The mailstats Program

The sendmail program provides the ability to gather information that can be used to produce valuable statistics. As you will see, the StatusFile (S) option (StatusFile) is used to specify a file into which delivery agent statistics can be saved. The mailstats(1) program prints a summary of those statistics.

The statistics File

The sendmail program can maintain an ongoing record of the total number and total sizes of all outgoing and incoming mail messages handled by each delivery agent. This ability is enabled by defining STATUS_FILE in your m4 build file:


The /path is the full pathname of the file into which statistics are saved. Version 8.12 sendmail provides configuration files that specify /path as:


Just declaring the StatusFile option is not enough, however, for if the file does not exist (or is unwritable), sendmail silently ignores that file and does not save statistics. To avoid this behavior, sendmail creates an empty file during installation:

% touch /etc/mail/statistics

Note that the gathering of statistics can be turned off merely by renaming or removing the file.

Viewing Statistics: mailstats

The mailstats program is supplied with the sendmail source distribution to provide a convenient way to print the contents of the statistics file. The output of the mailstats program varies depending on the version of sendmail installed. For V8.12 sendmail the output looks like this:

Statistics from Mon Jan 14 10:56:15 ...

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