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Old 09-18-2003, 02:32 PM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Shrewsbury UK
Distribution: RedHat, Familiar, Debian, SuSE
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Procmail / sendmail hogs all memory - system slows to a halt.

System P4 2.4GHz/512M/1 GB swap/ RedHat 9.0 + updates

I ran the command-line version of Seti for the first time last week.
Since then [though it may just be a coincidence] I have noticed that even after disabling and now deleting Seti:

a) Sendmail and Procmail are high up in the 'top' listing, with Procmail taking 450M of memory or more ! Needless to say the system grinds to a halt eventually - windows and icons are slowly painted row-by-row until you can't even log out or switch to another console Ctrl-Alt-F2 to shut down.

b) The directory /var/spool/clientmqueue gradually fills up with files called dxxxxxxxxxxx where x...x is an alphabetic string, each up to 2 GB in size.

c) checking the 'mail' mailbox I find some large messages apparently sent by cron. No user has a cron entry.

If I disable Sendmail from starting as a service at boot time, I don't get this problem - however I can't consider this as a proper fix !

As soon as I restart Sendmail, the decline begins, and I have to reset or power off if it's left too long.

Something has become trashed somewhere, and I'm blaming Seti at the moment !
Old 09-18-2003, 02:54 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2002
Distribution: A totally 133t distro :)
Posts: 358

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Ive used seti on and off for years and never seen or heard of this. There is a remote exploit that effects sendmail that sounds alot like what your describing. What platform and version of sendmail are you running?


Last edited by m0rl0ck; 09-18-2003 at 02:56 PM.
Old 09-19-2003, 02:34 AM   #3
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Location: Shrewsbury UK
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Platform is P4, as above, version is 8.12.8, so I guess I shouldn't rely on RedHat update to keep track of security fixes, since that link states that the fix is in 8.12.10.

Even so, I don't think this is the problem.

More likely that something got screwed up somehow (OK not necessarily Seti - it was just a case of "post hoc ergo propter hoc" so I probably jumped to the wrong conclusion).

I was hoping that someone would recognise the symptoms and say "oh, you've got XXX misconfigured and that's making cron report lots of spurious mail messages to root" - or something similar.

Will run without sendmail for now - or back up and reinstall RH if things get any worse :-(
Old 08-16-2005, 06:16 AM   #4
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cron job and file in /var/spool/clientmqueue

dont know if you have fixed it but we have had the very same problem

all the inodes on the disk had been used by the creation of all these files in the /var/spool/clientmqueue

the end users have created some cron jobs which when fail are trying to send emails to the root user via the cron service but sendmail is not setup correctly on our server.

to fix the problem (Redhat rel3) we edited the file /etc/crontab and change the enrty MAILTO=root --> MAILTO="". this corrected the problem but prevents all cronjobs from sending email (also set "chkconfig sendmail off" as sendmail is not required on our server")

hope this helps (I know the post is old)


Old 08-16-2005, 06:53 AM   #5
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Relevant ?

Found some possible mention of it here:

Maybe I inadvertantly had the firewall enabled on my desktop PC ?

Anyway, I no longer work at that site now !


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