associated far end.
Most connections close pretty fast, there's just one or two, maybe three
that persist.  Not the same one's of course, since at any given random
moment I could be connected to almost anyone.

The idea that some sendmail processes persist longer than the
$RESTART_DELAY has been mentioned in other contexts for a long time.
It's just that it was a very random occurance historically.  Now (at
least in my case) it is more frequent.

I assume that in general it's not a good idea to restart until all is
cleaned up, hence the hack.  A real bash programmer could probably make
it prettier.  For some reason the newline doesn't kick in when I echo
the the output of ps.  Don't know why.  Don't really need the echos in
there at all, but I find them handy to see where I'm stalled, even if
the formatting is butt-ugly.


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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