When you attempt to send e-mail from your Virtual Private Servers to an e-mail address at a server that is down or temporarily unreachable, the e-mail is queued on your server for future delivery. There is a process on your server's host machine that will attempt to flush your Virtual Private Server E-Mail queue every 8 hours. After 3 days if the e-mail is still undeliverable, the mail will be returned to the sender.

There may be times that you want or need to flush your mail queue by hand. For example, one of your users may send out e-mail to a large list of addresses many of which are undeliverable. A spammer may use your server to relay e-mail that may contain many invalid e-mail addresses. Or the process to automatically flush your mail queue may not be working properly. The e-mail that queues up on your server consumes your valuable disk space quota and affects the performance of your sendmail program. The directions below will help you properly maintain your Virtual Private Server's mail queue.

Your Virtual Private Server's mail queue is located in the ~/usr/spool/mqueue directory on your Virtual Private Server. Each e-mail in the queue is normally stored in 2 separate files. The header of each e-mail is stored in a file with a name that starts with a "q". The rest of the file name indicates when the e-mail was received. The body of the same e-mail is stored in a file with a name beginning with a "d". The rest of the file name matches that of the header.

You can check the contents of your mail queue by typing this command at your Virtual Private Server command prompt:

% virtual sendmail -bp

You can check the amount of your disk space quota that e-mail in your mail queue is consuming by typing this command at the prompt:

% vdiskuse | grep mqueue

You can flush your mail queue by typing this command:

% virtual sendmail -q -v

The "-q" flag flushes the queue. The "-v" flag prints the output to the screen so you can see what is happening.

Please note: the information on this page applies to ITS web hosting plans. It may or may not apply to other environments. If you are looking for a feature described here, or better support from your hosting provider, please consider hosting your site with ITS!

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