Body text garbled UTF-8/BASE64 combination

Chris Green chrisgreen at
Mon Jun 5 11:35:49 IST 2006

Glenn Steen wrote:
>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 
>> >> - 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 
>> >>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 
>> >>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 
>> >>the
>> >>corrupted messages are any different to others that are delivered 
>> >>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 
>> >>this is unique amongst all mail being received.
>> >>
>> >>I am in Hong Kong, so it is possible that locales are something to do 
>> >>this issue. The only thing we have done so far is to run 
>> >>locales and add in Asian language locales and corresponding UTF-8 
>> >>for all languages that the system is configured for. However, the 
>> >>continues. If anyone can suggest things that we could do to find out 
>> >>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.
Wise words I'm sure. Now I've got a taste of what this type of system can do 
I'm less concerned about my chances of configuring everything manually and 
ending up with a box that actually works! So I have already built another 
box to test it all on, and 4.54 is downloaded and ready to go. Slight glitch 
with the build-essential package not being on that machine but huge progress 
already. In for a penny, in for a pound!
>>Registration for the instructions to build a Fish must be a new
>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
One of the reasons I started using Debian was because of it's reputation 
with stability. It follows that some packages are going to be well out of 
date. I totally agree with you about using the latest and greatest here 
though - so compiling from source is where I'm headed.

Thanks for your comments and help, I'm only six months into Linux and it 
REALLY helps getting a leg up every now and again. I've left a beer for you 
in your local bar - just go up to the barman and ask for it :-)

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