Fix: Spamassassin won't start


On my Virtualmin console today, I see that the SpamAssassin filter is stopped. Not to mention, my inbox is full of spam. The problem seems to have started when I updated the SpamAssassin filter.

Clicking the start button results only in:

Failed to start service : The SpamAssassin filter server could not be started

Trying to run

# /etc/init.d/spamassassin start

merely gives the cryptic message:

Starting spamd: child process [3518] exited or timed out without signaling production of a PID file: exit 255 at /usr/bin/spamd line 2642.

The solution, it turns out, is discovered by running spamassassin manually:

config: no rules were found! Do you need to run 'sa-update'?

Unfortunately, the bug reported here seems still not to be fixed as of August 2011. In particular, the error report from one of the internal scripts is not properly passed through to the user.

Fortunately, the solution is simple. As root:

# sa-update

and then you should be able to start SpamAssassin without error.