Upgrading SA on Debian

Glenn Steen glenn.steen at gmail.com
Sat Nov 25 10:07:45 GMT 2006

On 24/11/06, Youri LACAN-BARTLEY <ylacan at teicam.com> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Is this such a hard question to answer ? :)
> I can't seem to find any old changelogs for SA 3.0.x which could provide
> me with some insight on the major changes between SA 3.0.x and 3.1.x ...

No no, not that hard... Just that I stopped reading when you mentioned
Etch (since I'm really just a dabbler when it comes to Debian:-). More

> Any help would really be appreciated,
> Thanks.
> Youri LACAN-BARTLEY wrote:
> > Hi folks,
> >
> > I've been wanting to upgrade my version of SpamAssassin from
> > stable/Sarge to testing/Etch for a while now.
> >
> > I've already upgraded MailScanner from 4.41.3-2 (stable) to 4.51.5-1.1
> > (testing) without any issues.

It's not really a good thing that it lags as much as it does. This in
part is what keeps me from switching to a debian-based distro... Yes,
I'm familiar with the way the Debian process works...:-).

> > However, looking through the archives I've stumbled on many posts
> > mentioning problems with MailScanner after updating from SA 3.0.x to 3.1.x.

Most recent problems are more from running sa-update and it (MS/SA)
missing some rules dir or other after that. If one is aware of the
situations that might arise, and prepared to make necessary changes,
that shouldn't be a problem:-)

> > So my question is pretty straightforward, will I run into problems when
> > upgrading SpamAssassin from 3.0.3-2sarge1 (stable) to 3.1.7-1 (testing)?
> > Ie. different config file formats, different defaults, buggy behaviors,
> > etc? (I've just have a nice surprise when upgrading Dovecot which
> > grounded me all morning yesterday ... )

No big surprises... Just see to it that you load all the plugins you
need (razor, pyzor and dcc come to mind) or else you might get an
error on config options in mailscanner.cf (really
spam.assassin.prefs.conf) that those plugins provide (No, I don't
remember if those were plugins in 3.0).
The biggest change is perhaps that "spamassassin --lint" doesn't run
any network tests anymore, so to check them you'll have to run a real
message through (something like "spamassassin -D -t <

> > Basically, should I plan this when I have loads of time on my hands or
> > can I trust the upgrade to be smooth?

The prudent approach would be to have adequate time, yes. Then again,
it should be fairly straightforward. If one can use Jules excellent
package (the Clam+SA one), the whole process is done in a matter of
minutes (including checking through the *.pre files, running a lint or
two, and running a message through manually). I imagine your
dpkg/apt-based update should be as easy:-).

As always, keeping a backup handy isn't a badidea either, although you
really shouldn't run into much problems with a thing like this... Just
save a copy of the config files you know you've altered, run the
update... If it borks out, reinstall the old one and remake your
changes... Should be safe and quick.

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

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