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Mail.app & IMAP Process Update

Mail.app & IMAP Process Update

Apple IMAP IssuesIn my previous post “A process to a kill” I outlined an issue with Apple’s Mail.app creating too many IMPA processes on the web hosting server it was connecting to. Read the previous post for the details. With the help of a senior tech at blueHOST.com I have found a temporary fix, until Apple addresses the issue.
For those with access to the cPanel for their hosting account, you will need to create a Cron Job. At blueHOST.com I have access to this feature. Using the blueHOST GUI interface for the UNIX crontab program, I created a cron job via the cPanel to run every two minutes (because I have so many users running mail at the same time.) And the command is “killall imap” (without the quotes). This will do as advertised, kill all imap processes, old and new, every two minutes. You can set the amount of minutes to anything you want.

blueHost.com cPanel

It may be strong-arming the situation, but it gives you back use of your blog or website.

In my previous post, I said I sent this to MacFixIt. They never published or followed up on the eMail I sent. But I’ve also formally sent this as an issue via Apple Support. With any luck it will be fixed with the 10.5.7 update when it comes out.

If you have not made a formal report to Apple I strongly suggest you go to the Mac OS X Feedback page & file a detailed report of the issue you are having with IMAP processes & Mail.app. Reporting in the Apple support forums may not be enough to get the full attention of Apple.

5 Comments On:

Mail.app & IMAP Process Update

  1. Potential Catch-22 – apparently, cron jobs count as processes – so, if the cron tries to run and the runaway IMAP processes have already taken you over your host’s limit by that time – it will not run the cron job!

  2. Mccormicky …

    Yo Brooklyn!

    I think you might want to call your hosting company if you want to get the eMails each time the script runs. I can’t help you with that one. Theoretically, if you are seeing the IMAP process reduced & your site is not going down … then it’s working. Why bother with getting hundreds of eMails a day telling you what you can already see in the process manager.

    Also how many processes were you getting? I was getting 4 processes per account, per user. So just for myself, I was generating 16 processes on my go2jo.com domain. I have clients who are checking anywhere from 2 to 6 accounts per user, per office. There WordPress blog was down constantly, until I used the cron fix.

    Sadly even with the new OS X 10.5.7 update, there was no fix. Grrrrrr!

    Good luck! :)

  3. Oh. ha ha. By default HostMonster sets the cron to run at 3am. Ooops. It seems when I wrote that comment I had set it to run every other minute every 1-3 hours but after 3 am. I set it to every other minute every hour. I was able to put an email address to get a message sent when ever the cron runs. But I am getting Operation Not Permitted after each imap process number but when I check the process manager (as I tend to do rather obsessively) the list is very small so it seems the processes are being killed.
    Is it possible I am destroying their email correspondence? Is that what Operation Not Permitted is referring to?I have no idea how this stuff goes. I do not use imap and this was my 1st cron.

  4. Thanks for this article. I wonder if blueHOST’s cron commands are different than HostMonster’s?
    Because running the cron job killall imap (with out the quotes) every 2 minutes did not kill the processes every 2 minutes. It didn’t kill any of them.The website is still going down and the processes are running freely. Darn it!

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