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Mailman, exim and MailScanner

Discussion in 'E-mail Discussions' started by anoetic, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. anoetic

    anoetic Active Member

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    After having ConfigServer.com install MailScanner on my server, I've been experiencing a serious problem which I've been unable to resolve and ConfigServer.com is unable (unwilling?) to help me with. The bottom line is that over a period of a few hours, my server load continually rises, starting at less than 1 and rising to over 30. Restarting exim brings the load back down, so we can repeat this process.

    The other symptom is that mailing list mail is severely delayed, sometimes not delivered at all. Mail sent to regular mailboxes (not to mailing lists) seems to be delivered normally (timely).

    ConfigServer blames it on the number and size of my mailing lists and their only suggestion is to uninstall MailScanner. But I really like how well MailScanner works. It seems to have about a 99.9% spam detection rate with practically no false positives. The incoming (pending) queue is processed quickly, remaining at 0 or near 0 most of the time. It's just the outgoing queue that is not being delivered, causing me to draw the conclusion that the problem is not really with MailScanner, but with exim, or one of the changes made to exim during the installation of the MailScanner.

    For the record, there was no problem with delivery of mailing list mail before the installation and there has been no significant change in the lists.

    So, my first question is whether this sounds like a MailScanner problem, or does it sound like something else?

    Can anyone suggest something I might try or look at in order to fix the problem? (I'm thinking that the sluggish list mail delivery is actually a consequence of the high server load, so if I can get that issue resolved, my mailing list issue might no longer be an issue.)
     
  2. dreamwiz

    dreamwiz Well-Known Member

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    I have had the same issues with mailman mailing lists working unstable after starting to use ConfigServer's MailScanner package. If anyone has any ideas on it Im glad to hear them.
     
  3. anoetic

    anoetic Active Member

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    Update to MailScanner/Mailman issue

    I never got MailScanner to play nice with Mailman lists. It was suggested to me later that I might try setting Mailman to deliver individual emails (the "personalize" option) but I did not try this. It did seem that MailScanner did deliver messages addressed to just 1 address immediately. It was just list mail that it seemed to queue and never process. So, the personalize option might have worked, but I had uninstalled MailScanner by the time it was suggested.

    One of the points that Chirpy makes on his website about the advantages of MailScanner is that it reduces queueing, but my experience was just the opposite. While MailScanner was installed, my queue was growing by more than a thousand messages a day. In the week since MailScanner has been uninstalled, my queue is still under 500 messages. I wish Chirpy was more interested in getting to the bottom of this problem, but I finally had to give up.

    That said, I'm actually just about as happy with the outcome as I might have been if MailScanner worked out for me. I found MailScanner while looking for a solution to reducing the spam being delivered to my clients. The changes Chirpy made to Spam Assassin for MailScanner are still in place, and I've concluded that those were really what I liked About MailScanner. SA is now catching more spam without marking false positives, so I got what I wanted -- a better solution to my spam problem. I've written to Chirpy to see if he can put the SA enhancements on my other servers without MailScanner (since many of my clients on all servers run Mailman lists) but I've not received a response yet from him.
     
  4. dreamwiz

    dreamwiz Well-Known Member

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    I have also noticed the increase of email in the queues and it has started to be a serious issue. I may have to consider giving up using MailScanner as well. I hope Chirpy and others at Way to Web can work it out.
     
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