SUMMARY: Problems with sendmail (real!)

From: D. Douglas Valkenaar (
Date: Fri Jan 29 1993 - 18:52:28 CST

Original problem:

> I'm getting the following errors on my mail servers console during times
> of seemly heavy mail traffic:
> Jan 17 01:52:17 mack sendmail[24609]: AG24609: SYSERR: openmailer: pipe (to mailer): Too many open files
> Jan 17 01:52:19 mack sendmail[24609]: AH24609: SYSERR: openmailer: pipe (to mailer): Too many open files
> Jan 17 01:52:20 mack sendmail[24609]: AI24609: SYSERR: openmailer: pipe (to mailer): Too many open files


I did two things:

  1) Increase MAXUSERS from 8 to 16 - didn't make an immediate
     difference but may have had an impact.

  2) Before starting sendmail, increase the number of descriptors (in
     Csh, 'limit descriptors 256') (Thanks
     ups!basil!pauline@fourx.Aus.Sun.COM (Pauline van Winsen) and
     stern@sunne.East.Sun.COM (Hal Stern - NE Area Systems Engineer)).
     That worked!!

Thanks to the rest of you who responded:

Neil W Rickert <>
Brian Dickson <trigraph!briand> (Kudo's for the great idea on using IDA
                                 sendmail - even though it didn't help
                                 with the problem, that will make
                                 maintenance much easier)

Here's the info on IDA sendmail from Brian:

> When we had to do some custom sendmail hacking, and started getting grief from
> Sun's sendmail, we got and installed IDA sendmail. You've never seen anything
> easier to configure, and do weird things with, easily. (Configuration is handled
> by m4 macros, and produces real files -- but you maintain the m4
> file, not a .cf file.)

> Not only is it a good package, and (relatively) easy to use, it is still
> sendmail, it has source, and is actively maintained, and discussed in the
> group comp.mail.sendmail. I *strongly* recommend this to anyone who is
> doing any significant sendmail hacking.

> (We are a UUCP-only site, so we get stuff from a neighbor -- but you should
> be able to look up this software at your closest FTP source repository. Ask
> archie.)

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