INSTALL   [plain text]

Upgrading SpamAssassin?

Please be sure to read the UPGRADE file for important changes that
have been made since previous versions.

Installing or Upgrading SpamAssassin

Using CPAN via

	perl -MCPAN -e shell                    [as root]
	o conf prerequisites_policy ask
	install Mail::SpamAssassin

Using Linux:

	Debian unstable: apt-get install spamassassin
	Gentoo: emerge mail-filter/spamassassin

Alternatively download the tarfile, zipfile, or Fedora Core RPM from and install that, like so:

	[unzip/untar the archive]
	cd Mail-SpamAssassin-*
	perl Makefile.PL
	[option: add -DSPAMC_SSL to $CFLAGS to build an SSL-enabled spamc]
	make install                            [as root]

To install as non-root, see the directions below.

If you are running AFS, you may also need to specify INSTALLSITELIB and

Note that you can upgrade SpamAssassin using these instructions, as long
as you take care to read the caveats in the file UPGRADES.   Upgrading
will not delete your learnt Bayes data or local rule modifications.

If you're using SunOS 4.1.x, see for build tips.

Note for Perl 5.8 Users (incl Red Hat 8)

Perl 5.8 now uses Unicode internally by default, which causes trouble for
SpamAssassin (and almost all other reasonably complex pieces of perl

We've worked around this in most places, as far as we know, but there may
still be some issues.  In addition, there is a speed hit, which it would
be nice to avoid.

Setting the LANG environment variable before any invocation of
SpamAssassin sometimes seems to help fix it, like so:

  export LANG=en_US

Notably, the LANG setting must not include "utf8".   However, some folks
have reported that this makes no difference. ;)

Installing SpamAssassin for Personal Use (Not System-Wide)

These steps assume the following, so substitute as necessary:
  - Your UNIX login is "user"
  - Your home directory is /home/user
  - The location of the procmail executable is /usr/bin/procmail

Many more details of this process are at

1. Uncompress and extract the SpamAssassin archive, using "unzip" or "tar
xvfz", in a temporary directory.

2. change directory into it:

	cd Mail-SpamAssassin-*

3. Make SpamAssassin as normal, but using your home directory as the

	perl Makefile.PL PREFIX=$HOME
	make install

Please see the file PACKAGING, sections "Changing paths in the Makefile"
and "Setting further options on the command line" for more informations
on available command line variables.

4. If you already use procmail, skip to step 6.  If not, ensure procmail
is installed using "which procmail" or install it from

5. Create a .forward file in your home directory containing the below

"|IFS=' ' && exec /usr/bin/procmail -f- || exit 75 #user"

6. Edit or create a .procmailrc file in your home directory containing the
below lines.  If you already have a .procmailrc file, add the lines to the
top of your .procmailrc file:

:0fw: spamassassin.lock
| /home/user/bin/spamassassin

The above line filters all incoming mail through SpamAssassin and tags
probable spam with a unique header.  If you would prefer to have spam
blocked and saved to a file called "caughtspam" in your home directory,
instead of passed through and tagged, append this directly below the above

* ^X-Spam-Status: Yes

Also, see the file procmailrc.example and

7. Now, you should be ready to send some test emails and ensure everything
works as expected.  First, send yourself a test email that doesn't contain
anything suspicious.  You should receive it normally, but there will be a
header containing "X-Spam-Status: No".  If you are only tagging your spam,
send yourself a copy of the GTUBE test string to check to be sure it is
marked as spam.  GTUBE is located in the sample-spam.txt message
distributed with SpamAssassin and also at:

If your test emails don't get through to you, immediately rename your
.forward file until you figure out cause of the the problem, so you don't
lose incoming email.

Note: one possible cause for this is the use of smrsh on the MTA system;
see for details.


Most of the modules listed below are available via the Comprehensive
Perl Archive Network (CPAN,  While each module
is different, most can be installed via a few simple commands such as:

	$ perl -MCPAN -e shell
	cpan> o conf prerequisites_policy ask
	cpan> install Module::Name
	cpan> quit

If there are problems or questions regarding the installation any of
the modules, please see the module's documentation for more information.
We can't provide documentation or installation support for third party

Also, more information about the CPAN module is available via "perldoc

Most Linux distributions also offer the CPAN modules in their own
native formats (RPMs, as apt-gettable packages, etc.), so you should
be able to find these through those mechanisms, too, if you prefer.

Required Perl Interpreter

Perl 5.6.1 or a later version is required.

Required Perl Modules

In addition to the modules associated with Perl, some additional modules
need to be installed or upgraded depending on the version of Perl that you
are running.

The list of required modules that do not ship with Perl and must be

  - Digest::SHA1 (from CPAN)

    The Digest::SHA1 module is used as a cryptographic hash for some
    tests and the Bayes subsystem.  It is also used by Razor2.

    Debian: apt-get install libdigest-sha1-perl
    Gentoo: emerge dev-perl/Digest-SHA1

  - HTML::Parser >= 3.24 (from CPAN)

    Version 3.31 or later is recommended.

    HTML is used for an ever-increasing amount of email so this dependency
    is unavoidable.  Run "perldoc -q html" for additional information.

    Debian: apt-get install libhtml-parser-perl
    Gentoo: emerge dev-perl/HTML-Parser

  - Storable (from CPAN)

    This is a required module if you use spamd and allow children to
    handle more than one client connection before quitting. Third
    party utilities may also require this module for the same
    functionality.  Storable is used to shift configuration when a
    spamd process switches between users.

    Debian: apt-get install libstorable-perl
    Gentoo: emerge dev-perl/Storable

Optional Modules

In addition, the following modules will be used for some checks, if
available and the version is high enough.  If they are not available or if
their version is too low, SpamAssassin will still work, just not as
effectively because some of the spam-detection tests will have to be

Note: SpamAssassin will not warn you if these are installed, but the
version is too low for them to be used.

  - MIME::Base64

    This module is highly recommended to increase the speed with which
    Base64 encoded messages/mail parts are decoded.

  - DB_File (from CPAN, included in many distributions)

    Used to store data on-disk, for the Bayes-style logic and
    auto-whitelist.  *Much* more efficient than the other standard Perl
    database packages.  Strongly recommended.

    There seems to be a bug in libdb 4.1.25, which is
    distributed by default on some versions of Linux.  See for details.

  - Net::DNS (from CPAN)

    Used for all DNS-based tests (SBL, XBL, SpamCop, DSBL, etc.),
    perform MX checks, and is also used when manually reporting spam to
    SpamCop.  Recommended.

    If this is installed and you are using network tests of any variety
    (which is the default), then you need to make sure the Net::DNS
    version is sufficiently up-to-date:

      - version 0.34 or higher on Unix systems
      - version 0.46 or higher on Windows systems

  - Net::SMTP (from CPAN)

    Used when manually reporting spam to SpamCop.

  - Mail::SPF::Query (from CPAN)

    Used to check DNS Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records to fight email
    address forgery and make it easier to identify spams.

    Net::DNS version 0.34 or higher is required to use Mail::SPF::Query.

  - IP::Country::Fast (from CPAN)

    Used by the RelayCountry plugin (not enabled by default) to determine
    the domain country codes of each relay in the path of an email.

  - Razor (from

    Used to check message signatures against Vipul's Razor collaborative
    filtering network.  Razor is not available from CPAN -- you have to
    download it from the URL above.

    Razor has a large number of dependencies on CPAN modules.  Feel free
    to skip installing it, if this makes you nervous; SpamAssassin will
    still work well without it.

    Note that Razor support does not seem to work on Windows systems.
    Win32 users should disable the Razor tests using "score RAZOR2_CHECK 0".

    You (and any users who use Razor) will need to register an account
    to do so, like this:

	razor-client          [creates symbolic links]
	razor-admin -create   [creates the razor home]
	razor-admin -register [registers an account]

    To use Razor with SpamAssassin, you will need to be using v2.40 or
    higher.  v2.61 or higher is recommended.

    More info is at

  - Net::Ident (from CPAN)

    If you plan to use the --auth-ident option to spamd, you will need
    to install this module.

  - IO::Socket::SSL (from CPAN)

    If you wish to use SSL encryption to communicate between spamc and
    spamd (the --ssl option to spamd), you need to install this
    module. (You will need the OpenSSL libraries and use the
    ENABLE_SSL="yes" argument to Makefile.PL to build and run an SSL
    compatibile spamc.)

  - Time::HiRes (from CPAN)

    If this module is installed, the processing times are logged/reported
    more precisely.

  - DBI *and* DBD driver/modules for your database (from CPAN)

    If you intend to use SpamAssassin with an SQL database backend for
    user configuration data, Bayes storage, or AWL storage, you will need
    to have these installed; both the basic DBI module and the driver for
    your database.

Optional Programs

These are non-Perl programs that can increase the overall effectiveness of
SpamAssassin if they are installed.

  - DCC (from

    DCC (Distributed Checksum Clearinghouse) is a system similar to Razor.
    It supports fuzzy checksums and therefore detects some more spams than
    Razor does at the moment.

    To install it, perform the following steps:

	tar xfvz dcc-dccproc.tar.Z
	cd dcc-dccproc-*
	./configure && make && make install

    You might want to replace the configure call with something like this to
    get an FHS compliant install:

	./configure \
	    --bindir=$(PREFIX)/bin \
	    --libexecdir=$(PREFIX)/lib/dcc \
	    --mandir=$(PREFIX)/man \

    Finally call cdcc:

	cdcc info

    The last command will give some output. The output should contain lines
    like this:,-         RTT+0 ms    anon,-         RTT+0 ms    anon

    There should be *at least one*, preferably more than half a dozen, of
    the public DCC servers listed.  If this is not the case, a likely
    cause is an interfering firewall (see below).

    Note that MIMEDefang users may need to set the 'dcc_path'
    configuration setting, since MIMEDefang does not set a PATH by
    default. See also 'perldoc Mail::SpamAssassin::Conf'.

    Also note that DCC requires that you open your firewall for DCC reply
    packets on UDP port 6277.   DCC uses UDP packets when replying, which
    are blocked by most firewalls by default. As a result, it requires
    that you open your firewall for DCC reply packets on UDP port 6277.
    Here's sample firewall rules required:

      allow udp local gt 1023 to remote 6277
      allow udp remote 6277 to local gt 1023

    If you're running a large site, processing upwards of tens of
    thousands of messages a day, the DCC maintainers have requested that
    you consider setting up your own DCC server as described in dccd(8),
    and arrange to peer with the rest of the public servers, to reduce
    their load.

    More info is at

  - Pyzor (from

    Used to check message signatures against the Pyzor collaborative
    filtering network.  Pyzor was initially "a Python implementation of
    Razor", but now also uses its own (free) server architecture and is
    "based upon a new, lighter, more language-independent protocol."

    Pyzor requires at least Python 2.2.1 which can be found at .

    To install Pyzor, download the latest revision from and
    perform the following steps:

	tar xvfj pyzor-*.tar.bz2
	cd pyzor-*
	python build
	python install

    For a single user installation, change the last line to
	python install --home=$HOME

    Note that your system might install the modules and scripts with
    non-world-readable permissions.  Correct this with a command such as:

	chmod -R a+rX /usr/share/doc/pyzor \
		/usr/lib/python2.2/site-packages/pyzor \
		/usr/bin/pyzor /usr/bin/pyzord

    Read the INSTALL document if you want to setup your own Pyzor server and
    signature store.  Otherwise, you can just use the public servers.

    Note that MIMEDefang users may need to set the 'pyzor_path'
    configuration setting, since MIMEDefang does not set a PATH by

    More info is at

What Next?

Take a look at the USAGE document for more information on how to
use SpamAssassin.

(end of INSTALL)

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