[TriLUG] Re: help, fetchmail is downloading incredibly slooooooooowly

Jon Carnes jonc at nc.rr.com
Fri Apr 13 10:46:19 EDT 2001

As I was reading your message, I thought: "That's gotta be a DNS problem!"
The description is perfect...

But it could also be a piece of crap "mail" on the server.  Mindspring 
recently spammed a bunch of folks with a malformed email.  Fetchmail may be 
chocking on that piece of mail and then moving on.

Try telnetting into the pop server and see the problem first hand:
   telnet mail.mindspring.com 110
     user ur_username
     pass ur_password

 Minimal POP3 Commands: 

      USER name               valid in the AUTHORIZATION state
      PASS string

      STAT                    valid in the TRANSACTION state
      LIST [msg]
      RETR msg
      DELE msg

      QUIT                    valid in the UPDATE state

   Optional POP3 Commands:

      APOP name digest        valid in the AUTHORIZATION state

      TOP msg n               valid in the TRANSACTION state
      UIDL [msg]

   POP3 Replies:


 Note that with the exception of the STAT, LIST, and UIDL commands, the reply 
given by the POP3 server to any command is significant only to "+OK" and 
"-ERR". Any text occurring after this reply may be ignored by the client.     

On Friday 13 April 2001 08:01, rpjday wrote:
> i'm baffled by a problem i've had once before that i thought
> i solved, but now it's back.  from home, after i bring up PPP
> with "ifup ppp0" to connect to mindspring, and start to download
> mail with "fetchmail", each of the messages (average 2-3 K) download
> unbelievably slowly -- each message starts to download, then hangs
> in the middle for 30-45 seconds, gets flushed, then fetchmail goes
> on to the mext message.  occasionally, fetchmail simply aborts,
> probably because of some timeout.
>   i remember having this once before, and got so frustrated i called
> mindspring tech support, who couldn't help.  it eventually dawned on
> me that, if i'm getting timeouts with network-related stuff, DNS might
> be a good place to start.  sure enough, i had just returned from a
> client where i'd put my laptop on their internal network, and i still
> had *their* DNS server addresses in /etc/resolv.conf.  slap forehead.
> duh.  fixed that, and we were off to the races.
>   i never thought i'd see that problem again, but once again, just got
> back from a client, having been on their internal network, and yup,
> painfully slow fetchmail.  this time, i've looked everywhere for a
> DNS-related problem and can't find one.  all the config files look good,
> /etc/hosts, /etc/host.conf, /etc/resolv.conf, etc.  sending mail works
> just fine, browsing is fine, it's just fetchmail that's a real dog.
>   any suggestions?  i'm more than willing to be embarrassed if someone
> can tell me how to fix it.  ack.
> rday
> p.s.  is there an obvious way to tell if DNS is timing out, or something
> to that effect?  there's no indication in /var/log/messages, is there
> another log file for that?  thanks again.

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