an effective anti-spam with milter - milter manager

Install to CentOS 5

Install to CentOS 5 — How to install milter manager to CentOS 5

About this document

This document describes how to install milter manager to CentOS 7. See Install to CentOS 7 for CentOS 7 specific install information. See Install to CentOS 6 for CentOS 6 specific install information. See Install for general install information.

We assume that CentOS version is 5.8. We also assume that we use sudo to run a command with root authority. If you don't use sudo, use su instead.

Install packages

To install the following packages, related packages are also installed:

% sudo yum install -y glib2 ruby

We use Sendmail as MTA because it's installed by default.

% sudo yum install -y sendmail-cf

We use spamass-milter, clamav-milter and milter-greylist as milters. We use milter packages registered in RPMforge.

We register RPMforge like the following.

On 32bit environment:

% sudo rpm -Uhv

On 64bit environment:

% sudo rpm -Uhv

Now, we can install milters:

% sudo yum install -y spamass-milter clamav-milter milter-greylist

And we install RRDtool for generating graphs:

% sudo yum install -y ruby-rrdtool

Build and Install

milter manager can be installed by yum.

We register milter manager yum repository like the following:

% curl -s | sudo bash

See also: <URL:>

Now, we can install milter manager:

% sudo yum install -y milter-manager


Here is a basic configuration policy.

We use IPv4 socket and accepts connections only from localhost.

milter-greylist should be applied only if S25R condition is matched to reduce needless delivery delay. But the configuration is automatically done by milter-manager. We need to do nothing for it.

Configure spamass-milter

At first, we configure spamd.

spamd adds "[SPAM]" to spam mail's subject by default. If you don't like the behavior, edit /etc/mail/spamassassin/


rewrite_header Subject [SPAM]


# rewrite_header Subject [SPAM]

We add the following configuration to /etc/spamassassin/ This configuration is for adding headers only if spam detected.

remove_header ham Status
remove_header ham Level

We start spamd on startup:

% sudo /sbin/chkconfig spamassassin on

We start spamd:

% sudo /sbin/service spamassassin start

Here are spamass-milter's configuration items:

  • Change socket address.

  • Disable needless body change feature.

  • Reject if score is larger than or equal to 15.

We change /etc/sysconfig/spamass-milter:


#EXTRA_FLAGS="-m -r 15"


EXTRA_FLAGS="-m -r 15"

We start spamass-milter on startup:

% sudo /sbin/chkconfig spamass-milter on

We start spamass-milter:

% sudo /sbin/service spamass-milter start

Configure clamav-milter

We start clamd.

% sudo /sbin/service clamd start

We edit /etc/clamav-milter.conf to change clamav-milter's socket address.


#MilterSocketMode 0660


MilterSocketMode 0660

We start clamav-milter:

% sudo /sbin/service clamav-milter start

Configure milter-greylist

We change /etc/mail/greylist.conf for the following configurations:

  • use the leading 24bits for IP address match to avoid Greylist adverse effect for sender uses some MTA case.

  • decrease retransmit check time to 10 minutes from 30 minutes (default value) to avoid Greylist adverse effect.

  • increase auto whitelist period to a week from 1 day (default value) to avoid Greylist adverse effect.

  • use Greylist by default.

The configuration relaxes Greylist check to avoid Greylist adverse effect. It increases received spam mails but we should give priority to avoid false positive rather than false negative. We should not consider that we blocks all spam mails by Greylist. We can blocks spam mails that isn't blocked by Greylist by other anti-spam technique such as SpamAssassin. milter manager helps constructing mail system that combines some anti-spam techniques.


racl whitelist default


subnetmatch /24
greylist 10m
autowhite 1w
racl greylist default

We create /etc/sysconfig/milter-greylist with the following content:

OPTIONS="$OPTIONS -p inet:11122@[]"

We start milter-greylist on startup:

% sudo /sbin/chkconfig milter-greylist on

We start milter-greylist:

% sudo /sbin/service milter-greylist start

Configure milter-manager

We add 'milter-manager' user to 'clamav' group to access clamav-milter's socket:

% sudo usermod -G clamav -a milter-manager

milter-manager detects milters that installed in system. We can confirm spamass-milter, clamav-milter and milter-greylist are detected:

% sudo /usr/sbin/milter-manager -u milter-manager --show-config

The following output shows milters are detected:

define_milter("milter-greylist") do |milter|
  milter.connection_spec = "inet:11122@[]"
  milter.enabled = true
define_milter("clamav-milter") do |milter|
  milter.connection_spec = "unix:/var/clamav/clmilter.socket"
  milter.enabled = true
define_milter("spamass-milter") do |milter|
  milter.connection_spec = "inet:11120@[]"
  milter.enabled = true

We should confirm that milter's name, socket path and 'enabled = true'. If the values are unexpected, we need to change /etc/milter-manager/milter-manager.conf. See Configuration for details of milter-manager.conf.

But if we can, we want to use milter manager without editing miter-manager.conf. If you report your environment to the milter manager project, the milter manager project may improve detect method.

milter-manager's configuration is finished. We start to milter-manager:

% sudo /sbin/service milter-manager start

milter-test-server is usuful to confirm milter-manager was ran:

% sudo -u milter-manager milter-test-server -s unix:/var/run/milter-manager/milter-manager.sock

Here is a sample success output:

status: pass
elapsed-time: 0.128 seconds

If milter-manager fails to run, the following message will be shown:

Failed to connect to unix:/var/run/milter-manager/milter-manager.sock

In this case, we can use log to solve the problem. milter-manager is verbosily if --verbose option is specified. milter-manager outputs logs to standard output if milter-manager isn't daemon process.

We can add the following configuration to /etc/sysconfig/milter-manager to output verbose log to standard output:

OPTION_ARGS="--verbose --no-daemon"

We start milter-manager again:

% sudo /sbin/service milter-manager restart

Some logs are output if there is a problem. Running milter-manager can be exitted by Ctrl+c.

OPTION_ARGS configuration in /etc/sysconfig/milter-manager should be commented out after the problem is solved to run milter-manager as daemon process. And we should restart milter-manager.

Configure Sendmail

First, we enable Sendmail:

% sudo /sbin/chkconfig --add sendmail
% sudo /sbin/service sendmail start

We append the following content to /etc/mail/ to register milter-manager to Sendmail.

INPUT_MAIL_FILTER(`milter-manager', `S=local:/var/run/milter-manager/milter-manager.sock')

It's important that spamass-milter, clamav-milter, milter-greylist aren't needed to be registered because they are used via milter-manager.

We update Sendmail configuration and reload it.

% sudo make -C /etc/mail
% sudo /sbin/service sendmail reload

Sendmail's milter configuration is completed.

milter-manager logs to syslog. If milter-manager works well, some logs can be shown in /var/log/maillog. We need to sent a test mail for confirming.


There are many configurations to work milter and Sendmail together. They can be reduced by introducing milter-manager.

Without milter-manager, we need to specify sockets of spamass-milter, clamav-milter and milter-greylist to With milter-manager, we doesn't need to specify sockets of them, just specify a socket of milter-manager. They are detected automatically. We doesn't need to take care some small mistakes like typo.

milter-manager also detects which '/sbin/chkconfig -add' is done or not. If we disable a milter, we use the following steps:

% sudo /sbin/service milter-greylist stop
% sudo /sbin/chkconfig --del milter-greylist

We need to reload milter-manager after we disable a milter.

% sudo /sbin/service milter-manager reload

milter-manager detects a milter is disabled and doesn't use it. We doesn't need to change Sendmail's

We can reduce maintainance cost by introducing milter-manager if we use some milters on CentOS.

milter manager also provides tools to help operation. Installing them is optional but we can reduce operation cost too. If we also install them, we will go to Install to CentOS (optional) .