A user sent an email message with a substantial number of large attachments, which exhausted the free space in the /var partition of a Linux email server, which was running low on space because of other large messages queued on the system and some large log files. That particular message proved to be the proverbial last straw on the camel's back. The system crashed and rebooted. In addition to the df file containing the message's body and attachments, I found a QF file, instead of the normal qf file, in the /var/spool/mqueue directory. The qf file contains the message's headers and other information.
# ls -lh *fk0PJ0eqI021438 -rw------- 1 root smmsp 49M Jan 25 14:04 dfk0PJ0eqI021438 -rw------- 1 root smmsp 948 Jan 25 14:04 Qfk0PJ0eqI021438
After clearing space on the partition, I didn't see the message associated
with the two files when I used the
mailq command, apparently
because there was a QF file rather than a qf file.
So I renamed the Qf file changing the "Qf" to "qf" and then sent the message
sendmail -v -qIk0PJ0eqI021438. You can have sendmail
manually process a queue by using a "-qI" option followed by the queue ID,
which is the sequence of letters and digits after the "qf" in the filename.
Adding a "-v" as well provides verbose information on what is happening as
the queued message is processed.
The message was then processed by the server. It was addressed to two hotmail.com addresses. The hotmail server didn't like its size either, though, and rejected it. Apparently, though Microsoft now offers 250 MB of free storage with their free hotmail.com accounts, there is a limit on the size of any individual email message and the Hotmail email server regarded a 49 MB message as too large and bounced it back to the sender.
[root@example mqueue]# sendmail -v -qIk0PJ0eqI021438 Running /var/spool/mqueue/k0PJ0eqI021438 (sequence 1 of 1) <firstname.lastname@example.org>,<email@example.com>... Connecting to mx1.hotmail.com. via esmtp... 220 bay0-mc1-f16.bay0.hotmail.com Sending unsolicited commercial or bulk e-mail to Microsoft's computer network is prohibited. Other restrictions are found at http://privacy.msn.com/Anti-spam/. Violations will result in use of equipment located in California and other states. Tue, 31 Jan 2006 19:19:37 -0800 >>> EHLO example.com 250-bay0-mc1-f16.bay0.hotmail.com (184.108.40.206) Hello [192.168.0.26] 250-SIZE 29696000 250-PIPELINING 250-8bitmime 250-BINARYMIME 250-CHUNKING 250-AUTH LOGIN 250-AUTH=LOGIN 250 OK >>> MAIL From:<firstname.lastname@example.org> SIZE=51191604 552 Message size exceeds fixed maximum message size Service unavailable <email@example.com>... Connecting to local... <firstname.lastname@example.org>... Sent Closing connection to mx1.hotmail.com. >>> QUIT 221 bay0-mc1-f16.bay0.hotmail.com Service closing transmission channel
- [Chapter 23] 23.3 A Bogus qf File (V8 only): Qf
Hotmail to offer 250MB of free storage
By Jim Hu
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: June 23, 2004