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Re: newbie spam filtering with gnus

From: Enrico Schumann
Subject: Re: newbie spam filtering with gnus
Date: Thu, 02 Apr 2015 20:48:34 +0200

On Thu, 02 Apr 2015, Steven Arntson <> writes:

> Enrico Schumann <> writes:
>> On Wed, 01 Apr 2015, Steven Arntson <> writes:
>>> Is there any sort of simple "starter kit" for newcomers getting going on
>>> filtering out spam?
>>> Thank you for any advice aimed at a not-very-technical person!
>>> -steven
>> When I used POP some years ago, what worked out of the box for me was
>> using SpamAssassin as an external programme (spamc) during splitting, as
>> described in the manual:
>> To quote from the relevant section:
>> ,----
>> | [A] solution is to call the external tools during splitting. Example
>> | fancy split method:
>> | 
>> |   (setq nnmail-split-fancy '(| (: kevin-spamassassin)
>> |                                ...))
>> | 
>> |   (defun kevin-spamassassin ()
>> |     (save-excursion
>> |       (save-restriction
>> |         (widen)
>> |         (if (eq 1 (call-process-region (point-min) (point-max)
>> |                                        "spamc" nil nil nil "-c"))
>> |             "spam"))))
>> `----
>> Kind regards,
>>      Enrico
> Thank you for this---I've read, or tried to, the page you've referenced,
> though it's far over my head. I put the code above into my .gnus.el
> file. However, I really am in the dark! For instance, is the `...' in
> the second line of that code an ellipsis telling me to put my own items
> in there, or is it active code that should be preserved? Do I really use
> "kevin-spamassassin" or am I to change that to something that has to do
> with my own system? At present, the code isn't doing anything as far as
> I can tell.

[Caveat: I cannot test what I describe below since I do not use this
 setup any more.]

First, make sure that SpamAssassin is installed on your system. For
instance, open a terminal and type 'spamc -V', and it should tell you
the installed version.

Then, in your .gnus.el, add something like this:

  (setq nnmail-split-methods 'nnmail-split-fancy
        nnmail-split-fancy '(| (: kevin-spamassassin)

In which "catchall.inbox" is the group to which all non-spam mails go.

Also add the function kevin-spamassassin, as given in the manual (and
above). The "spam" in the last line of the function is the group to
which spam emails go.

Good luck.

[And you may rename 'kevin-spamassassin' as you wish, as long as you
also use that name with 'nnmail-split-fancy'.]

Enrico Schumann
Lucerne, Switzerland

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