mail-notifcation hogging the CPU polling when internet connection lost

Bug #2462 reported by Andy Lynch on 2005-09-21
This bug affects 8 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Mail Notification
mail-notification (Fedora)
mail-notification (Ubuntu)
Nominated for Karmic by Johannes Hessellund

Bug Description

When the system is idle, mail-notifcation process consumes ~80% of the CPU. This usually starts happening after
running for a few hours.

I have a delay between checks of 2 minutes, and two accounts configured - one IMAP server (with IDLE support), and GMail.

Ethereal shows the process repeatedly establishing SSL connections to, more than once per second(!).

Stack from gdb:
0xffffe410 in ?? ()
(gdb) bt
#0 0xffffe410 in ?? ()
#1 0xbf8575d8 in ?? ()
#2 0x0001986d in ?? ()
#3 0x00000004 in ?? ()
#4 0xb6a190f4 in poll () from /lib/tls/i686/cmov/
#5 0xb755c2e8 in g_main_context_check () from /usr/lib/
#6 0xb755c783 in g_main_loop_run () from /usr/lib/
#7 0xb7a57606 in gtk_main () from /usr/lib/
#8 0x08087a47 in main ()

Changed in mail-notification:
assignee: nobody → motu
Ante Karamatić (ivoks) wrote :

Does it checks email at all? Despite it's high CPU usage.

Ante Karamatić (ivoks) wrote :

Gmail did some changes with their authorization. gmail-notify has same problems with gmail accounts. Please, remove gmail account and report if that fix problems.

Koen Sadza (koen) wrote :

I have the same problem after waking up from suspend without an internet connection...

same here with a normal POP3 account, no TLS or SSL, using USER/PASS authentication

frogzoo (frogzoo) wrote :

Confirming this.
Mail-notification goes to 100% trying to connect to a pop3 account whenever the network is disconnected.

So I imagine the 100% applies whenever connection fails.

The 100% cpu is a major pain, as it kills your battery life double quick. It makes mail-notification on laptops a serious liability.

Changed in mail-notification:
status: Unconfirmed → Confirmed

Reportbug output for mail-notification

I'm having the same problem, not with GMail but with my university's mail. It sometimes takes up between 70-90% CPU, and at that time it doesn't appear when new mail is received. Ethereal does not tell me that it is making a lot of requests though. If I kill it and restart, usage goes back down to between 1-2% and the icon appears when new mail arrives. Network is connected, mail server is working. It is after a hibernate (although I can't be sure it doesn't happen before hibernate, as I'm almost always working post-hibernation).

Lyonel Vincent (lyonel) wrote :

Same thing here: network connectivity loss makes mail-notification consume 100% CPU, which makes it very problematic on a laptop.
Forcing mail-notification to update its status (by running `mail-notification -u`)seems to bring CPU usage back to normal (it doesn't prevent the problem from popping back later, though).

Stephen Sinclair (radarsat1) wrote :

I'd just like to report that this bug is still in effect. I just installed mail-notification in my Gutsy laptop and am seeing 100% CPU usage. I haven't experienced it often enough to identify a pattern yet, it just seems to kick in after running mail-notification for a while. I haven't had a chance to try the "-u" option yet.
This makes mail-notification much less useful, unfortunately, and there sadly seems to be few options for well-integrated mail notification under Gnome.

condorloco (christian-cmwt) wrote :

I can confirm this bug on my HP TC4200 notebook and an IMAP e-mail account. Whenever there is no network connection available, after some time mail-notification has a CPU usage of 80-100%.

Same problem with Gutsy (testing) @ Desktop.
I installed mail-notification from the source ( because i need SSL.
I don't have GMail but it appears the same problem. I have some POP3 and IMAP mailboxes (with and without SSL), so i didn't figured out yet which one (or if all) are the problem. The problem appears after some time, can be half an hour or more (seems randomly).
I tried to reinstall the program but it didn't help.

I had the same configuration of mailboxes with Edgy and mail-notification 3.0 (also from source) and it worked perfect!

the_mechanical (mechanical) wrote :

Maybe i should add some informations:
Using Ubuntu Gutsy testing/beta (7.10)
* Linux 2.6.22-12-generic #1 SMP Thu Sep 20 18:51:18 GMT 2007 i686 GNU/Linux
* mail-notification 4.1 (built from source -
* Pop3 with and without SSL, all IMAP with SSL/TSL
* Gnome 2.20.0
* Compiz 0.5.2
* Network connection over VPN, i use vpnc

I can also confirm having this problem in Gutsy.
I have noticed this problem since I started using mail-notification (which I don't remember if that was in Dapper of Feisty).
Also, this happens even with only POP3.
The way to fix it is to reestablish the connection and tell it to update through the pop-up menu.
If one tells it to update without a connection, it drops CPU usage for some time and then it usually return to 100%.

arno_b (arno.b) wrote :

I have the same problem on Feisty and Gusty with a pop account: it happens each time I start my laptop without any network connection.

Brice Terzaghi (terzag) wrote :

Same problem here with Gutsy: on a PC that has no internet connexion, mail-notification jumps to 90-100 % CPU usage when it can't connect to the configured accounts (using POP and GMail).


just to tell that the bug still is in effect. I'm experiencing it on the third laptop now. Whenever the Internet connection is unavailable mail-notification quickly eats up to 100% of one CPU. At least on a dual core system that leaves one CPU for serious work.

My personal workaround is
$ sudo killall mail-notification
whenever I'm out in the field.

Thanks a lot,

Dim Zoom (dimzoom) wrote :

if i am offline or have the little mail icon applet online all my processor ressources are taken by mail-notification. If i remove the applet the CPU usage instantly decrease to normal usage.
I'am using hardy. Do you need more informations about my system ?

zorkm (zorkmark) on 2008-06-21
Changed in mail-notification:
status: New → Confirmed
Lutfi (lutfiarab) wrote :

This still happen on Hardy with new package from getdeb:

dpkg -l mail-notification
| Status=Not/Installed/Config-f/Unpacked/Failed-cfg/Half-inst/t-aWait/T-pend
|/ Err?=(none)/Hold/Reinst-required/X=both-problems (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name Version Description
ii mail-notification 5.4-0~getdeb1 mail notification in system tray

Eating my 100%CPU

Daniel T Chen (crimsun) wrote :

Lowering importance.

(getdeb packages are not supported)

Changed in mail-notification:
importance: Medium → Low

It's a universe package!

| Status=Not/Installed/Config-f/Unpacked/Failed-cfg/Half-inst/t-aWait/T-pend
|/ Err?=(none)/Hold/Reinst-required/X=both-problems (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name Version Description
un mail-notificat <none> (no description available)

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. You reported this bug a while ago and there hasn't been any activity in it recently. We were wondering if this is still an issue for you. Can you try with the latest Ubuntu release? Thanks in advance.

Changed in mail-notification:
assignee: motu → harrisony
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Stephen Sinclair (radarsat1) wrote :

I just tried it on my laptop for an hour, (running Intrepid), and it didn't seem to be an issue. I'll keep running it for a while to monitor it.

arno_b (arno.b) wrote :

I still have this issue each time a disconnect my laptop from Internet, using Intrepid and a pop account
Not fixed.

KAding (kadingf) wrote :

I also still have this issue. I have had it on every version of Ubuntu with every laptop I've had since 2006 at least. Currently I am using intrepid. If I have no internet connection mail notification will start using 100% of one of my dual core CPUs. This does not happen instantly at boot, however, but usually after a few minutes.

I am using as mail host (IMAP).

Harrison Conlin (harrisony) wrote :

Thanks for reporting this bug and any supporting documentation. Since this bug has enough information provided for a developer to begin work, I'm going to mark it as Triaged and let them handle it from here. Thanks for taking the time to make Ubuntu better

Changed in mail-notification:
assignee: harrisony → nobody
importance: Low → Medium
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Johannes Hessellund (osos) wrote :

Anyone looking at this issue ?

Jason Heeris (detly) wrote :

Whoever might be looking at this, are you aware that someone has supplied a patch in the duplicate report #182923?


To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Duplicates of this bug

Other bug subscribers