[Mailman-Users] slow "out" queue

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Fri Jan 20 19:09:18 CET 2012

Anil Jangity wrote:

>We just moved a very old mailman infrastructure mailman to Solaris and sendmail.
>It seems, when a message is posted, the "out" directory doesn't seem to clear out fast enough. 
>   1K   archive
>   1K   bounces
>   1K   commands
>   1K   in
>   1K   news
> 403K   out
>   1K   retry
>   1K   shunt
>   1K   virgin
>The size just stays like that forever and slowly decrements. When I look in /var/log/syslog (mail log of sendmail), I see deliveries going through.

Look at Mailman's 'smtp' log. You undoubtedly have a huge backlog in
the out queue because you aren't processing outgoing SMTP fast enough
to keep up with demand. In the smtp log you will see entries like

Jan 20 09:41:14 2012 (17283) <message-id> smtp to listname for 223
recips, completed in 3.500 seconds

You will observe that each entry's timestamp is equal to that of the
previous entry plus this entry's 'completed in' time indicating no
delay between messages. Each entry represents processing of one out/
queue entry. You will probably also note that the processing rate is
much less than the 64 recipients/second in the above message which is
from a full VERP installation.

>I do a 'truss' of the OutgoingRunner python process and I see:
>% truss -p 11997
>recv(10, 0x00748454, 8192, 0)   (sleeping...)
>What is it waiting for?

Most likely an SMTP reply from sendmail. See the FAQ's at
<http://wiki.list.org/x/roA9> and <http://wiki.list.org/x/q4A9>. This
is almost certainly a case of sendmail not keeping up with Mailman's
demand and if so, will require sendmail tuning to fix.

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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