Reliably reloading configuration?

Steve Weigold steve at
Thu Dec 10 21:33:07 UTC 2015

First, is anyone else noticing a failure of list messages to come 
through in the last 12-24 hours?  I sent a follow up to my score 
modifications email which didn't come through, and I see by looking at 
the list archive that Jerry Benton responded with a suggestion of 
restarting SpamAssassin which didn't come through either.  :-/

In any case, I'm finding that my problem was less about finding where to 
put score modifications and other custom rules, and apparently more 
about reliably reloading the configuration for SpamAssassin.   I've been 
fighting this all day and I'm finding that the problem seems to be that 
even with restarts, SpamAssassin doesn't seem to be reliably re-reading 
the configuration.

I've tried all manner of restarts of MailScanner and SpamAssassin as 
well as combining that with sequences of testing configs with --lint.  I 
can't seem to find anything that works reliably.   As a reminder this is 
a Debian Jessie system.  I'm not seeing anything indicating an error in 
syslog or mail.log on restart.

Currently, I have several modifications to standard test scores in 
/etc/spamassasin/  I also have a simple custom rule. Somehow, 
at some point in my testing today, I got them to be recognized, and my 
updated scores are being used.  Further, my test rule of:

body WE_TRUMP   /\btrump/i
score WE_TRUMP 1
describe WE_TRUMP       Tired of hearing about Trump this and Trump that

Is being processed, and I can see it when I look at the headers for test 
messages.   In testing, I've been trying to change the score value, 
restart, and then send another test message, but my changes seem 
ignored, again as if  despite the restart, the configuration isn't being 

I'm getting frustrated and I'm at a loss as to what to do next to figure 
this out.  Suggestions?


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