Spamassassin timeouts - Just an observation

Martin Hepworth maxsec at
Thu Jan 15 15:45:29 GMT 2009

2009/1/15 Steve Campbell <campbell at>:
> 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?
> Ugo,
> 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 flow.
> 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.
> Steve


in a word - yes. If you want to turn most of the RBLs off then give
each one you don't want a zero score in or
spam.assassin.prefs.conf (which should be linked from
in the same directory as You'll prob find the actual
initial scores in the rather than the

Martin Hepworth
Oxford, UK

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