[ic] 'Unable to send mail' - ongoing issue

Gary Norton gnorton at broadgap.com
Tue Jan 4 18:00:22 EST 2005

Joachim Leidinger wrote:

> Ed LaFrance wrote:
>> Hi Listees -
>> I've just started working on a new client's system, and I see they 
>> are plagued with a problem that I have observed on a myriad of other 
>> installations. Namely, various emails sent by Interchange 
>> occasionally do not go out. The failed sends can be found in the 
>> catalog error log, preceded by the string 'Unable to send mail using 
>> (sendmail or similar)'. I have seen order reports, customer receipts, 
>> contact messages and more email types fail in this manner, sent by 
>> both email UserTags and Interchange's internal mailing routines. I've 
>> seen this on Red Hat, Debian, FreeBSD, and Solaris systems - maybe 
>> more, but those are the ones that come to mind. In all cases, the 
>> systems have plenty of available RAM, disk space and CPU resources.
>> In one case I hacked the source a bit to capture some system error 
>> info to the catalog error.log, and the system said the cause was a 
>> 'broken pipe'. This was only on one system, so I don't know if that 
>> holds true for all cases.
>> I'd be interested in hearing feedback from anyone who has any ideas 
>> on how to diagnose or heal the source of this problem.
> ...
> I've seen this kind of problem in a virtual server often. In most 
> common case, it failed to send email or to create/write anything into 
> the session file, if the real server have a heavy load or something in 
> this machine is very busy. This is true for FreeBSD as a virtual 
> server systems in one real machine.
> I've no clue, what the cause is.
> Joachim (aka jojo)
I can confirm that I have seen this problem as well in the virtual 
server environment. Specifically we have catalogs running under Ensim 
(assigned to the virtual account) using a server based engine install.

The problem is very infrequent and I have not had time to dive into it 
yet. Next time I am aware that it happens I will try to get some log 
excerpts and see.


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