Chapter 11. Manage the Queue

Mail messages can be either delivered immediately or held for later delivery. Held messages are referred to as "queued." They are placed into either a single holding directory (usually called mqueue) or several directories from which they are later delivered. There are many reasons a mail message might be queued:

  • If a mail message is temporarily undeliverable, it is queued and delivery is attempted later. If the message is addressed to multiple recipients, it is queued only for those recipients to whom delivery is not immediately possible.

  • If the SuperSafe option (SuperSafe) is set to true (the default setting required by RFC2824), all mail messages are queued for safety while delivery is attempted. The message is removed from the queue only if delivery succeeds. If delivery fails, the message is left in the queue, and another attempt is made to deliver it later. This causes the mail to be saved in the unhappy event of a system crash during processing.

  • If sendmail is run with the DeliveryMode option (DeliveryMode) set to queue-only or to defer, all mail is queued, and no immediate delivery attempt is made. A separate queue run is required to attempt delivery.

  • If the load (average number of blocked processes) becomes higher than the value given to the QueueLA option (QueueLA), sendmail will queue a message rather than attempt to deliver it. A separate queue run is required later to process the queue.

    Part I: Build and Install
    Part II: Administration
    Part III: The Configuration File