Do I need SpamAssassin?

mikea mikea at MIKEA.ATH.CX
Thu May 8 21:38:19 IST 2003

On Thu, May 08, 2003 at 10:06:04PM +0200, Peter Bonivart wrote:
> Thanks for all the help!
> It's just that I've been lurking on this mail list for a month and the
> combination of MS and SA seems to create some problems when one of them
> upgrades. I thought I could save myself some trouble but all of you seem
> to think SA is the way to go. I will try to read more about it.
> So, if I use SA can I turn off MS spam features and only use it for
> attachment filtering then? Will I gain any speed by that?
> I don't get the scoring system either, why do I need a score? Isn't the
> mail supposed to be marked as spam so the client (Outlook in my case)
> can decide what to do with it? Does Outlook use the score, I haven't
> used it for a while?
> Finally, a question about performance. If I have an MTA box in a DMZ
> running Bind and Sendmail (sending and receiving mail on the internet)
> and the load is really light (we average about 5.000 messages/day) would
> a similar box be sufficient for MS, SA and anti-virus scanning to be
> placed between the MTA and Exchange? The box I'm referring to is a Sun
> Fire V120 with 550 MHz UltraSparc-II and 512 MB RAM. Will I need more
> CPU and/or RAM?

I run MS and SA on a 233 MHz P-III with 64 MBytes of RAM. The OS is
FreeBSD 4.3. It sees maybe 6K E-mails per day, of which (*sigh*) about
40% are spam, and keeps up pretty well except for peaks and the rare
mailbombing. It has IDE disks, which hamper it somewhat.

A SunFire V120 with 550 MHz UltraSparc and 512 MBytes RAM ought to
do quite nicely, and if you have a spare to donate, I'll be happy to
accept it.

The score is what decides whether it gets marked as spam or not. From
that, MailScanner decides whether to deliver the spam to the intended
recipient, to divert it to another mailbox, to bounce it, or just to
drop it in the bit-bucket. See the "Spam Actions" and "High Scoring
Spam Actions" lines in /opt/MailScanner/etc/MailScanner.conf.

Mike Andrews
mikea at
Tired old sysadmin since 1964

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