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I run Linux BeagleBoard-xM 3.12.5-armv7-x10 #1 SMP Fri Dec 13 03:06:20 UTC 2013 armv7l armv7l armv7l GNU/Linux and my /var/log/syslog gets flooded by messages like Jan 11 10:21:09 BeagleBoard-xM sm-msp-queue[8036]: s0AJ66SY002027: to=root, ctladdr=root (0/0), delay=14:15:03, xdelay=00:00:00, mailer=relay, pri=2011764, relay=[127.0.0.1] [127.0.0.1], dsn=4.0.0, stat=Deferred: Connection refused by [127.0.0.1].

As I dropped sendmail by apt-get remove sendmail and even rebooted I was very surprised. I checked the processes to make sure that sendmail does not run:

F   UID   PID  PPID PRI  NI    VSZ   RSS WCHAN  STAT TTY        TIME COMMAND
4     0     1     0  20   0   2996  1936 poll_s Ss   ?          0:08 /sbin/init
1     0     2     0  20   0      0     0 kthrea S    ?          0:00 [kthreadd]
1     0     3     2  20   0      0     0 smpboo S    ?          0:00 [ksoftirqd/0]
1     0     4     2  20   0      0     0 worker S    ?          0:00 [kworker/0:0]
1     0     5     2   0 -20      0     0 worker S<   ?          0:00 [kworker/0:0H]
1     0     6     2  20   0      0     0 worker S    ?          0:00 [kworker/u2:0]
1     0     7     2 -100  -      0     0 smpboo S    ?          0:00 [migration/0]
1     0     8     2  20   0      0     0 rcu_gp S    ?          0:00 [rcu_bh]
1     0     9     2  20   0      0     0 rcu_gp S    ?          0:01 [rcu_sched]
1     0    10     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [khelper]
5     0    11     2  20   0      0     0 devtmp S    ?          0:00 [kdevtmpfs]
1     0    12     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [netns]
1     0    13     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [writeback]
1     0    15     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [kintegrityd]
1     0    16     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [bioset]
1     0    17     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [kblockd]
1     0    18     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [ata_sff]
1     0    19     2  20   0      0     0 hub_th S    ?          0:00 [khubd]
1     0    20     2 -51   -      0     0 irq_th S    ?          0:00 [irq/72-i2c.10]
1     0    21     2  20   0      0     0 worker S    ?          0:00 [kworker/u2:1]
1     0    24     2 -51   -      0     0 irq_th S    ?          0:00 [irq/73-i2c.11]
1     0    25     2 -51   -      0     0 irq_th S    ?          0:00 [irq/77-i2c.12]
1     0    28     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [edac-poller]
1     0    29     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [devfreq_wq]
1     0    30     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [rpciod]
1     0    31     2  20   0      0     0 watchd S    ?          0:00 [khungtaskd]
1     0    32     2  20   0      0     0 kswapd S    ?          0:00 [kswapd0]
1     0    33     2  20   0      0     0 fsnoti S    ?          0:00 [fsnotify_mark]
1     0    34     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [nfsiod]
1     0    35     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [bioset]
1     0    36     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [crypto]
1     0    47     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [kthrotld]
1     0    48     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [OMAP UART0]
1     0    49     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [OMAP UART1]
1     0    50     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [OMAP UART2]
1     0    51     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [OMAP UART3]
1     0    52     2 -51   -      0     0 irq_th S    ?          0:00 [irq/23-TWL4030-]
1     0    53     2  20   0      0     0 kthrea S    ?          0:00 [spi1]
1     0    54     2  20   0      0     0 kthrea S    ?          0:00 [spi2]
1     0    55     2  20   0      0     0 kthrea S    ?          0:00 [spi3]
1     0    56     2  20   0      0     0 kthrea S    ?          0:00 [spi4]
1     0    57     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [binder]
1     0    58     2  20   0      0     0 mmc_qu S    ?          0:01 [mmcqd/0]
1     0    59     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [deferwq]
1     0   102     2   0 -20      0     0 worker S<   ?          0:00 [kworker/0:1H]
1     0   116     2  20   0      0     0 kjourn S    ?          0:00 [jbd2/mmcblk0p2-]
1     0   117     2   0 -20      0     0 rescue S<   ?          0:00 [ext4-rsv-conver]
1     0   267     1  20   0   2480  1172 poll_s S    ?          0:02 upstart-udev-bridge --daemon
5     0   272     1  20   0   9932  1504 SyS_ep Ss   ?          0:00 /lib/systemd/systemd-udevd --daemon
5   102   327     1  20   0   3112  1256 SyS_ep Ss   ?          0:01 dbus-daemon --system --fork
5     0   342     1  20   0   3224  1256 poll_s Ss   ?          0:00 /usr/sbin/bluetoothd
4     0   348     1  20   0   3052  1288 SyS_ep Ss   ?          0:00 /lib/systemd/systemd-logind
5     0   359     2  10 -10      0     0 rfcomm S<   ?          0:00 [krfcommd]
5   101   361     1  20   0  29332  1164 poll_s Sl   ?          0:00 rsyslogd -c5
5   104   368     1  20   0   2692  1128 poll_s S    ?          0:00 avahi-daemon: running [BeagleBoard-xM.local]
1   104   369   368  20   0   2692   356 unix_s S    ?          0:00 avahi-daemon: chroot helper
4     0   386     1  20   0   6428  2432 SyS_ep Ss   ?          0:00 /usr/sbin/cupsd -F
4     0   405     1  20   0   6704  2264 poll_s Ss   ?          0:00 /usr/sbin/cups-browsed
4     0   548     1  20   0   3368   712 n_tty_ Ss+  tty4       0:00 /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty4
4     0   550     1  20   0   3368   712 n_tty_ Ss+  tty5       0:00 /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty5
4     0   560     1  20   0   3368   712 n_tty_ Ss+  tty2       0:00 /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty2
4     0   562     1  20   0   3368   712 n_tty_ Ss+  tty3       0:00 /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty3
4     0   568     1  20   0   3368   712 n_tty_ Ss+  tty6       0:00 /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty6
4     0   621     1  20   0  24992  2400 poll_s Ssl  ?          0:00 gdm
1     0   622     1  20   0   2324   824 hrtime Ss   ?          0:00 cron
4     0   681   621  20   0  34496  2996 poll_s Sl   ?          0:00 /usr/lib/gdm/gdm-simple-slave --display-id /org/gnome/DisplayManager/Displays/_0
4     0   704   681  20   0  18620  9276 poll_s Ss+  tty7       0:00 /usr/bin/X :0 -background none -verbose -auth /var/run/gdm/auth-for-gdm-U58lKS/database -seat seat0 -nolisten tcp vt7
4     0   707     1  20   0  32604  3040 poll_s Sl   ?          0:00 /usr/lib/accountsservice/accounts-daemon
4     0   713     1  20   0  32548  3540 poll_s Sl   ?          0:00 /usr/lib/policykit-1/polkitd --no-debug
1     0   717     2  20   0      0     0 worker S    ?          0:00 [kworker/0:2]
4     0   765   681  20   0  27592  3528 poll_s Sl   ?          0:00 gdm-session-worker [pam/gdm-launch-environment]
1     0   779     1  20   0   2452   988 poll_s S    ?          0:00 upstart-socket-bridge --daemon
1     0   783     1  20   0   2884  1416 poll_s S    ?          0:00 upstart-file-bridge --daemon
1     0   801     2  20   0      0     0 kaudit S    ?          0:00 [kauditd]
1     0   818     1  20   0   3968  2100 poll_s Ss   ?          0:00 dhclient -1 -v -pf /run/dhclient.eth0.pid -lf /var/lib/dhcp/dhclient.eth0.leases eth0
4     0   914     1  20   0   5592  2060 poll_s Ss   ?          0:00 /usr/sbin/sshd -D
4   111   938   765  20   0  18472  4608 poll_s Ss   ?          0:00 /usr/bin/gnome-session --autostart /usr/share/gdm/greeter/autostart
1   111   944     1  20   0   2776   488 poll_s S    ?          0:00 /usr/bin/dbus-launch --exit-with-session /usr/bin/gnome-session --autostart /usr/share/gdm/greeter/autostart
4     0   964     1  20   0   6452  2904 poll_s Ss   ?          0:00 /usr/sbin/modem-manager
1   111   967     1  20   0   2856   872 SyS_ep Ss   ?          0:00 //bin/dbus-daemon --fork --print-pid 5 --print-address 7 --session
1     0   971     1  20   0   7268  3220 poll_s Ss   ?          0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
5     0   990     1  20   0  39240  5168 poll_s Ssl  ?          0:00 NetworkManager
0   111   995     1  20   0  40488  2728 poll_s Sl   ?          0:00 /usr/lib/at-spi2-core/at-spi-bus-launcher
0   111  1003   995  20   0   2748  1272 SyS_ep S    ?          0:00 /bin/dbus-daemon --config-file=/etc/at-spi2/accessibility.conf --nofork --print-address 3
0   111  1010     1  20   0  15212  2484 poll_s Sl   ?          0:00 /usr/lib/at-spi2-core/at-spi2-registryd --use-gnome-session
5    33  1020   971  20   0 230948  2896 pipe_w Sl   ?          0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
5    33  1021   971  20   0 230756  2588 pipe_w Sl   ?          0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
4     0  1166     1  20   0   3368   712 n_tty_ Ss+  tty1       0:00 /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty1
4     0  1167     1  20   0   1616   640 n_tty_ Ss+  ttyO2      0:00 /sbin/getty 115200 ttyO2
4     0  1198   914  20   0   9136  2908 poll_s Ss   ?          0:00 sshd: ubuntu [priv] 
5  1000  1210  1198  20   0   9268  1596 poll_s S    ?          0:00 sshd: ubuntu@pts/2  
0  1000  1211  1210  20   0   5344  2780 wait   Ss   pts/2      0:00 -bash
4     0  1235  1211  20   0   4968  1368 wait   S    pts/2      0:00 su
4     0  1236  1235  20   0   4220  1652 wait   S    pts/2      0:00 bash

There was (is) neither sendmail nor another MTA, right? My last idea: cron might try to send mails. I switched off cron's mailing by setting MAILTO="", my crontab looks like this

# /etc/crontab: system-wide crontab
# Unlike any other crontab you don't have to run the `crontab'
# command to install the new version when you edit this file
# and files in /etc/cron.d. These files also have username fields,
# that none of the other crontabs do.

SHELL=/bin/sh
PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin
MAILTO=""

# m h dom mon dow user  command
17 *    * * *   root    cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.hourly
25 6    * * *   root    test -x /usr/sbin/anacron || ( cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.daily )
47 6    * * 7   root    test -x /usr/sbin/anacron || ( cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.weekly )
52 6    1 * *   root    test -x /usr/sbin/anacron || ( cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.monthly )
#
5   */2 *   *   *   root        /root/ddclient-3.7.3.bash
15  */2 *   *   *   ubuntu      /home/ubuntu/public_html/testprovider/testHosts.bash
0   */4 *   *   *   ubuntu      /home/ubuntu/public_html/testprovider/evalHosts.bash
*/10    *   *   *   *   connectX    /home/connectX/public_html/startServers.bash

Continued silly windows-manners, rebooted but still - sm-msp-queue floods syslog and mail.log. What can I do to get rid of these messages?

After receiving the first answer (many thanks!) I checked these suggestions:

MTA is not started?

Obviously not and just as I want it not to:

telnet localhost 25
Trying 127.0.0.1...
telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused

The question remains: Who tries to feed that mail-queue and produces these error-messages?

sending too many emails?

If so: Who can it be now? Someone frequently (every 20 minutes) tries to send mail:

Jan 11 12:20:04 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2136]: My unqualified host name (BeagleBoard-xM) unknown; sleeping for retry
Jan 11 12:21:04 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2136]: unable to qualify my own domain name (BeagleBoard-xM) -- using short name
Jan 11 12:21:04 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2136]: s0BBL4jU002136: from=smmsp, size=417, class=0, nrcpts=1, msgid=<201401111121.s0BBL4jU002136@BeagleBoard-xM>, relay=smmsp@localhost
Jan 11 12:21:04 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2136]: s0BBL4jU002136: to=root, ctladdr=smmsp (113/122), delay=00:00:00, xdelay=00:00:00, mailer=relay, pri=30417, relay=[127.0.0.1] [127.0.0.1], dsn=4.0.0, stat=Deferred: Connection refused by [127.0.0.1]
Jan 11 12:40:04 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2225]: My unqualified host name (BeagleBoard-xM) unknown; sleeping for retry
Jan 11 12:41:04 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2225]: unable to qualify my own domain name (BeagleBoard-xM) -- using short name
Jan 11 12:41:04 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2225]: s0BBf4aZ002225: from=smmsp, size=417, class=0, nrcpts=1, msgid=<201401111141.s0BBf4aZ002225@BeagleBoard-xM>, relay=smmsp@localhost
Jan 11 12:41:04 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2225]: s0BBf4aZ002225: to=root, ctladdr=smmsp (113/122), delay=00:00:00, xdelay=00:00:00, mailer=relay, pri=30417, relay=[127.0.0.1] [127.0.0.1], dsn=4.0.0, stat=Deferred: Connection refused by [127.0.0.1]
Jan 11 13:00:03 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2740]: My unqualified host name (BeagleBoard-xM) unknown; sleeping for retry
Jan 11 13:01:03 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2740]: unable to qualify my own domain name (BeagleBoard-xM) -- using short name
Jan 11 13:01:03 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2740]: s0BC13pA002740: from=smmsp, size=417, class=0, nrcpts=1, msgid=<201401111201.s0BC13pA002740@BeagleBoard-xM>, relay=smmsp@localhost
Jan 11 13:01:03 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2740]: s0BC13pA002740: to=root, ctladdr=smmsp (113/122), delay=00:00:00, xdelay=00:00:00, mailer=relay, pri=30417, relay=[127.0.0.1] [127.0.0.1], dsn=4.0.0, stat=Deferred: Connection refused by [127.0.0.1]
Jan 11 13:20:04 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2832]: My unqualified host name (BeagleBoard-xM) unknown; sleeping for retry
Jan 11 13:21:04 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2832]: unable to qualify my own domain name (BeagleBoard-xM) -- using short name
Jan 11 13:21:04 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2832]: s0BCL4V0002832: from=smmsp, size=417, class=0, nrcpts=1, msgid=<201401111221.s0BCL4V0002832@BeagleBoard-xM>, relay=smmsp@localhost
Jan 11 13:21:04 BeagleBoard-xM sendmail[2832]: s0BCL4V0002832: to=root, ctladdr=smmsp (113/122), delay=00:00:00, xdelay=00:00:00, mailer=relay, pri=30417, relay=[127.0.0.1] [127.0.0.1], dsn=4.0.0, stat=Deferred: Connection refused by [127.0.0.1]

The only candidate – to my mind – still is cron that should not do so for crontab provides an empty address that should keep cron from mailing.

mail server is being used to send out spam?

Well – that would be worst case I try to prevent by not operating any MTA. Unfortunately I can not guarantee that the system is not abused but it is rather unlikely as I freshly set up that BeagleBoard and use dedicated portforwarding on the router. The router does not forward other ports than SSH / HTTP / HTTPS and ten dedicated ports (4753 - 4762) for my Java-application.

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3 Answers 3

There could be some reasons:

  • Your MTA is not started.
  • You are sending too many emails at the same time and your MTA is not able to handle it.
  • your mail server is being used to send out spam (to root for the looks of it, but there could be more). Stop the server, figure out how they are sending emails, remove those mails from the queue, protect your server, and then start it again.
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

cron tamed, done

I took a closer look around and found two configurations that I messed with

  1. /etc/cron.d/sendmail
  2. /etc/mail/sendmail.conf

The first is responsible for that frequent attempt so send mail every 20 minutes or processing mail-queues every 10 minutes. I just changed two lines calling sendmail to be comments.

#------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Every so often, give sendmail a chance to run the MSP queues.
#
# */20 *    *    *    *          smmsp   test -x /etc/init.d/sendmail && /usr/share/sendmail/sendmail cron-msp
#
#------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Every so often, give sendmail a chance to run the MTA queues.
# Will also run MSP queues if enabled
#
# */10 *    *    *    *          root    test -x /etc/init.d/sendmail && /usr/share/sendmail/sendmail cron-mta
#
#------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The second seems to be some template the first is derived from. I changed some lines there hoping it will prevent any subsequent (automatic) reconfiguration from starting any MTA. These latter changes may turn out to be a desaster one day.

I did some cleanup,

rm /var/spool/mqueue/*
rm /var/spool/mqueue-client/*

restarted cron (service cron restart) and hope that syslog will be kept clean in the future ...

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Why don't you try apt-get autoremove

I will show you my case

  1. I've installed ssmtp
  2. I've uninstalled ssmtp
  3. I've installed sendmail-bin
  4. I've uninstalled sendmail-bin
  5. I've installed ssmtp

And I got a problem like you. Every 20 minutes Cron sent me an cronjob output mail that doesn't have any meaning, a kind of error. In that time /etc/cron.d/ directory there was "sendmail" file. I tried to remove sendmail-bin to ensure it was deleted by executing apt-get remove sendmail-bin. In the Output result, there was an information some packages are no more necessary. And I have executed apt-get autoremove. After that /etc/cron.d/sendmail has gone and the cron mail sending stopped. Thank you.

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