Spamassassin Timeout!

Quentin Campbell Q.G.Campbell at NEWCASTLE.AC.UK
Wed Feb 6 10:10:23 GMT 2002


If you look at the README file that comes with SpamAssassin it explains
that  several tests in the SpamAssassin configuration file are turned
off by default. These tests include the MAPS RBL, RSS and DUL stuff.
They are disabled by having a score of zero in the
/usr/local/share/spamassassin/ file we have at our site. 

To enable these tests you give them a non-zero score and the README file
suggests values to use.  

You can disable other SpamAssassin tests by putting a "#" symbol at the
start of the line in the appropriate SpamAssassin configuration file
thus turning the test into a comment.

The MAPS tests are disabled by default (in both SpamAssassin and
MailScanner) because they are commercial services for which institutions
like ours have to pay.

Note, however, that UK academic sites have free access to the JANET
negotiated RBL+ facility at It is this site
that I have specified on the "Spam List = MAPS-RBL+" line in

The MAPS-RBL+ test in MailScanner is working for us and any spam
detected this way by MailScanner has the header
"X-MailScanner-SpamCheck: MAPS-RBL+" inserted. I look for this header in
my personal mail filter and detect 3-6 spam messages a day.

I hope this is of some assistance.

PHONE: +44 191 222 8209    Computing Service, University of Newcastle
FAX:   +44 191 222 8765    Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, NE1 7RU.
"Any opinion expressed above is mine. The University can get its own."  

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Martin Sapsed [mailto:m.sapsed at] 
> Sent: 06 February 2002 09:24
> Subject: Re: Spamassassin Timeout!
> Quentin Campbell wrote:
> > Looks like you have enabled the RBL rules in SpamAssassin 
> that require 
> > lookups on the Internet and you are suffering from slow 
> responses from 
> > the DNS.
> >
> > That happened at this site so I initially increased the 
> SpamAssassin 
> > timeout (within the mailscanner.conf) to 20 seconds from 10 
> but that 
> > is unworkable long term on a busy site like ours. In the end I 
> > disabled the RBL checks and reduced the timeout to the 
> default again 
> > and removed the Net::DNS stuff I had installed.
> Pardon me for being thick but how do you disable the RBL 
> checks in spamassassin via mailscanner?
> > Note that you can do RBL checking within MailScanner so do 
> not have to 
> > do it within SpamAssasin. The RBL checking within 
> MailScanner seems to 
> > work well since it uses the system DNS resolver rather than 
> Net::DNS.
> I believe I have RBL checking turned on in MailScanner but 
> don't recall seeing any evidence of it finding anything even 
> on messages which spamassassin says fails the rbl tests. How 
> would I check or am I doing something wrong?
> Cheers,
> Martin
> --
> Martin Sapsed                           To have no errors
> Information Services                    Would be life without meaning
> University of Wales, Bangor, LL57 2UX   No struggle, no joy.
> Fax: +44 (0)1248 383826

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