How do I kill ssmtp?

Steven Monai
Thu Aug 26 17:41:00 GMT 2010

On 2010/08/26 9:51 AM, Blaine Miller wrote:
> I'm getting an inordinate amount of mail in the deadletter files, some
> 400 meg since this server started. I've grepped for the PID to kill the
> process, I've looked in the Services table in Windows and I've looked in
> the Programs, uninstall and can't find any reference to ssmtp to kill!

ssmtp is not a daemon/service, so that is to be expected.

> First, is 400 meg a normal amount of dead letter mail for a system
> that's been up for only two weeks?

That depends on your definition of "normal". But unless your server is
handling an extremely large volume of email traffic, I think it's safe
to say that 400M in two weeks is not normal.

> Second, how do I kill this process?

You will want to find the process (or processes) that are attempting
(and failing) to send email via ssmtp. In your other message to the list
today, you mention that you're using cron, so I strongly suspect cron to
be the source of most/all your dead emails. It is possible that your
cron jobs are generating a lot of output that hasn't been redirected to
proper log files or /dev/null.

> Third, how do I clear the DL file? For now, I've moved the old
> dead.letter to a different filed and touched a new, empty dead.letter.

That sounds okay to me. You should probably examine the file contents to
try to discover where the messages are coming from.

> Fourth, would any of these events cause the system to completely lock up
> and have to be rebooted?

I don't think your dead.letter file could have caused that, unless,
perhaps, it filled up the system drive.

> Thanks for your time & assistance!


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