Strange SpamAssassin upgrade failure

James Gray james at
Wed Jan 21 21:35:51 GMT 2004

On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 07:44 pm, James Gray wrote:
> Hi All,
> I had a strange one today.  I upgraded from SA 2.61 to 2.63 using the
> source tar ball from  I did the usual "configure,
> make, make test, make install" then restarted MailScanner.
> Here lies the problem.  MailScanner restarted happily, SpamAssassin was
> scanning happily but SA was ONLY using my custom rules in
> /etc/mail/spamassassin!  All the standard rules in
> /usr/local/spamassassin were being ignored.  I checked the permissions of
> the files in
> /usr/share/spamassassin and they were all "644 root:root", the
> /usr/share/spamassassin directory was 755.

OK - poor form replying to your own question but I thought I'd post the
solution in case anyone has a similar problem in future.

Beware of the build prefix during the configure stage!  SA 2.61 had /usr as
the installation prefix but I compiled 2.63 with /usr/local to comply with
our internal standards.  The result was that MailScanner was using the 2.63
SA engine but was being told to use the (older) /usr/share/spamassassin
default rules from 2.61.  BZZZZT! Wrong!!  SpamAssassin's rules are
version-specific.  You can't use SA version X.Y default rules with anything
other than SA X.Y.

So a little tweak of the MailScanner.conf file to tell it that SpamAssassin
is scattered through the /usr/local branch (ie, default rules in
/usr/local/share/spamassassin), and it was all fixed.  I also created a
symbolic link:
/usr/bin/spamassassin -> /usr/local/bin/spamassassin (rinse and repeat for
spamd and spamc)
This way the new version in the /usr/local tree will be used when linting
the rules etc (I could have edited the $PATH but that would break other
things, so symlink it is).

Fortune cookies says:
On a clear disk you can seek forever.
                -- P. Denning

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