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The most seamless way to integrate DSPAM into Postfix is as a content filter. This requires very little work, and allows the two to communicate seamlessly. You may want to first read Postfix's FILTER_README from the Postfix source tree or online at to familiarize yourself with what we're doing. In a nutshell, Postfix sends all mail to the content filter instead of delivering it. It's the content filter's job to then pass the [modified] message back into Postfix (called reinjection) or do something else with the message. By default, DSPAM will quarantine what it believes is spam, but it can be configured to tag it instead. We will use DSPAM's LMTP and SMTP functionality to integrate the two seamlessly together like so:

[Postfix] (LMTP) -> [DSPAM]                     [Postfix] -> { Delivery }
                       |___ (SMTP Reinjection) ____|

Step 1: Configure DSPAM as a server daemon

The first step is to configure DSPAM to listen as an LMTP server on a local UNIX socket. This is what Postfix will connect to when it sends messages to DSPAM. Be sure you have configured DSPAM with the --enable-daemon option. You will need to use an MT-safe storage driver, such as MySQL or PostgreSQL. Once you have DSPAM installed, make the following changes in dspam.conf:

ServerMode		auto
ServerParameters        "--deliver=innocent"
ServerIdent             "localhost.localdomain"
ServerPID               /var/run/
ServerDomainSocketPath	"/tmp/dspam.sock"

This will tell DSPAM to listen on /tmp/dspam.sock using the options above.

You'll also need to configure DSPAM to pass the good mail back into Postfix. Comment out any "TrustedDeliveryAgent" option in dspam.conf and replace it with the options below. We'll use local TCP port 10026 in our example.

DeliveryPort        10026
DeliveryIdent       localhost
DeliveryProto       SMTP

This tells DSPAM to deliver using SMTP to port 10026 on the local machine. We'll configure Postfix to listen on this port for reinjection.

Finally, you'll want to use DSPAM's ParseToHeader option. This option tells DSPAM to automatically train when it sees a spam- or notspam- address in the To: header. Depending on how you have configured DSPAM to manage users, your settings may be slightly different. On a typical setup, where the entire email address is the user's DSPAM username, you would use something like this:

ParseToHeaders on
ChangeModeOnParse on
ChangeUserOnParse full

This means if a user forwards their spam to [email protected], the username will be set to bo[email protected] and the training mode will be set to "learn spam".

You can then start DSPAM:

dspam --daemon &

Step 2: Configure Postfix to use a content filter

The next step is to configure Postfix to use DSPAM as a content filter. This is relatively simple and requires only a minor change to your file:


smtp      inet  n       -       n       -       -        smtpd


smtp      inet  n       -       n       -       -        smtpd
            -o content_filter=lmtp:unix:/tmp/dspam.sock

This tells Postfix to send all mail to DSPAM for content filtering.

Step 3: Configure a reinjection port

You'll also need to configure Postfix to listen on a local port for reinjection. This is where DSPAM sends back the "good" mail (or alternatively, tagged mail also). Add this to your

localhost:10026 inet  n -       n       -       -        smtpd
  -o content_filter=
  -o receive_override_options=no_unknown_recipient_checks,no_header_body_checks
  -o smtpd_helo_restrictions=
  -o smtpd_client_restrictions=
  -o smtpd_sender_restrictions=
  -o smtpd_recipient_restrictions=permit_mynetworks,reject
  -o mynetworks=
  -o smtpd_authorized_xforward_hosts=

Any mail sent to localhost:10026 will be delivered in whatever way you have configured Postfix, without being passed through DSPAM again. This is also where DSPAM will deliver false positives to when they are retrained by the user.

You're now good to go! Turn on Postfix and do a little testing. Send a message to yourself on port 25. It should have X-DSPAM headers. Send a message to yourself on port 10026. It should not.

If you are deadset against running DSPAM as a server daemon, this design can be changed to call DSPAM via commandline, and have DSPAM reinject by calling Postfix's sendmail function. I wouldn't recommend this, but here's how. Instead of configuring DSPAM's DeliveryHost and Server options, you'll want to configure DSPAM to call sendmail to deliver mail:

TrustedDeliveryAgent	/usr/sbin/sendmail
Trust postfix

Use the same ParseToHeader options already outlined above. Next, instead of having Postfix pass the message to DSPAM via LMTP, you can use:

smtp      inet  n       -       n       -       -        smtpd
  -o content_filter=dspam:

dspam     unix  -       n       n       -      10        pipe
  flags=Ruq user=vmail argv=/usr/local/bin/dspam
  --user ${recipient}
  -i -f ${sender} -- ${recipient}

To avoid users getting a message multiple times when the message contains more then one recipient you need to lower the concurrency limit for the above mentioned Postfix pipe service to 1. Add this to your

dspam_destination_recipient_limit = 1


Postfix can optionally be configured to integrate with DSPAM as a delivery proxy if you're using a third party delivery agent for final delivery to your mailbox.

The first step in getting DSPAM to work is to get mail delivery to work with one of these external LDAs before integrating DSPAM with Postfix.

You can configure DSPAM with the appropriate LDA at configure time by using:


Or by specifying TrustedDeliveryAgent in dspam.conf. For example:

TrustedDeliveryAgent "/usr/bin/procmail" 

You'll also want to configure the untrusted delivery agent in a similar fashion:

UntrustedDeliveryAgent "/usr/bin/procmail -d %u"

If you are using maildrop, you'll need to be sure you've compiled maildrop to trust the user that DSPAM is running as.

Once you have configured a local delivery agent into DSPAM, the simplest way to configure Postfix for local users is to set the mailbox_command directive to point to DSPAM. This can be done by editing /etc/postfix/

mailbox_command = /usr/local/bin/dspam --deliver=innocent --user $USER -- -d %u

If you're running a delivery agent (such as cyrdeliver) that has a problem with the top 'From' header, you may need to perform some sed magic:

mailbox_command = sed '1{/^From /d;}' | /usr/local/bin/dspam --deliver=innocent --user $USER -- -d %u

Now, configure the aliases as prescribed in the INTEGRATION/Aliases section.


If you're using Cyrus to deliver mail locally, you'll want to specify the following in dspam.conf:

TrustedDeliveryAgent "/usr/sbin/cyrdeliver $u"

Then use the following in Postfix:

mailbox_command = /usr/local/bin/dspam --user ${user} --deliver=innocent