Gentoo: Spamassassin crashed! What?

Life has been rather hectic lately, and a few things have fallen by the wayside in the interim, including simple maintenance tasks like, oh, mowing the lawn, and cleaning out the folder of spam for bayseian analysis, and other fun items. So when my inbox started to be flooded with what seemed like ten times the normal amount of spam I get (very little of which leaves in the Inbox) I decided to take a quick look at the server and see what was going on.

I ran a quick /etc/init.d/spamd status and got the response *status: crashed – Uh oh. A quick check of running processes showed that spamd (the SpamAssassin daemon) was indeed not running. I did a quick restart and thought nothing of it. Spam traffic slowed right back down. For about 10 hours. Suddenly I was getting hammered again. Checked the server and once again *status: crashed – “Ok”, I thought. I restarted it yet again and then immediately checked the status. Again it showed as crashed. Checking the running processes with ps -a | grep spamd showed something different, however. It showed the SpamAssassin daemon happily chugging along.

A bit of searching brought me to the relevant bug report for Gentoo. It seems that there is something in the way SpamAssassin starts the daemon that causes the pidfile to not be written, which leaves OpenRC with the notion that it has crashed. The fix is there in the bug report, though. By changing the spamd init file ( /etc/init.d/spamd ) with the addition of a forced pidfile SpamAssassin starts and OpenRC is happy as well. All by adding the one line you see below (in bold):

        start-stop-daemon --start --quiet \
                --nicelevel ${SPAMD_NICELEVEL:-0} \
                --pidfile ${PIDFILE} \
                --exec /usr/sbin/spamd -- -d -r ${PIDFILE} "" \

Now if I could just find a one-line fix for an overgrown lawn. And dandelions …


The reason for the actual crashing was due to the overgrown spam folder for bayseian analysis. It seems that running the sa-learn utility against a 6 GB directory causes all sorts of Bad Things TM to hapen, as it parses every file (again) to determine whether it can “learn” from it. I cleaned out the directory and have had no problems since then.

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