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 /var/spool/mqueue full
Today our /var/spool/mqueue directory became full.  In examining the
files therein I saw plaintext that looked like system messages.  Most
contained the word "bellmail".

What is exactly in those files and is it okay to prune or delete them

Thank you in advance.

Kermit Lowry

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Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

 Sun, 02 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT   
 /var/spool/mqueue full

The /var/spool/mqueue directory is the mail queue directory.  It's
where sendmail stashes mail files while waiting to deliver them.  If
you have mail that is for some reason currently undeliverable, it will
sit in mqueue until it can be delivered or until it times out.

If you're seeing system messages there, it may be that some daemon is
producing errors and trying to mail them, but for some reason they
cannot be delivered (perhaps they are being generated too quickly?).
I have seen situations where a mail delivery error in turn produced a
mail delivery error, which produced yet another error, and continued
ad infinitum, eventually filling up the mail queue.

For more information, I would refer you to the book "Sendmail"
published by O'Reilly and Associates, assuming that you are running
AIX 4.2+ (or any other version with sendmail v8 installed).

Greg Wimpey       Despammify address to reply

 Sun, 02 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT   
 /var/spool/mqueue full

        You can look at the contents of the mqueue directory by running
        "mailq" since only mail that is pending delivery will show up

        If a remote site is down for an extended period you can have
        this happen to you.

        Does your sendmail allow relaying?  If so, your queue file may
        be full of spam that you've been kind enough to give your own
        identity to (unlikely, but possible).

        Check the dates on the files.  Q files are sendmail control
        files (with headers, etc) while the D files are the actual
        messages to be sent.

        sendmail -q should clean these out.  mailq reports contents
        in a formatted way.  Expect to not like what you see.  Do a
        mailq first to see what you're getting in to (kind of like
        doing a pwd before rm -rf *...).

 John R. Campbell           Speaker to Machines       
 - As a SysAdmin, yes, I CAN read your e-mail, but I DON'T get that bored!
   Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed are those of John Campbell alone and
                do not reflect the opinions of his employer(s) or lackeys
                thereof.  Anyone who says differently is itching for a fight!

 Sun, 02 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT   
 /var/spool/mqueue full
Do you have a special filesystem for the /var/spool/mqueue? if not the
whole /var fs is at a 100% full.
check /var/spool/mail, maybe some user have a *very* large mailfile there
that fills up the FS.
Also since /var sometimes can get rather full I suggest making the
filesystem at least 50MB maybe more.
chfs -a size=100000 /var will change your FS size to ~50 MB.

I second the other posting from Mr. Campbell that your mail server might
have been (mis)used for spam relaying (haoppend to mee once). Anyone know
what to do in sendmail to block relaying?
I went to a product called Post.Office instead of drilling down in the
horrible file sendmail config file.

 Sun, 02 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT   
 /var/spool/mqueue full
<> aka  schrieb
mit Datum Wed, 16 Jun 1999 13:39:00 GMT in comp.unix.aix:

!Today our /var/spool/mqueue directory became full.  In examining the
!files therein I saw plaintext that looked like system messages.  Most
!contained the word "bellmail".
!What is exactly in those files and is it okay to prune or delete them

As others have written, mqueue is for temporary storage of the mail
as it is processed by "sendmail".

Now, "bellmail" is the local mail delivery agent. It should store
mail onto the appropriate files: mailboxes in /var/spool/mail,
certain files in the sending user's homedir for failed local mail,
and other files if directed to do so in /etc/aliases.
If bellmail fails to do so, it generates an error-message. This
error-message is captured by sendmail and put into a delivery-
failure-report to be sent back to the originator of the mail.
This is the usual way how bellmail-messages get into

The most common source of mail on machines where the mail-system
is not used and not administered is cron.

Concerning the question: it depends on how one defines "okay".
I consider it bad style to have a unix running without well
operating mail system, but tastes may differ.

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 Tue, 25 Dec 2001 03:00:00 GMT   
   [ 5 post ] 

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