Announcing the new FSL MailScanner Beta yum repository

Rob Poe rpoe at
Wed Oct 8 17:13:03 IST 2008

Does this mean that the existing method of installing MailScanner (i.e. going to / downloading the installer for MailScanner) is going away?

>>> Julian Field <MailScanner at> 9/18/2008 9:02 AM >>>
* What is it?

This is a new Yum repository for CentOS 5 i386 and x86_64 only.  It will 
always contain the latest MailScanner beta (4.72.2 at the time of 
writing) along with SpamAssassin (plus DCC, Razor, DKIM, SPF, IP-Country 
and Rule2XS plug-ins), ClamAV and all Perl module dependencies.

It should be used for beta testing new releases only and should not be 
used in production.

* Why is it different from other repositories?

Because it aims to completely eliminate the problem of package conflicts 
and to make installations and upgrades as simple as possible. These rpms 
provide an automatic configuration that contains the regular tuning tips 
that would be unfamiliar to those who do not have in-depth knowledge of 
MailScanner and it's configuration. This significantly reduces the 
amount of time it takes to do an installation. From start to finish, the 
installation and configuration of all packages takes less than five 
minutes on a reasonably fast network.

Package conflicts are avoided by creating a new RPM namespace for all 
the Perl modules required by MailScanner and SpamAssassin and by 
installing all Perl modules (except SpamAssassin) in 
/opt/fsl/lib/perl5.  This allows the Perl system libraries to be totally 
independent so they can be updated by the operating system vendor 
without the possibility of breaking MailScanner or SpamAssassin.

Automatic configuration is achieved by using RPM 'triggers' which allow 
the installation, upgrade or un-installation of one package trigger to 
access an action specified by another package.  For example - when 
're2c' is installed, the fsl-spamassassin package runs a trigger that 
automatically runs 'sa-update' and 'sa-compile' to get the latest rules 
and compile them and then automatically enables the 'Rule2XSBody' 
plug-in in v320.pre, subsequently if 're2c' is uninstalled, then the 
plug-in is automatically disabled.

* Installation procedure

Ideally it should be installed onto a server with a fresh minimal 
installation of CentOS/RHEL 5. This will allow the operating system and 
all MailScanner related applications to be safely updated by simply 
running `yum -y update`.

If you want the MailScanner package to automatically mount the 
MailScanner incoming directory on tmpfs then run the following command 
before starting the installation:
           export MAILSCANNER_CREATE_TMPFS=1

Then simply run:

      wget -O 
      yum -y groupinstall MailScannerGold
      export PERL5LIB=/opt/fsl/lib/perl5

Once all the packages are installed, the only configuration required is 
to MailScanner.conf, Sendmail (/etc/mail/access, /etc/mail/mailertable) 
and then enable and start them both by running:

      chkconfig MailScanner on
      service MailScanner start

* Installing over an existing RPM based installation

This is no different to the procedure above - except you should back-up 
your MailScanner and SpamAssassin configuration first as a precaution.  
The 'stock' MailScanner package has no automatic upgrade procedure you 
will need to manually run upgrade_MailScanner_conf and/or 
upgrade_languages_conf if any rpmnew files are created by the new package.

* Support

Sign-up for the fsl-beta support list at

The use of the repository is entirely unsupported by FSL, so use is at 
your own risk - however we will be happy to answer and questions about 
the repository or packages on the fsl-beta list.

* MailScannerGold PRODUCTION

The MailScannerGold Production yum repository will be available in a few 
days. We'll post another announcement when it's available for 
subscription and downloading.

Initial pricing for the production version subscription is a monthly fee 
of $30 / month for the first gateway and $20 / per month for each 
additional gateway. This should help us to recover our costs for 
development and maintenance while at the same time costing sites less 
that the salaries required for administrators to fully maintain and 
update the MailScanner systems.

Support for MailScannerGold PRODUCTION will provided by a subscribers 
supported and FSL moderated email list. Subscribers to the service will 
also be able to obtain FSL support services at our standard hourly rates 
less a 25% discount.

These repositories should make installing, running and updating 
MailScanner a lot easier for both newbes and experienced mail 

Julian Field MEng CITP CEng
Chief Technical Officer
Fort Systems Ltd.

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