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Mailscanner 3.13 on Debian

I've installed the Debian package for Mailscanner 3.13. It's installed and using Exim as it's MTA. There is a lot of email that passes through this mailscanner. This has been running fine for a long time, but now for some reason when I start mailscanner, it takes up all the memory and takes about 5 minutes to scan two messages.

Does anyone know of a bug in mailscanner that would cause this? Or if there are any settings that might cause this? Or does anyone know if Mailscanner 4 works on Debian? Or if anyone else is using mailscanner at a site with LOTS of email, does it take up more then 100MB of memory?

Thanks for your help!
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1 Solution
Did you upgrade spamassassin, at the same time, too?  I found that there was a problem with SpamAssassin 2.50 that was documented in the 'News' on the front page of the mailscanner.info site:

24/2/2003  SpamAssassin 2.50 was released a few days ago. Unfortunately there is a small bug in it which hits MailScanner really badly. I have made a small patch available which fixes it.

(download the patch at:



To install it, do this:  

tar xzf Mail-SpamAssassin-2.50.tar.gz  
patch -p0 < SA2.50.patch  
cd Mail-SpamAssassin-2.50  
perl Makefile.PL  
make test # This step is optional, but a good idea  
make install

I saw a similar problem when I used spamassasin (on RedHat) prior to patching it with mailscanner - if I didn't include spamassasin, the problem went away.

The news page claims that a 2.51 is coming out shortly, too.

If that isn't the issue, make certain that the logging is turned on in the MailScanner.conf file (/etc/MailScanner/MailScanner.conf ):

Syslog Facility = mail
Log Spam = yes

and then check the maillog (it's /var/log/maillog on RedHat - don't know if Debian is the same).  There may be a lot more information there!

dankennedyAuthor Commented:
I'm still using Spamassassin V2.20. The weird part is that everything was working fine, and nothing has changed as far as I know. Also, sometimes when I restart mailscanner it will run fine (using 8MB of RAM and passing messages through right away). And then you'll watch it, and about ten minutes later it will just start using more and more RAM until it gets to about 145MB. It is still running, and passing messages through, but it's just REALLY slow.

And in my config file

Spam Checks = no
Virus scanning = no

So all it really should be doing it passing it through.
If SpamAssassin is unable to contact the RBL, it sometimes behaves rather badly.  Try adding:

skip_rbl_checks 1

to the spam.assassin.prefs.conf and stop and start MailScanner - and see if this fixes things.  If it does, you ought to consider moving the RBL checks up into MailScanner where they seem to behave a little better if servers are unable to be contacted...
dankennedyAuthor Commented:
I found out that Spamassassin just takes that much RAM when it's under a heavy load. We put more memory in the system and now it's working with no problem. It's back down to using 10MB.

But thanks for the suggestions...

Dan - that's good to know - I have seen some weirdness when SpamAssassin acts up - the latest version of SpamAssassin seems to fix this.
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