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RE: running spamass-milter as non-root and rejecting spam

From: Cassandra L Brockett
Subject: RE: running spamass-milter as non-root and rejecting spam
Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 15:52:00 -0700


> -----Original Message-----
> From: address@hidden 
> [mailto:address@hidden
] On Behalf Of Saurabh Barve
> Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2005 12:53 PM
> To: address@hidden
> Subject: running spamass-milter as non-root and rejecting spam
> Hi,
> 1) I was running SpamAssassin as root, but I kept getting an 
> error that 
> said that it isn't a good idea to run SA as root. So, I created an 
> unprivileged user `spamd` that had no login shell, and a home 
> directory 
> as /home/spamd. I then passed the following options to spamd when 
> starting it up: -d -c -m5 --username spamd -H /home/spamd. SA 
> now runs 
> under user spamd. However, I get an error message that says 
> that spamd 
> cannot write to user preferences in /root/.spamassassin. I 
> posted this 
> question on the SA-list, and somebody told me that to get it to 
> recognize the home directory for user prefs as /home/spamd, I need to 
> run spamass-milter as a non-root user. How do I do that? 
> There seems to 
> be no option to run spamass-milter as an unprivileged user. `man 
> spamass-milter` has one option for 'username', but it is not 
> related to 
> running the milter program as non-root. Since my unprivileged 
> user does 
> not have a shell, I cannot 'su' to that user to start spamass-milter.

I don't know who said you need to switch spamass-milter over, as that's
actually rather strange.

Here I have spamassassin set to run as root (without any errors as I run
per-user config on sql, but this should not be a big deal), and I have
told spamassassin that it's "homedir" folder is a different folder.
This means that spamass-milter runs as root (which being a milter it
does like to have higher-access levels that most programs, at least I
would suspect this), and spamassasin just dumps the data into the
correct location.  Spamass-milter has no say in the home directory
details of spamassassin aside from how spamd responds when it gets

In my case the option to spamassassin is
"--helper-home-dir=/var/local/spamd", you would use whatever directory
you wished.  It's a spamassassin thing, not a milter thing with the
preferences data.

> 2) I have the following options set up for spamass-milter: -r 10 -B 
> address@hidden Thus, I am trying to reject any e-mail that gets a 
> score of 
> 10 or more. All other e-mails that get tagged as spam, I want 
> to be sent 
> to address@hidden My score setting for spam recognition is set at 5. So, 
> anything that is between 5 and 10 should be sent to address@hidden, and 
> anything above 10 should be rejected outright[at least that's my 
> understanding of it]. However, what I'm seeing is that 
> messages with a 
> score over 10 are attempted to be sent to address@hidden, and then are 
> getting blocked as well. This is resulting in a mailer-daemon message 
> being generated. The reason for the mailer-daemon is that the 
> message is 
> bouncing too many times between localhost and the mail server. My 
> localhost is my mail server. How do I get around this?

I am not sure what is happening there, as I don't use mail redirection
for tagged spam... I do seem to recall a previous person with the same
situation however - have you checked back through the list archive?  I'm
sure someone else here can help on this one though...

Cassandra Brockett

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