PureMessage for UNIX: why does my PureMessage log show aborted messages?

  • Article ID: 37493
  • Updated: 21 Apr 2008

An abort entry in the message_log (located by default in /opt/pmx/var/log/) means that sendmail informed PureMessage that the connection was terminated. This causes the ABORT callback to be called in PureMessage, which then logs the corresponding message in the log file.

These aborted messages are usually caused by one of the following two conditions:

  • Sendmail prematurely closed the connection with the SMTP peer, which could be another mail server or mail client. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as problems in the network connection between the two servers, ill-formed SMTP commands from the other side, or timeouts while exchanging data with the other side. When sendmail prematurely ends an SMTP connection like this, it will also abort the corresponding connection with PureMessage at the same time.

    This type of abort is part of normal SMTP traffic problems and can usually be ignored. Note that this kind of abort may result in delayed delivery of the mail that was processed on the connections affected by this.

  • Sendmail timed out while waiting for PureMessage to process the message. When sendmail times out in this way, PureMessage detects that sendmail is no longer waiting on the connection, and calls the ABORT callback in the filter. This type of abort can often be prevented by changing sendmail or PureMessage settings.

What to do

To investigate which kind of abort is occurring, compare the queue ID of the aborted message reported in the PureMessage log, with the same queue ID in /var/log/maillog (or the corresponding sendmail log on your server). The mail log provides information about what happened to the aborted message.

When sendmail aborts a connection with PureMessage under either of the scenarios described above, it usually logs a reason. The lines that provide information about such aborted connections can be identified by looking for milter_ in the mail log. If the reason recorded was timeout, it generally means PureMessage took too long to process the message, and sendmail therefore terminated the connection.

Such timeout errors in the message_log could also mean that PureMessage wasn't running, or that it was not listening on the port that sendmail expects.

If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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