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When I type top commond, I see many sendmail, what are these sendmail? I never set mail in my service.

SER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND
16110 root      17   0  234m  35m 8380 R 45.3  1.7   0:02.53 php
16101 root      17   0  230m  31m 8100 R 43.3  1.5   0:02.06 php
16092 root      15   0  219m  20m 8100 S 21.0  1.0   0:01.32 php
16104 root      15   0  226m  26m 8096 S 13.6  1.3   0:01.64 php
16107 root      16   0  215m  16m 8080 R  5.3  0.8   0:00.21 php
16096 root      15   0  216m  18m 8088 S  2.7  0.9   0:00.71 php
16122 smmsp     18   0 76032 4380 2904 S  1.7  0.2   0:00.07 sendmail
16125 smmsp     18   0 76024 4368 2904 S  1.7  0.2   0:00.06 sendmail
16137 root      17   0 80976 3836 1388 R  1.3  0.2   0:00.04 sendmail
16099 root      18   0 39100 1672  924 R  1.0  0.1   0:00.03 crond
16108 root      18   0 39100 1672  924 R  1.0  0.1   0:00.04 crond
16060 root      15   0 15004 1288  992 R  0.3  0.1   0:00.05 top
16091 root      18   0 39100 1672  924 S  0.3  0.1   0:00.02 crond
16095 root      18   0 39100 1672  924 S  0.3  0.1   0:00.01 crond
16102 root      18   0 39100 1672  924 S  0.3  0.1   0:00.03 crond
16116 smmsp     18   0 76024 4364 2904 S  0.3  0.2   0:00.02 sendmail
16117 smmsp     18   0 76024 4364 2904 S  0.3  0.2   0:00.02 sendmail
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sendmail is an MTA (Mail Transport Agent) available for various Unix-like operating systems. It can also serve as an MDA (Mail Delivery Agent). It might be installed by default with your OS or it was a dependency of some sort for other software.

Please refer to the documentation that comes with your OS for the Sendmail package for more information on how to configure it. I cannot determine whether you actually need it based on the information you give.

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I doubt this is relation with crond, but never find some article for this. And also doubt some server fault so that sendmail notice me, but i did not find any mistake in apache, mysql or other log. So open this question. Thanks. –  fish man Nov 27 '12 at 16:31
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The other answers tell you what sendmail is. My answer is that sendmail is very likely being triggered by whatever web site you've got running under PHP (maybe a forum, sending registration or subscription e-mails) or the something similar.

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I haven't any subscription e-mails function or even a login-register system. –  fish man Nov 27 '12 at 16:29
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Then you need to review the outgoing and incoming mail logs to work out what's happening. Someone, or something is using your system to send e-mail. –  EightBitTony Nov 27 '12 at 17:21
    
I checked /var/log/maillog the recent message is on sep 15. –  fish man Nov 28 '12 at 7:15
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