emails that attempt to kill mailscanner {Scanned}

Stef Morrell stef at
Fri Aug 16 13:37:03 IST 2013

On 14 August 2013 11:27 Richard Mealing wrote:
> This issue only happens to me when my server is over loaded. Once I gave
> it more CPU's and RAM I've not had this problem again.
> I find that running spamassassin as daemon and restarting that sometimes
> helps. The -U switch didn't do anything for me. I'm using FreeBSD.

I get something very similar. For whatever reason MS gets upset with a particular email and requeues it for multiple further attempts at scanning, finally dumping it with a "tried to kill me" error.

I've got a process watching the logfile looking for "attempt 4" (whatever the wording is). If it sees that, then it kills MS, clears the processing database and restarts. This will normally cure the problem. 

This may be due to an obscure bug hiding somewhere in the depths of MS, but it happens so rarely it would be hard to pin down. Certainly the load on the machine is a factor, but that load is dramatically dropped by restarting MS in this circumstance, then doesn't ramp up again when processing the same email queue.

In any event, my workaround is very satisfactory for me and removes the headache in my case.


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