Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm having problems with my server and am hoping you can help.

The culprit appears to be exim. The CPU usage is consistently high and the memory usage trends up and up and up for no apparent reason (this is not a heavily used server).

To demonstrate the issue, I ran the following:

root@server [/var/log]# service exim restart; for iter in `seq 0 9`; do date; top -n1 | grep exim; sleep 10; done
Shutting down exim:                                        [  OK  ]
Shutting down spamd:                                       [  OK  ]
Starting exim:                                             [  OK  ]
Sun Jun  6 18:12:07 CDT 2010
62592 root      25   0 11400 6572 2356 R 51.5  1.3   0:00.92 exim
62587 mailnull  18   0  7548 1212  792 S  0.0  0.2   0:00.00 exim
Sun Jun  6 18:12:18 CDT 2010
62592 root      25   0 28768  23m 2356 R 57.4  4.6   0:06.75 exim
62587 mailnull  18   0  7548 1212  792 S  0.0  0.2   0:00.00 exim
62588 root      18   0  7536 2052 1648 S  0.0  0.4   0:00.00 exim
Sun Jun  6 18:12:28 CDT 2010
62592 root      25   0 36408  30m 2356 R 55.5  6.0   0:12.59 exim
62587 mailnull  18   0  7548 1212  792 S  0.0  0.2   0:00.00 exim
62588 root      18   0  7536 2052 1648 S  0.0  0.4   0:00.00 exim
Sun Jun  6 18:12:39 CDT 2010
62592 root      25   0 41396  35m 2356 R 53.5  7.0   0:18.35 exim
62587 mailnull  18   0  7548 1212  792 S  0.0  0.2   0:00.00 exim
62588 root      18   0  7536 2052 1648 S  0.0  0.4   0:00.00 exim
Sun Jun  6 18:12:49 CDT 2010
62592 root      25   0 45868  40m 2356 R 47.5  7.8   0:24.06 exim
62587 mailnull  18   0  7548 1212  792 S  0.0  0.2   0:00.00 exim
62588 root      18   0  7536 2052 1648 S  0.0  0.4   0:00.00 exim
Sun Jun  6 18:13:00 CDT 2010
62592 root      25   0 50056  44m 2356 R 55.3  8.6   0:29.84 exim
62587 mailnull  18   0  7548 1212  792 S  0.0  0.2   0:00.00 exim
62588 root      18   0  7536 2052 1648 S  0.0  0.4   0:00.00 exim
Sun Jun  6 18:13:10 CDT 2010
62592 root      25   0 53888  47m 2356 R 55.2  9.4   0:35.63 exim
62587 mailnull  18   0  7548 1212  792 S  0.0  0.2   0:00.00 exim
62588 root      18   0  7536 2052 1648 S  0.0  0.4   0:00.00 exim
Sun Jun  6 18:13:21 CDT 2010
62592 root      20   0 56920  50m 2356 R 55.3  9.9   0:41.15 exim
62587 mailnull  18   0  7548 1212  792 S  0.0  0.2   0:00.00 exim
62588 root      18   0  7536 2052 1648 S  0.0  0.4   0:00.00 exim
Sun Jun  6 18:13:31 CDT 2010
62592 root      25   0 60380  54m 2356 R 53.4 10.6   0:46.98 exim
62587 mailnull  18   0  7548 1212  792 S  0.0  0.2   0:00.00 exim
62588 root      18   0  7536 2052 1648 S  0.0  0.4   0:00.00 exim
Sun Jun  6 18:13:42 CDT 2010
62592 root      22   0 63400  57m 2356 R 49.5 11.2   0:52.74 exim
62587 mailnull  18   0  7548 1212  792 S  0.0  0.2   0:00.00 exim
62588 root      18   0  7536 2052 1648 S  0.0  0.4   0:00.00 exim

After some time, it gets to a rate of picking up an extra MB every 10s.

I've checked the exim logs and there are no messages coming in there.

exim -bV shows:

Exim version 4.69 #1 built 16-Mar-2009 14:44:43
Copyright (c) University of Cambridge 2006
Berkeley DB: Sleepycat Software: Berkeley DB 4.2.52: (February 22, 2005)
Support for: crypteq iconv() IPv6 PAM Perl OpenSSL Content_Scanning Old_Demime Experimental_SPF Experimental_SRS Experimental_DomainKeys
Lookups: lsearch wildlsearch nwildlsearch iplsearch dbm dbmnz passwd
Authenticators: cram_md5 dovecot plaintext spa
Routers: accept dnslookup ipliteral manualroute queryprogram redirect
Transports: appendfile/maildir autoreply pipe smtp
Size of off_t: 8
Configuration file is /etc/exim.conf

I'm at something of a loss as to how to proceed. Any recommendations would be well received!

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Turns out, the problem was associated with some Account Filtering I had set up (this is a cPanel based server)

An email address, which is supposed to filter out to multiple address, wasn't working correctly. Some test emails I'd sent to it had been stuck there for 7 days. When I cleared them out, the problem went away.

Not sure what the mechanism for this failure was, but the problem has been resolved, for now.

share|improve this answer

I had found the same issue on our servers and reported it to cPanel. cPanel support confirmed this problem and they said this is definitely a bug. They didn't say when it will be fixed. To avoid this problem, check the cPanel account filtering and make sure the number of actions not over 6. Otherwise, there's a infinite loop for each email.

You can use strace -p ProccID to find out

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.