Spam Assassin on Direct Admin problem

As I mentioned previously, I have rolled out a new server for my blog (and a couple of sites I host) in the last few days. I am now being hammered by spam! Spam Assassin is installed on the server.

The hosting software on the server is called Direct Admin and in each hosted domain in Direct Admin I have set Spam Assassin to 5.0 (which I thought would be low enough to catch most spam).

I also configured it to allow all spam through but labelled as ***SPAM***.

I haven’t received a single email labelled as ***SPAM*** but I have received lots of spam. 🙁

Spam Assassin setup

There’s obviously something simple missing in the config of SA on the server.

I know it is probably an impossible question to answer without more info but if anyone can think of something I might be missing, could you let me know?

UPDATE: A Direct Admin support staff member emailed me the fix – it is available at

8 thoughts on “Spam Assassin on Direct Admin problem”

  1. do the mails have X-Spam-Whatever headers? each mail checked
    via SA will have a header like this:

    X-spam-checker-version: SpamAssassin 3.2.0-r492202 (2007-01-03) on

    what does that say? if that’s missing, then no, the mail isn’t passing through SA.

  2. D’oh!

    Should have thought of checking that Justin.

    No, the mails don’t have the x-spam-checker… headers.

    Feck! I have no idea why that is. Direct Access seems to think it is administering SA on the domains.

  3. Sorry Robin if I’m appearing a little slow – what custom record?

    The SA is installed on the same server as the mail server so the MX record is pointing to the mail server.

    I’m obviously missing something.

  4. not sure on DirectAdmin but on CPanel it’s a case of going into the DNS editor on the domain section. Then adding a custom MX record in the DNS to point all the mail at the location you want it delivered… this woudl be e.g. a spam guard, your MS small business server, or the built in mail server etc… you can enter a number of locations each with a different priority.

    I googled and found:
    Looks like DirectAdmin tutorial.

    Hope that helps!

  5. Hi Tom

    I’d have a look on the DirectAdmin forums but i know that a lot of hosters have not linked their SpamAssassin to the DirectAdmin plugin, for the reason of people incorrectly setting up blocks on emails

    consider someone who blocks emails with a rule specifing that emails the word raft is spam. as such would be marked as spam.

    A lot of hosters just handle their SpamAssassin themselves, as it saves headaches

  6. Hi Tom,

    Check exim.conf to see if spamassassin is being called

    Also check that spamassasin is running

    try the below command

    ps auwx | fgrep spam

    you should see something like this if its running

    root 25854 0.0 2.5 29452 25024 ? Ss 23:09 0:00 /usr/bin/spamd -d -c -m 5
    root 25856 0.0 2.4 29452 23420 ? S 23:09 0:00 spamd child
    root 25857 0.0 2.4 29452 23328 ? S 23:09 0:00 spamd child

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