Body text garbled UTF-8/BASE64 combination

Glenn Steen glenn.steen at
Mon Jun 5 09:50:09 IST 2006

On 05/06/06, Chris Green <chrisgreen at> wrote:
> Glenn Steen wrote:
> >
> >On 04/06/06, Chris Green <chrisgreen at> wrote:
> >>Hi there,
> >>
> >>I have been experiencing a strange issue with either Mailscanner or
> >>Postfix
> >>which I am stuck with. I have built a machine as per the instructions at
> >> - essentially a Debian Sarge box with MailScanner,
> >>Postfix, SpamAssassin and ClamAV. Instructions have been followed
> >>verbatim.
> >>The vast majority of email is relayed with no issues at all, 90% of spam
> >>is
> >>canned and not a virus in sight. However, three times in the past three
> >>weeks we have received an email where the body text is completely garbled.
> >>This is probably 0.01% of incoming traffic.
> >>
> >>I have posted an example pic at
> >>-
> >>it's impossible to explain!
> >>
> >>mail.err and mail.warn are both clean and neither of them indicates that
> >>the
> >>corrupted messages are any different to others that are delivered without
> >>an
> >>issue. The only pattern we have identified so far is that each affected
> >>message is encoded using UTF-8/BASE64 - but I can offer no evidence that
> >>this is unique amongst all mail being received.
> >>
> >>I am in Hong Kong, so it is possible that locales are something to do with
> >>this issue. The only thing we have done so far is to run dpkg-reconfigure
> >>locales and add in Asian language locales and corresponding UTF-8 locales
> >>for all languages that the system is configured for. However, the problem
> >>continues. If anyone can suggest things that we could do to find out what
> >>the problem is we would be grateful.
> >>
> >>Chris
> >What version of MailScanner and Postfix are that? (I didn't want to
> >register to get at the real info:-)
> >
> The box is currently running the Debian builds of MailScanner (v 4.41.3-2)
> and Postfix (v 2.1.5-9)

The Postfix version is OK, but you really should go for the latest
stable 4.54 version... And throw in Jules Clam+SA package too. My
memory isn't what it used to be, but... IIRC that version is
susceptible to random (but rather seldom happening) corruption of
stray PF files, which Jules has fixed... The 4.5X series has not shown
this behaviour (none observed.... used to have the very few
corruptions while running 4.[34]X (no, I don't remember exactly when
it was fixed:-)).
So, to get a plan of action... Use apt-get to uninstall mailscanner,
spamassassin and clamav, download the relevant packages from, unpack them and run (look at the
maq/wiki docs for more details, tips and instructions:
Also, with that new a MailScanner, I'm not sure the webmin module for
MailScanner will be much use... Just edit MailScanner.conf directly,
it is very well commented.

> Registration for the instructions to build a Fish must be a new
> 'feature'......
Seems like.
Judging from what you told me off-list (thanks for that!), he/they are
pretty in love with apt-get (easy to fall in love with:-)... Which is
OK. But for this type of system, I think you are better off using the
latest and greatest, which pretty much precludes use of the somewhat
dated Debian packages... I can tell you that the situation isn't much
better with most any Debian based system (Ubuntu 6.06 carries version
4.46.<something or other>, which is, relatively speaking, pretty

Jules does an admirable job of keeping on top of things (both for
SA+Clamav and ... well anything spam/virus-related) so ... Upgrade

-- Glenn
email: glenn < dot > steen < at > gmail < dot > com
work: glenn < dot > steen < at > ap1 < dot > se

More information about the MailScanner mailing list