Spamassassin timeouts - Just an observation

Steve Campbell campbell at
Thu Jan 15 14:26:25 GMT 2009

Ugo Bellavance wrote:
> Steve Campbell wrote:
>> The topic seems to come up quite often, and although the answers are 
>> usually pretty much the same, I never really see much of a "Solved" 
>> reply.
>> I upgraded from version 4.58, where I saw maybe 3 or 4 timeouts, to 
>> 4.71, and saw an immediate increase to around 100-300 timeouts. I ran 
>> all of the --debug and --debug-sa flavors of help I could think of. I 
>> reviewed the logs. I run a caching nameserver. And I zeroed out some 
>> RBL scores. I still have yet to find why this happens. I eventually 
>> upgraded to 4.72, and started using clamd. I still get the large 
>> numbers of timeouts. I would think that the fact that this doesn't 
>> happen with all of my large batches indicates I'm not using any dead 
>> RBLs.
>> I'm still exploring the causes, but haven't had much luck. I find it 
>> odd that SA would really keep RBLs that have expired over time in 
>> their default files, so I really don't think it's that. I do all of 
>> my checking of RBLs in SA. I always do my configuration and language 
>> upgrades, and search for rpmnew and rpmsave files. This has happened 
>> on 3 different but very similar servers that I run.
>> I'm not really asking for assistance here, but just wanted to let 
>> others who are seeing this problem to  be aware that there is 
>> something unique triggering this. I'm fairly confident that it is not 
>> happening at all sites, but something here is causing it. It may not 
>> even be related to MS/SA, but totally something else.
>> The most I could ask for is a small checklist of what to ensure I 
>> have set. Every time I try to use the debug procedures, the tests 
>> perform flawlessly with no errors. It is very sporadic. We receive 
>> those normal bursts of spam, but for the most part, the batches ares 
>> small. The average amount of email per day is usually around 10k 
>> emails, but I get the above stated 100-300 timeouts. I'm going to try 
>> and match batch numbers to timeouts and see if this will reveal 
>> anything. I only run 3 Children on a fairly hefty Dell PowerEdge, but 
>> I do use 30 messages per child. I don't think this is excessive thought.
>> Hope everyone has a Happy Holiday.
> What is the machine?
> Did you check the optimization section of the MAQ page on the wiki?
> When running --debug --debug-sa, don't you find anything that is a bit 
> slow?


I'm still fighting this thing. I don't really see anything specific when 
running debug. I've have reviewed the MAQ and the only thing I'm not 
sure about is reducing the number of RBLs that spamassassin uses. 
Whenever I look at my ps output for Mailscanner, it is always saying 
"Checking with Spamassassin", so something is amiss. I have an identical 
machine running with all the same settings. It runs pretty well.The only 
difference is each has it's own name server and obviously it's own mail 

What is the best way to set all scores to zero for the RBLs? I had 
considered making a copy of  just to get a list of all 
the RBLs, and modifying it to just include "score" for all of them and 
putting them in my or spam.assassin.prefs.conf.file, but is 
this the proper way?

Thanks to  all who have tried to help.


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