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How to Configure Spamassassin With Postfix on Ubuntu 16.04

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 29, 2018
Email Linux Guides Ubuntu
Archived content

This article is outdated and may not work correctly for current operating systems or software.

Spamassassin is a free and open-source mail filter written in Perl that is used to identify spam using a wide range of heuristic tests on mail headers and body text. It will save your mailbox from much unwanted spam emails.


  • Before installing Spamassassin, you need to install and configure a mail transfer agent such as Postfix on your virtual private server. The following instructions are for using Spamassassin with Postfix.
  • Verify the server's outbound port status.

Installation Steps

Install Spamassassin.

apt-get install spamassassin spamc

Add a Spamassassin user.

adduser spamd --disabled-login

Setting Up Spamassassin

Edit the configuration settings at /etc/default/spamassassin.

OPTIONS="--create-prefs --max-children 5 --username spamd --helper-home-dir /home/spamd/ -s /home/spamd/spamd.log"

Now we will edit /etc/spamassassin/ to set up some anti-spam rules.

rewrite_header Subject ***** SPAM _SCORE_ *****
report_safe             0
required_score          5.0
use_bayes               1
use_bayes_rules         1
bayes_auto_learn        1
skip_rbl_checks         0
use_razor2              0
use_dcc                 0
use_pyzor               0

Configuring Postfix

Edit /etc/postfix/ and add a content filter to your SMTP server.

smtp      inet  n       -       -       -       -       smtpd
    -o content_filter=spamassassin
spamassassin unix -     n       n       -       -       pipe
    user=spamd argv=/usr/bin/spamc -f -e  
    /usr/sbin/sendmail -oi -f ${sender} ${recipient}

For the changes to take effect, restart Postfix.

systemctl restart postfix.service
systemctl enable spamassassin.service
systemctl start spamassassin.service

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