[Mimedefang] The -y option

Joseph Brennan brennan at columbia.edu
Wed Jun 22 08:57:38 EDT 2016

As we investigated a problem with memory usage on our new (6 weeks) mail
servers we noticed that the "mimedefang" process (the binary) grows larger
over time (days), even larger than 4 GB. We took a close look at "what
changed" and we noticed that Redhat (release 6.7) standard
/etc/init.d/mimedefang slips in the -y option, which we never used. 

The man page mentions "This function leaked memory in versions of  Sendmail
prior to 8.14.4 so by default we do not call it". Hmm.

We have Redhat's rpm of Sendmail 8.14.4 and Mimedefang 2.78, so it seems
all right. With our mods it starts up as:

/usr/bin/mimedefang -P /var/spool/MIMEDefang/mimedefang.pid -m
/var/spool/MIMEDefang/mimedefang-multiplexor.sock -y -R -1 -U defang -a
auth_author -a client_ptr -a client_resolve -q -p

It looks like it is still leaking, at least with these Redhat rpms. We did
not compile so I can't verify what mods they may have done or that the
milter library is the one from 8.14.4.

I'm going to run without -y on a test host and verify that we get the
sendmail macros we want without it. I expect we do--we always did. We may
need to run with real mail load for a few days to confirm that removing -y
solves the problem.

Noted for comment and for advice to others.

Joseph Brennan
Columbia University Information Technology

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