A tsunami of email, gadzooks!

My desktop Macintosh is drowning in email as I type this, and the situation is most interesting. I’ve been running Mac OS X 10.2 for quite a while, as you would expect, and have experimented with different cron jobs, shell scripts, and much more. But while I’ve explored a lot, it was only this evening that I launched sendmail on my G4 for the first time. Well… not good!

There are thousands upon thousands of email messages from the system now flooding into my mailbox. Thousands. It’s rather amazing. But what’s puzzling is where they’re coming from. If I look in /var/spool/mail there are 4-5 messages queued. They get delivered and fifty new messages replace them. I delete those and another twenty take their place. But these messages are from months ago, so they must be somewhere.

Here’s a typical message. Check out the Received: lines closely:

Return-Path: <taylor@thebox.local>
Received: from thebox.local (localhost []) by thebox.local (8.12.9/8.12.9) with ESMTP id h8J5Xcd9019108 for <taylor>; Thu, 18 Sep 2003 23:33:51 -0600 (MDT) Received: by thebox.local (8.12.9/8.12.2/Submit) id h51GK1MN002023; Sun, 1 Jun 2003 10:20:01 -0600 (MDT) Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 10:20:01 -0600 (MDT) Message-Id: 200306011620.h51GK1MN002023@thebox.local From: taylor@thebox.local (Cron Daemon) Subject: Cron <taylor@TheBox> sh /Users/taylor/087-getstats.sh

Since I can’t seem to do much about it, I am going to just wait it out. And meanwhile…

$ ls -l /var/mail/taylor
total 21936
-rw------- 1 taylor mail 11227715 Sep 18 23:42 taylor

and growing! 🙂

3 comments on “A tsunami of email, gadzooks!

  1. Dave,
    Could these be from the diagnostic scripts that run in the background? These are the daily, weekly, monthly ones. Maybe there are having errors that send?
    Whatever it is, it blows away sobig!! Let us know what you find…

  2. Well, after about 5500 email messages were processed, the tsunami finally fizzled out. I still don’t completely understand how they were all ‘queued’ but not in the sendmail queue itself, but … cleaning up afterwards was easy, at least:
    $ rm /var/mail/taylor
    $ sudo rm /var/log/mail.log
    and all was well again in Macville.

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