Clamav-milter problem and fix

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Who says the good guys always win? On the internet the spammers have already effectively destroyed email – creating the opportunity for (other) social media but ruining what was the “killer app” of the late 1990s.

Of course many of us still love email, but I know my daughters never touch the stuff.

That email is usable at all is because a huge technical effort has been put into suppressing spam: in my case that means using Spamassassin and Clamav via mail filters (milters) closely integrated into Sendmail.

Last Friday my mail delivery simpoly stopped working and fetchmail – which I use to pull mail via POP3 from my venerable Demon account (there are not many of us left who can give out the same email address as we had in 1993/94) gave a not very helpful message.

Further investigation showed that the clamav-milter daemon was no longer running and so no mail was being accepted for delivery. I had changed nothing (I suspect that I had routinely approved an update though) but got messages in logs like this when I attempted a restart:

Aug 4 16:39:44 dragoneye clamav-milter[29822]: +++ Started at Thu Aug 4 16:39:44 2011
Aug 4 16:39:44 dragoneye clamav-milter[29822]: Invalid setting false for option LogInfected

To make it worse a dpkg --reconfigure just seemed to create a configuration file with same problem. Other users have had similar problems and as that bug report tells, the error message to the console only makes it worse!

How I fixed it:

Set LogInfected to Full and simply deleted LogClean.

NB: if you are mad enough, as I was, to try setting up your own Sendmail, there are two rules to follow (1) Don’t: use Postfix or Exim instead and (2) Buy the “Bat Book“.

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