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Monday, 06 July 2015 00:34

How to add rules to SpamAssassin

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This page has been updated 7/18/2016.

These are additional rulesets you can add to SpamAssassin to help improve spam detection. Please review each rule before you implement this. This walkthrough is optimizied for FreeBSD 10.2 RELEASE or STABLE.

Please note: I have removed the sa-blacklist rules as they can cause memory issues. Please see

First we need to choose a backup path. This path should reside outside the standard spamassasssin directory. Lets use /usr/local/etc/mail/spambackup

# mkdir /usr/local/etc/mail/spambackup

Now lets copy all the files that are in the /usr/local/etc/mail/spamassassin folder. We want to preserve the file history in this case.

# cd /usr/local/etc/mail/spambackup
# cp -Rp /usr/local/etc/mail/spamassassin/ /usr/local/etc/mail/spambackup

We will add rules that are no longer updated and then we will add a script to update additional rules. First we need to fetch the rules along with the cfupdates script:

# mkdir ~root/rules
# cd ~root/rules
# fetch
# tar zxvf cfupdates2.tgz
# rm cfupdates2.tgz

Now lets copy over the non-updated rules to the spamassassin folder first:

# cp -Rp ~root/rules/*.cf /usr/local/etc/mail/spamassassin
# rm *.cf

Now you will want to copy the cfupdates to a bin folder. I keep mine in ~root/bin so lets use that. Feel free to use any path you choose.

# mkdir ~root/bin
# cp ~root/rules/ ~root/bin
# cd ~root/bin
# chmod 755

Here is my crontab entry to run at 3AM every day. It is not advised to run this script than any more than once in a 24 hour period.

0 3,15 * * * ~root/bin/ > /dev/null 2>&1

Additional notes:

If you are using bayes this script will also backup your bayes folder. Run the following first

# mkdir /usr/local/etc/mail/spambackup/.spamassassin

Uncomment the two bayes sections in

You can also add your own rules. I provided as an example. Take a look at the following:

body WEEKLY_STOCK_SPAMS /\bWeekly Stock Report\b/i
describe WEEKLY_STOCK_SPAMS     This is a Stock Spam

The first section you need to give a description which is part of the score and describe. This needs to be the same in all 3 sections. The next part in the body /\bWeekly Stock Report\b/i
is what you want to "tag" for spamassassin to see.
The score is what you need to determine. If you're using sa-delete please take this into account.
The last section is just the description of the rule. That's all there is to scoring a message.

You can also additional rules from the /usr/ports/mail/spamass-rules port. Just run make installl clean.

More rules are located here:

Special thanks to Steve Donohue

Read 2964 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 February 2017 13:26

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