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Old 11-01-2005, 11:30 PM   #1
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Sendmail processes = 97% of cpu

I am experiencing a problem with sendmail on my server. I have been using a system integrity monitor on the server and have recently been getting the following emails.

System integrity monitor on has taken action in responce to an event. Recent event logs are enclosed below for your inspection. There has been 3 events today, if an average of 8 events is reached, e-mail alerts will be terminated for the duration of the day.

The events in question are the similar to the following:

Oct 31 10:40:35 sendmail: sendmail shutdown succeeded
Oct 31 10:40:39 sendmail: sendmail startup succeeded

When I run the TOP command I get the following information:

3414 root 25 0 2852 2852 2068 R 22.6 0.2 281:18 sendmail: ./j7U6mTQ29698: from queue
5918 root 25 0 2840 2840 2068 R 22.6 0.2 221:42 sendmail: ./j7U8P1j01281: from queue
15237 root 25 0 2848 2848 2068 R 19.6 0.2 157:32 sendmail: ./j83CUuw25958: from queue
8742 root 25 0 2840 2840 2060 R 17.0 0.2 192:03 sendmail: ./j81Cfh109118: from queue
11734 root 25 0 2840 2840 2060 R 17.0 0.2 172:13 sendmail: ./j82EYVe26050: from queue

I appears that sendmail is spawning processes that consume all the cpu. I have killed the sendmail process several times and the cpu goes back to the normal 2-5% range, however after about 40 minutes there are a few processes that are consuming 97-98% of the cpu. I did not see anything in the queue - I figured it might be trying to send something that was queued there due to the "from queue" listed by the TOP command.

I would appreciate any help in understanding why the processes are consuming so much cpu and how to kill or eliminate the processes themselves.

Old 11-02-2005, 01:44 AM   #2
Registered: Sep 2005
Posts: 67

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first of all try these things to find out why send mail is using more CPU time.

1) find out to whome is the send mail sending al mails. check /var/log/mail and see the mail queue and find out who was the recepient of all these mails( or most of those).
2) as which user is the sendmail running. It should never be running as root.
3) check ur root@localhost mail account (type mail at console and if u have problems go through man mail). From here you can have a comprehensive lokk at system generated mails to root mail account relating to common problem notification. Check andfind out which possible situation is occuring again and again that is making sendmail send mails and use CPU time considerably.

these are basic diagnosis steps that should get you going in the right direction is you are still stuck.


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