[linux-elitists] (tmda) Re: Constraining Bogus challenges.

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Tue Sep 23 22:19:47 PDT 2003

on Tue, Sep 23, 2003 at 10:21:04PM -0400, Andrew (akohlsmith-le@benshaw.com) wrote:
> > My Exim3 + procmail + SA-via-procmail setup finally collapsed,
> > yesterday, under the avalanche of SWEN-related mails, etc.  Even after
> > doubling the RAM to 256 MB, my poor old PIII/500 hit a load factor of
> > 300 before I was able to regain control:  It would keep spawning more
> > and more SA processes until it dove into swap, and then never ground its
> > way back down.
> Offhand, why don't you use spamc/spamd?  I've been running it with a 
> moderately-loaded qmail mail server and in addition to RAV virus scanning 
> every single email passing through the system, the 5m load barely rises 
> above 0.5.  (~2kmessages/hr, Duron 1100, 256MB mem)

On the system I abuse (gracious obeisance to hostGhod, yes, I've got a
shitty way of demonstrating it) for mail, SoBig.F took down they system
running spamc/spamd.  Twice.  Must've been about 35 days ago, if uptime
tells the right story.

There were several problems.  Among them:  spamassasin (even in daemon
mode) and exim can create an awful lot of processes, and an hppa 160 MHz
box can only crank so many cycles per second before it crawls into the

The other problem was that malformed mail headers (mostly, or
exclusively in spam) were farking up the handoffs between fetchmail and

We crawled off the ceiling with a set of load limits, child limits,
ulimit settings for mail, and with me doing a straight fetchmail =>
procmail delivery rather than sidestepping through exim.  Which works
through the current day.  But it was ugly.


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    Defeat EU Software Patents!                         http://swpat.ffii.org/
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