I updated my /etc/spamassassin/local.cf spamassassin file to update some score rules. However, even after restarting spamassassin (via service), the new score are not shown in spam emails. In fact, nothing in that file seem to influence how spamassassin work.

I use exim as my MTA but that should not matter. All packages were installed via apt-get and are at the latest version for 14.04.

For example, I have this:

score HTML_MESSAGE 2.0

define in /etc/spamassassin/local.cf. I restarted both exim and spamassassin. spamassassing --lint shows that there are no errors int hat file. Then got yet another spam with this:

0.0 HTML_MESSAGE           BODY: HTML included in message

In the X-Spam-Report field.

I ran spamassassin -D < spam and the order of loading of cfg files seems to be wrong:

Jun  8 13:34:07.300 [21668] dbg: config: read file /etc/spamassassin/local.cf
Jun  8 13:34:07.600 [21668] dbg: config: read file /var/lib/spamassassin/3.004000/updates_spamassassin_org/50_scores.cf
Jun  8 13:34:07.787 [21668] dbg: config: read file /var/lib/spamassassin/3.004000/updates_spamassassin_org/73_sandbox_manual_scores.cf
Jun  8 13:34:07.788 [21668] dbg: config: fixed relative path: /var/lib/spamassas

What is going on?

Well, that was a waste of 100 reputation for a bounty!

2 Answers 2


check if You have the Spam Assassin section of /etc/exim.conf uncommented.

Nice post about Filtering spam with Exim and Spamassassin

  • Yes, spamassassin is called from Exim fine: I have lots of entries in the reject log because of spam score. For example: 1Z4KQ4-0002dB-2k SA: Action: permanently rejected message: score=24.7 required=5.0 trigger=6.0 (scanned in 1/1 secs | Message-Id: 1Z4KQ4-0002dB-2k). [...] Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 6:56

/var/lib/spamassassin/3.004000/updates_spamassassin_org/50_score.cf is the file one wants to edit to get scores actually reflected.

This is clearly not a clean solution! But it works where nothing else does…

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