At work we use Exchange 2003 as our email server, mostly because it was just so darn convenient to set up. Outlook and Exchange are pretty decent at filtering spam once you’ve installed the latest service packs. However, the amount of completely useless emails making it to my inbox recently spiked (Valentine’s Day may have had something to do with it). Time to bring out the big guns.
Spam Assassin is a groovy open source spam filter created by Justin Mason. So groovy, in fact, that it’s become the de facto standard in spam filtering. To solve my spam problem at work, I needed to get Spam Assassin working with Exchange. Or spend a lot of money on a commercial solution that would be just about as effective. Hmm…
Now, open source software like this is sometimes a pain to get working on a Windows box. Fortunately, setting up Spam Assassin on Exchange 2003 is pretty straightforward with help from some friends. Here is what you need to do:
- Head on over to Christopher Lewis’ website* and download his ESA sink (i.e., plug-in) for Exchange.
- Run the installer on your Exchange server. It will create the directory c:\ESA.
- Rename c:\ESA\readme.txt to c:\ESA\readme (esa).txt
- Download SpamAssassin for Win32 command-line tools, and sa-learn from the SaWin32 website. Unzip both into the same directory you installed ESA into above.
- Create a new batch file, c:\ESA\spamc.bat with this in it:
- Now you should be ready to rock. Check out the ESA readme file for usage information.