By jeremy at 2004-04-02 11:35
Take Back Your Inbox
by Jeremy Garcia
Not too long ago, email was a wonderful thing. It provided a fast and easy method to communicate with family, friends, and co-workers, regardless of timezone or location. Unfortunately, due to spam and viruses, many people now find email almost unusable. In this month's Tech Support, let's take back that inbox.
The first item on the agenda is eliminating spam. Spam, or unsolicited commercial email (UCE), is not only a nuisance, it's a productivity killer.
SpamAssassin (SA), which is distributed under the same license as Perl, helps put an end to this problem. Using its rule base, SA performs a wide range of heuristic tests on email headers and body text to identify and score spam. SA can also use blacklists and optional modules such as Razor, Pyzor, and a built-in Bayesian filter that learns new spam characteristics.
One of SpamAssassin's greatest assets is its flexibility. You can install SA in a wide variety of configurations, from a local install in your home directory (on a machine where you do not have root access), to a system-wide install that affects all users. You can also configure SA to allow each individual user to set their own rules, thresholds, and settings. And, because SpamAssassin tags messages by adding additional headers, it allows you to control what happens to each message.
To install SA, do the following as root: