SUMMARY sendmail/procmail problems

From: Todd Sanford (
Date: Fri Apr 11 1997 - 09:07:51 CDT

On Monday, April 7, 1997, I wrote:
We experienced a complete power outage this morning. After restoring
power and bringing up our network, we have had continuous problems with
"mail", specifically, sendmail does not seem to be communicating with
procmail. After about one hour, our mail server appears to run out of
memory and hangs. All other servers appear to be working correctly. This
situation has re-occurred several times. Following is the console output.
Can you offer any insight?

Response 1
I don't know what version of Solaris you run, but 2.5.x suffers from a
serious file corruption bug, which one of the recommended patches fixes.
The bug displays after a power outage, and critical files in /etc/ and var
can get damaged. The bug affects Sun4m, Sun4d and Sun4u architectures.
The patch is available at Sun's ftp site. The other problems could be
caused by missing symlinks, and/or a great core file somewhere on / or
/var. I would see if you can kill off sendmail and restart it, without
procmail to see if that gives any enlightenment!

Response 2
Maybe you have corrupted binaries.

Our Solution
First, we checked the mail server for hardware failure: bad memory, bad
cpu, etc., but everything appeared stable. So, we ended up restoring the
state of the mail server from a few days before the power outage onto a
"new" drive, copied the current user mailboxes onto this new drive, then
swapped hard drives. Mail began flowing again without any problems.

We have not yet determined whether the hard drive was "fatally" damaged,
or whether some binaries were simply corrupted.

Todd Sanford
Information Systems Department
Secure Computing Corporation
Phone: (612) 628-1616

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