Spamassassin timeouts - Just an observation

Martin Hepworth maxsec at
Mon Jan 19 09:26:33 GMT 2009

I'd drop the SARE rules back in, one at a time and see if any trigger
the timeouts. Do you run sa-compile as this can help a great deal
pre-compiling the perl RE into C.


2009/1/18 Steve Campbell <campbell at>:
> Quoting "Koopmann, Jan-Peter" <jan-peter at>:
>> Hi,
>> > 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.
>> are you using by any chance. There was a bug in one of the
>> older versions causing sporadic SpamAssassin timouts.. I looked for ages
>> and on my systems the old triggered it. Updated (without
>> changing anything else) and never seen the error again. Just an indea.
>> Regards,
>>   JP
>> --
> Jan-Peter,
> So far, it appears the extra rules from SARE was the biggest contributor. I have
> removed all of the sets from my sa-update and the problems almost disappeared. I
> do not run
> The most common problem with these timeouts always seemed to be DNS and RBLs,
> but I wasn't seeing any problems there. I kept looking there though. I was also
> being fooled by high, but not critical load averages. I have duplicate servers
> that were not timing out with similar load averages, rules, and daily email
> counts. The non-problem machine was getting it's email spread out over the
> course of a day, whereas the problem machine was receiving large batches at
> different times of the day.
> Once I started reviewing the mailscanner-mrtg plots, I saw this. Another thing
> that threw me off was the fact that no matter how many emails arrived at one
> time, the LA would spike to 3.5 or higher on either machine. The high message
> per batch count would cause the LA to gradually creep higher, but the smaller
> batches would give constant LAs. The low amount of RAM for both machines explain
> that.
> I had been fooled by MS doing such a good job for years, and just wasn't
> thinking very clearly about what could have caused this. Two upgrades ago, I
> started using the new sa-update feature and added the rules using that. It
> didn't show immediate changes to the way the machines acted over a week or so,
> so I never thought it was a problem. The load averages are still fluctuating,
> but batch times are considerably lower, which allows faster throughput, and less
> timeouts on the machines. I hope the RAM I have ordered will fix the rest of it.
> I'm sorry to have caused such a stir with all of this, as this thread has went
> on way to long. I've sharpened my MS diagnostic skills, though, and hope it
> might have helped others - the information everyone has provided has been very good.
> Thanks to all again,
> steve
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Martin Hepworth
Oxford, UK

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