How to keep SpamAssassin rules current with channels and sa-update

EQ Admin

EQ Forum Admin
Staff member

SpamAssassin is open source software that is used for e-mail content filtering.

The installation and configuration of SpamAssassin is simple. I use cpan to install and upgrade SpamAssassin. The command I use to start cpan is "perl -MCPAN -e shell" and the command to install SpamAssassin from within cpan is "install Mail::SpamAssassin". After installing or upgrading SpamAssassin I check my /etc/mail/spamassassin folder for any new .pre files and double check that my file with my personal configurations is still intact. For filtering my e-mail I prefer to use the resource efficient spamc/spamd combination and run spamc from simscan. There are several optional perl modules that can be installed into your local perl for use by spamd. Although I rarely have a problem getting SpamAssassin installed into a current perl, keeping the optional modules up to date can take a little more effort and require manual installations.

There is plenty of online documentation for SpamAssassin. If you have any questions or need to figure out an option you should have no trouble finding it on their web site. Also, please feel free to ask questions on E-Mail Questions in the mail filtering forum.

SpamAssassin includes rule updates in it's releases. These releases are several months apart so you will also want to add and keep the rules up to date between releases. I use the OpenProtect SA Channel in addition to sa-update for downloading additional rules for SpamAssassin. My personal configuration preference is to set the scoring on SpamAssassin very aggressive (required_hits 2.0) and configure a whitelist of my personal contacts so their e-mail is always received.

There are a variety of content, network, and DNS checks performed by SpamAssassin when it is filtering an e-mail. Although SpamAssassin should not be your only line of defense against spam, it performs many checks and does well at filtering spam that has made it past more resource friendly anti-spam mechanisms in a network. I generally use SpamAssassin as my last line of defense against spam.

SpamAssassin does a good job of filtering spam from my e-mail before it is received, but my spamd does occasionally crash. I have a script that checks to make sure it is running every 5 minutes and restart the spamd daemon as needed.

Again, I have to award a 10 for price since SpamAssassin is free software.

Overall I believe that SpamAssassin makes a great addition to any anti-spam plan.

EQ Admin

EQ Forum Admin
Staff member
Re: SpamAssassin

The open protect rules are no longer updated.

Along with the default SA channel you'll only need to check for updates.
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