Incorrect file size?

Jeremy Chadwick koitsu at
Mon Jun 23 07:19:28 UTC 2008

On Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 09:56:48AM +0300, Krassimir Slavchev wrote:
> Ivan Voras wrote:
> > Rink Springer wrote:
> >> On Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 03:54:22PM +0200, Ivan Voras wrote:
> >>> Except that the file in question should be, judging by the filename, a
> >>> simple text file. I don't really see how a whitelist could grow to such
> >>> monstrous sizes :) Most likely it's a file system corruption - fsck
> >>> should be the first thing to try.
> >> The 'vscan' user leads me assume this is SpamAssassin - I've seen this
> >> behaviour at work, where our scripts were trying to backup a 1TB file
> >> (which actually was ~vscan/.spamassassin/auto-whitelist). The result was
> >> that the backup script died due to lack of disk space on the backup
> >> server (as we don't use compression).

I've used SpamAssassin for a few years now, and I've never seen this
happen (including during migration from RELENG_6 to RELENG_7, and
between SpamAssassin versions (from 3.0 to 3.2.x).  I cannot even begin
to imagine how that file reached such a size, which is why I believe the
issue may be filesystem corruption.

I will take a moment to point out something I do whenever SpamAssassin
gets upgraded, though: I always delete bayes_* and auto-whitelist files
from .spamassassin, on every account.  I do this because there have been
cases in the past where the data format has changed in the DB, and SA
hasn't done a good job of seamlessly migrating them.

> Yes, it is SpamAssassin and I have the same problem with the backups.
> The Amanda complains with:
>  xxxxxxxxxxx  /  lev 1  FAILED [dump larger than available tape space,
> 307256178 KB, skipping incremental]
>  yyyyyyyyyyyy / lev 4 FAILED [dump larger than tape, 354005617 KB,
> skipping incremental]

There isn't any way to solve this problem.  The file, as far as dump is
concerned, is indeed 3TB.

> I don't think this is a file system corruption because there are no
> reasons for this. Also I have seen this on different machines.

I can point you to all of the threads in the past year where users have
had mysterious problems with their filesystems, which have been fixed by
booting single-user and fsck'ing.  That may not be the problem here,
but it doesn't hurt for you to do it "just in case" now does it?

If it happens on multiple machines, I've only two recommendations:

1) Try what I said above (delete the bayes_* and auto-whitelist files).
If SpamAssassin recreates them as 3TB, then there is indeed a problem
with your system(s), because mine do not do that.

2) Consider migrating to dspam instead, which supposedly has a much
greater success rate of blocking spam.

| Jeremy Chadwick                                jdc at |
| Parodius Networking              |
| UNIX Systems Administrator                  Mountain View, CA, USA |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.              PGP: 4BD6C0CB |

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