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Old 04-15-2003, 11:41 AM   #1
graystarr
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Location: Layton, Utah
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Question help with slow postfix


My postfix is exremly slow for clients to connect to receive there mail. It is fast when sending. What could be the problem?

I am running it on a Mandrake 9.0 box

here is my main.cf

alias_database = hash:/etc/postfix/aliases
alias_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/aliases
command_directory = /usr/sbin
config_directory = /etc/postfix
daemon_directory = /usr/lib/postfix
debug_peer_level = 2
default_privs = nobody
delay_warning_time = 4h
inet_interfaces = all
mail_spool_directory = /var/spool/mail
mailq_path = /usr/bin/mailq.postfix
manpage_directory = /usr/share/man
mydestination = $mydomain
myhostname = mail.efirsttech.com
mynetworks = 204.246.149.64/28, 127.0.0.0/8
myorigin = $mydomain
newaliases_path = /usr/bin/newaliases.postfix
readme_directory = /usr/share/doc/postfix-1.1.11/README_FILES
sample_directory = /usr/share/doc/postfix-1.1.11/samples
sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/sendmail.postfix
setgid_group = postdrop
smtpd_banner = $myhostname ESMTP $mail_name ($mail_version)
smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_mynetworks,reject_non_fqdn_recipient, check_client_access hash:/etc/postfix/pop-before-smtp, check_relay_domains
soft_bounce = no
virtual_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/virtual


Thanks in advance
 
Old 04-15-2003, 05:19 PM   #2
osfestus
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is this an internal only mailserver or does it send and recieve via the Internet as well?
 
Old 04-15-2003, 05:24 PM   #3
graystarr
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It sends and receives on the internet
 
Old 04-15-2003, 05:34 PM   #4
osfestus
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Ahh, ok I was thrown off by the fact that you don't list a relay_domains or masquerade parameter. A little more info would be good, how are your clients retrieving their mail? POP3? IMAP? There are a lot of variables.
 
Old 04-15-2003, 06:03 PM   #5
graystarr
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They are using pop3 clients such as outlook express and eudora
 
Old 04-15-2003, 06:26 PM   #6
osfestus
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hmm, off the bat I can't see anything from the config that would cause this. Of course email servers can be complicated beasts. It could be any number of things, your connection interface, your pop3 daemon could be acting up, the hardware can't cope with the work (not likely). I wish I could give you a better answer. I am running postfix for 2 of my domains temporarily on a RH8 install with the IMAP/IPOP3 package for retrieval. It is a frankenstein test box with mismatched components and a p3 500 w/256 megs of RAM. Squirrelmail is also running. It is lightning quick.
 
Old 04-15-2003, 06:26 PM   #7
EvilTwinSkippy
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What sort of slowness are you seeing? Does it take forever to check the email through pop, or is there a long delay between an email arriving at the server and the message actually showing up?

If it is door number 2, check the load on your email server. I generally see a 10 or 15 minute delay after I do a major dump from fetchmail.
 
Old 04-15-2003, 06:47 PM   #8
osfestus
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mm good response, I have been noticing a bit of an increased delay between arrival and it being visible to the user. Would you please fill me in on your situation and how you manage it?
 
Old 04-15-2003, 09:16 PM   #9
EvilTwinSkippy
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In my case I had installed spamassassin on the server, and was sucking over a few old-accounts to exercise the system.

The one account had about 5000 messages, almost all spam. The other has about 3000 messages, almost all spam.

Fetchmail was all to eager to suck them down and drop them into postfix. The whole transfer took 10 minutes. Postfix grabbed my server by the balls and before I knew it I had a load average of 16. Mind you, this is on a machine with a SCSI raid, dual 966 processors, and 512MB of ram. The server went into fits for about 15 minutes.

Once the worst was over I was still watching messages percolate in for a good half an hour.

A few oddites about my system:
I'm running with virtual accounts stored in a MySQL database
Postfix stores the mail on a Software RAID-1
I'm using the Courier Imap client
 
Old 04-15-2003, 09:54 PM   #10
osfestus
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interesting, thanks for the reply. I haven't yet had to implement any anti-spam component, but that will be good to know. I am waiting for our production box to arrive. It is a dual 2.4 gig Xeon box with a gig of ram and perc3 controller w/15k rpm drives. should be up to the task for only about 60 accounts. It's funny cause the temporary host machine is a pile of shit and it works fine. I ALMOST feel bad about replacing it with a vastly over-powered machine
 
Old 04-15-2003, 10:24 PM   #11
EvilTwinSkippy
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Don't be.

I thought a Dual 866 box with a quarter gig of RAM and an 8 gig drive would be plenty for 200 users...

I understimated the power of the users's ability to consume ALL available resources. Our design department chews up at least 6 GB emailing graphics to each other, and then NEVER DELETEING THE ATTACHMENTS!!!

Hey, if you want help installing Spam-Assassin and SquirrelMail, I can tell you one good way and about 100 bad ways of doing each. LOL

As soon as you drop in the added horsepower your delivery time should drop to nanoseconds. As it is, averaged out my delivery time for almost 8000 messages was 13 seconds.

Besides, the old pile of shit makes a great desktop, or a webcam, or an intranet server. Just take a polariod of it, and hang it on the wall with some vital stats if that will make you feel better.
 
Old 04-15-2003, 11:04 PM   #12
osfestus
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lol, I have used squirrelmail on several consultancy jobs, it's a great app. Spam-Assassin I have no experience with at all. I will let you know if I wanna give it a go! speaking of pics, I just went to a client of my corps today. They had an MS proxy server that was behaving in very bizarre ways, intermittency, random shutdowns. Any attempt to navigate the windows GUI resulted in a power off. I notice a neat dual 8 inch fan set up in the server cabinet. Then I notice they are DC fans and upon closer inspection I see two spliced leads from each span going right into the case and spliced into a cut 12 volt connection from the servers power supply. I shit you not. I will post the pic. I still cannot get an answer on who the braniac is that did this.
 
Old 04-16-2003, 07:49 AM   #13
EvilTwinSkippy
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That's all right. I took over the network from a real control freak. His answer to security was simply not running any more data lines.

Needless to say, we had several "home brew" networks the popped up between cubicles. In one area we call "the rabbit warren" you can still see Cat5 (and Cat3, eek) slung over cubicle walls. Every couple of desks is a hub that splits of to 4 or 5 other computers in geographicaly non-sensical locations. I had to find the central-most point and install a switch, because all of the hub hops violated the rules of ethernet (3 hops) and packets were routing unpredicably. I haven't bothered to rewire it, because its only "temporary". 5 years later... they are finally building the new wing.

Your post reminds my of my first Linux x86 server, Patch. Patch was pulled from the "Take me" table at Drexel's Engineering School. It was a 486 with 16 mb of ram, no hard drive. I made it into a firewall, but in the process of retrofitting a modern hd and NIC cards, the case wouldn't fit back on. The BIOS was so old, I had to do the trick where you boot linux from a 100 meg partition, and then let the Kernel see the rest.

Well, soon we retired one of those cheapy everything-on-one motherboard systems. I ripped out the 486 motherboard, and the AT power supply, and the last vestiges of the case. I ended up mounting the motherboard on a piece of plywood, on a shelf next to the DSL line. We had a pretty cool light show at light with all the LED's, until my wife made we throw a towel over it so she could get some sleep. No photos (what was I thinking?)

On my website I also have some photos of how I set up a network in a hay field, as well as boosted the range of a couple of Linksys access points to a mile or so.
 
Old 04-16-2003, 12:17 PM   #14
graystarr
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The slowness is the connection to the pop3. The SMTP is very fast but it takes about 25 seconds or longer to actually connect and receive mail.
 
Old 04-16-2003, 01:51 PM   #15
osfestus
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hmm, I am not sure about that, the pop3 connections are nearly instantaneous on old hermes, authentication and then box viewing follows in about a second, no problem there. However, mail that was sent to the box does not appear to the user for a few minutes. The delay is between the postfix service and the manner and time in which it drops mail that it has received into the users mail folder
 
  


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