Updating Rspamd

This document describes incompatible changes introduced in recent Rspamd versions and details how to update your rules and configuration accordingly.

Migration to Rspamd 3.3

Please be cautious if you migrate to Rspamd 3.3 when you use custom passthrough rules (meaning the most of plugins that define action and not least action). Prior to 3.3, you could still process other rules, whilst in 3.3+ passthrough means exactly what it means: set the final action and skip directly to the idempotent stage.

Users of the neural plugin can have a significant Redis storage leak introduced in the version 3.2. This issue is fixed in the version 3.3 since the following commit, however, this fix will not remove old stale keys. Unfortunately, those keys do not have any expire either. One of the possible sollutions to clean the database up is to remove all keys starting with rn_ prefix. There are multiple options available to perform this action, so you can take a look at the following conversation on the Stackoverflow.

Rspamd also requires C++20 compatible compiler and toolchain to be built from this version. For ubuntu-bionic users it means that it is now necessary to include the llvm repo for the compatible C++20 standard library runtime. The steps required are described in the downloads page.

Migration to Rspamd 3.0

Dmarc reporting stuff is no longer in the dmarc module: you need to run rspamadm dmarc_report command periodically to send DMARC reports. This could be done via cron. Configuration of the reporting has also changed in the incompatible matter, please check the module documentation.

Migration to Rspamd 2.6

It is necessary to clear the browser cache and restart the browser for the GUI to work properly after upgrading to 2.6.

Neural networks plugin training data will also be lost as the internal structure of the NN has been reworked in an incompatible way. Further training should continue as usually.

If you observe complains about SENDER_REP_HAM and SENDER_REP_SPAM symbols in Rspamd logs, then you might need to define the corresponding scores for these symbols (see more in the documentation: https://rspamd.com/doc/modules/reputation.html). This issue will be fixed in future Rspamd releases.

Migration to Rspamd 2.0

RBL module has replaced both emails and surbl module unifying all Runtime Black Lists checks in a single place. The existing rules are normally automatically converted to rbl syntax which also includes even your local.d defines. override.d defines act as local.d overrides unfortunately. If you need to use overrides then please consider converting them to override.d/rbl.conf rules.

Emails rules with maps instead of DNS RBLs are NO LONGER SUPPORTED. Please use multimap with selectors instead.

Default Bayes backend is also changed to Redis now whilst Sqlite backend is now marked as deprecated and is not recommended for use. Hence, if you have sqlite backend that was default before 2.0, you’d need to specify its’ type manually or convert it to Redis (or even, relearn Redis backend from the scratch).

ip_score module has been replaced by reputation module. The existing rules should be automatically converted to reputation rules. The name of symbol has also been changed to two symbols: SENDER_REP_SPAM and SENDER_REP_HAM. The scores of IP_SCORE should be automatically applied to new symbols. The data collected from ip_score plugin will be LOST unevitably. The main reason behind it was the significant flaw of the old plugin that caused reputation never expire.

neural module has received a major update. No config incompatibilities have been introduced to our best knowledge, however, the existing network data will be LOST unevitably.

If you build Rspamd from the sources, you now need C++11 capable compiler as there are now bundled dependencies written in C++ (specifically, replxx library). You also need libsodium library. Rspamd now supports merely clang and gcc compilers. Other compilers might work as well but it is not guaranteed any longer.

Bayes expiry now always work in lazy mode and the default mode has been changed to lazy only.

Log helper worker has been removed (but probably nobody have used it anyway).

Migration to Rspamd 1.9.1

From version 1.9.1, Rspamd supports Jinja2 templates provided by Lupa Lua library. You can read the basic syntax documnentation and the abilities provided by these templating engines using the links above. Rspamd itself uses a specific syntax for variable tags: {= and =} instead of the traditional {{ and }} as these tags could mean, e.g. a table in table in Lua.

As a consequence, from the version 1.9.1, your config files should be Jinja safe, meaning that there should be no special sequences like {% or {= anywhere in your configuration. Alternatively, you can escape them using raw and endraw tags as described here.

Migration to Rspamd 1.9.0

This version should not generally be incompatible with the previous one aside of the case if you build Rspamd from the sources or use a custom package. From the version 1.9, Rspamd has changed some of the default instalation paths:

  • There is a new ${LIBDIR}/rspamd/librspamd-server.so library that contains common functions for rspamd, rspamadm and rspamc binaries
  • ${PLUGINSDIR} is now set to a specific path for Lua plugins and is no longer in the Lua path; it is suggested to use ${LUALIBDIR} for all shared Lua code
  • Here are default values for the paths used by Rspamd:
    • CONFDIR = ${PREFIX}/etc/rspamd - main path for the configuration
    • LOCAL_CONFDIR = ${PREFIX}/etc/rspamd - path for the user’s defined configuration
    • RUNDIR = OS specific (/var/run/rspamd on Linux) - used to store volatile runtime data (e.g. PIDs)
    • DBDIR = OS specific (/var/lib/rspamd on Linux) - used to store static runtime data (e.g. databases or cached files)
    • SHAREDIR = ${PREFIX}/share/rspamd - used to store shared files
    • LOGDIR = OS specific (/var/log/rspamd on Linux) - used to store Rspamd logs in file logging mode
    • LUALIBDIR = ${SHAREDIR}/lualib - used to store shared Lua files (included in Lua path)
    • PLUGINSDIR = ${SHAREDIR}/plugins - used to place Lua plugins
    • RULESDIR = ${SHAREDIR}/rules - used to place Lua rules
    • LIBDIR = ${PREFIX}/lib/rspamd - used to place shared libraries (included in RPATH and Lua CPATH)
    • WWWDIR = ${SHAREDIR}/www - used to store static WebUI files

For those who are using the default packages there should be no changes. Even in the case if you are using old ${PLUGINSDIR} to store your custom plugins, Rspamd will look at the old location as a fallback in the plugins loading logic.

Another incompatible change has been introduced for those who are using coroutines based Rspamd Lua API. From this version, you need to register symbols where coroutines are used with coro flag to allow them to be functional (otherwise they just crash Rspamd). More details are available in the following issue.

Migration to Rspamd 1.8.1

This version introduces several incompatibilities that mught be related to your setup.

General configuration change

Libucl that is used to parse configuration files for Rspamd has been changed in a way that prevented to load incomplete chunks of the data. It means, that each include file MUST be a valid configuration snippet as is. For example, you migh have the following artificial example:

.include "top.conf"
var = "bar";
.include "bottom.conf"

Where top/bottom could have something like:

# top.conf
# bottom.conf

This will not work any longer: libucl requires that all braces are matching.

However, it still allows implicit braces over the top object. So this file will still be valid:

# Some include

section "foo" {
  key = value;

param = "value";

or this:

# Implicit object
param = "value";

rspamadm configtest will show you if your local changes to the configuration files are incompatible with the new restrictions applied.

Fuzzy and bayes misses for large text messages

Due to bug introduced in 1.8.0, there algorithm used to deterministically skip words in large text parts was not deterministic. It means that the exact words pipelines produced by different Rspamd instances might be different. It could affect if your words_limit was reached (default: words_decay = 200 words). Hence, for large text parts it was expected to have misses in fuzzy and in Bayes classification. Whilst bayes missing should not be significant, the fuzzy misses might be very severe and they might break fuzzy detection for large text parts.

In 1.8.1, we have fixed this issue and, since we have already broken the compatibility with 1.7.9, we have decided to increase words_decay to 600. Please ensure that you don’t override this parameter anywhere (e.g. in local.d/options.inc, override.d/options.inc or any other override or local file) or your compatibility with Rspamd fuzzy storage would be lost for messages with more than words_decay threshold words.

Different CONFDIR and LOCAL_CONFDIR case

In a very unlikely case if your custom build has different values for CONFDIR and LOCAL_CONFDIR build/startup variables, you might miss your custom Lua rules that were previously loaded from $CONFDIR/rspamd.local.lua and from this version they are loaded from $LOCAL_CONFDIR/rspamd.local.lua. To our very best knowledge, it doesn’t affect any official packages nor any officially supported operation systems, such as FreeBSD or OpenBSD.

Migration to Rspamd 1.8.0

There are couple of slashing changes that might affect your setup, especially if you use one of the following:

  • Clickhouse module
  • User settings

Clickhouse changes

From the version 1.8, Rspamd stops usage of multiple tables and uses one table rspamd with all columns in it. It provides benefits in performance and helps to avoid joins that are not extremely efficient in Clickhouse. If you have used Clickhouse module before 1.8, then your schemas will be converted automatically. However, the existing data will NOT be converted and will remain in the old tables. It is sometimes required to enforce new schema application by using command


This command might take significant time to be completed if you store lots of historical data.

You also need to update your queries that use additional Rspamd tables, such as rspamd_urls, rspamd_asn, rspamd_attachments, rspamd_symbols and others. All corresponding fields are now placed in rspamd table. It is impossible to migrate old data from those tables so far.

Settings changes

Rspamd now provides settings.conf which includes local.d/settings.conf and override.d/settings.conf. If you have used some of these files to store settings please ensure that they don’t conflict with the new configuration layout.

Migration to Rspamd 1.7.4

The only potential issue is that now Rspamd listens on localhost only by default. It might break some configurations where you rely on the previous behaviour, specifically, on listening on all IP addresses (e.g. *).

However, we think that we should keep the default settings as restrictive as possible to avoid potential security issues that proved to happen with other projects with ‘open to all’ defaults.

Migration to Rspamd 1.7.0

You should consider running of rspamadm configwizard to ensure that your configuration is compatible. From version 1.7, Rspamd does not support metrics concept. In fact, that was never supported in the past, however, you could see metric "default" in many places within Rspamd configuration and settings.

In this version, we still support old metric keyword and scores defined under this section, for instance in rspamd.conf.local. However, it is now recommended to define symbols scores in groups settings (local.d/group_*.conf). Groups configurations live in etc/rspamd/scores.d folder.

There is no need to undertake any action if you have your custom scores defined in the legacy files. Rspamd will continue support of definitions in these files.

Migrating to Rspamd 1.6.5

Due to a couple of serious fixes in tokenization algorithms, it is be possible that statistics and fuzzy modules will loose their preciseness. In this cases you might try to relearn your databases to improve accuracy of filtering.

Migrating to Rspamd 1.6.0

Due to implementation of the new milter interface, there is an important incompatible change that you might need to handle if you use rmilter_headers module. This module has been renamed to milter_headers and the according protocol section is now named milter instead of rmilter. If you configured this module inside local.d/rmilter_headers.conf or in override.d/rmilter_headers.conf then you don’t need to undertake any actions: these files are still loaded by the renamed module. Otherwise, you need to change section name from rmilter_headers to milter_headers.

Milter_headers module now skips adding headers for local networks & authenticated users by default; this can be re-enabled by setting skip_local = false and/or skip_authenticated = false in the module configuration; or alternatively you could set authenticated_headers and/or local_headers to a list of headers that should not be skipped.

Proxy worker has been added to the default configuration and listens on all interfaces on TCP port 11332. If you don’t need it you can set enabled = false in local.d/worker-proxy.inc.

This release removes the config split for systemd/sysv platforms. If you have custom init scripts you should ensure that these use rspamd.conf rather than rspamd.sysvinit.conf. If you use systemd and prefer to log to the systemd journal, you should add the following to local.d/logging.inc:

systemd = true;
type = "console";

A major rework of lua libraries has taken place in Rspamd 1.6. Some of the custom scripts might be broken if they are loaded before rspamd.lua or if you have edited rspamd.lua manually. To ensure that everything is fine you need to load vendor rspamd.lua before all of your custom scripts. It is a default behaviour, however, in some highly custiomised setups it might cause issues. In general, you need to ensure that the following line is somewhere in your code (it is at the very beginning of rspamd.lua):

require "global_functions" ()

Rmilter tool is now deprecated in honor of milter protocol support in rspamd proxy. There are examples of some particular features that were previously implemented in Rmilter in milter headers module. You should consider migrating from Rmilter as soon as possible since Rspamd 1.6 will be the last version that supports Rmilter tool. In future major releases (starting from 1.7), there are absolutely no guarantees of compatibility with Rmilter.

For example, if you need the old behaviour for extended_spam_headers in Rmilter, then you can use the following snippet added to the local.d/milter_headers.conf:

# local.d/milter_headers.conf
extended_spam_headers = true;

Migrating to Rspamd 1.5.3

The rspamd_update module has been disabled by default; if you need it please set enabled = true in local.d/rspamd_update.conf.

Migrating to Rspamd 1.5.2

New configuration files have been added for the following modules which previously missed them; if you have previously configured one of these modules in rspamd.conf.local please move your configuration to rspamd.conf.override to ensure that it is preserved verbatim or rework your configuration to use local.d/[module_name].conf instead.

  • antivirus
  • dkim_signing
  • mx_check (set enabled = true if you use local.d)
  • replies
  • spamassassin
  • trie

Migrating to Rspamd 1.5

New configuration files have been added for the following modules which previously missed them: greylist, metadata_exporter and metric_exporter. If you have previously configured one of these modules in rspamd.conf.local please move your configuration to rspamd.conf.override to ensure that it is preserved verbatim or rework your configuration to use local.d/[module_name].conf instead.

If you have composites defined in local.d/composites.conf or override.d/composites.conf these will need to be moved to rspamd.conf.local or reworked to the new format, see /etc/rspamd/composites.conf for an example.

You are also suggested to disable outdated and no longer supported features of Rmilter and switch them to Rspamd:

The list of features includes the following ones:

All duplicating features are still kept in Rmilter for compatibility reasons. However, no further development or bug fixes will likely be done for them.

From version 1.9.1 it is possible to specify enable option in greylisting and ratelimit sections. It is also possible for dkim section since 1.9.2. These options are true by default. Here is an example of configuration where greylisting and ratelimit are disabled:

# /etc/rmilter.conf.local
limits {
    enable = false;
greylisting {
    enable = false;
dkim {
    enable = false;

These options are in their default enabled states merely for compatibility purposes. In future Rmilter releases, they will be DISABLED by default.

Migrating to Rmilter 1.10.0 and Rspamd 1.4.0

The default passwords, namely q1 and q2 are no longer allowed to be used for remote authentication. This is done due to many misusages of these example passwords and dangerous security flaws introduced by some Rspamd users.

Migrating to Rmilter 1.9.1 and Rspamd 1.3.1

Systemd socket activation has been removed in these releases. Rmilter may not restart correctly on upgrade on Debian platforms. Please run systemctl restart rmilter after installing the package if necessary. Rspamd is expected to restart correctly on upgrade. Both Rspamd & Rmilter should be automatically configured to run on reboot post-upgrade.

Migrating from Rmilter 1.8 to Rmilter 1.9

There are couple of things that are no longer supported:

  • beanstalk support has been removed from Rmilter in honor of Redis pub/sub, you must remove the whole beanstalk section from the configuration file
  • auto whitelist for greylisting is no longer supported as it has been broken from the very beginning, you must remove all awl options from the greylisting section

If you have used beanstalk for some purposes then you could move to Redis pub/sub. There are settings for sending spam (spam_servers and spam_channel) and for sending messages copies (copy_servers, copy_prob and copy_channel) in the redis section that allow you to reproduce beanstalk functions using Redis.

Rmilter now supports configuration override from rmilter.conf.local and from rmilter.conf.d/*.conf files. You should consider using these methods for your local configuration options.

Rmilter no longer adds several SpamAssassin-compatible headers: namely X-Spam-Status, X-Spam-Level and X-Spamd-Bar. Support has been added for adding/removing custom headers under instruction of Rspamd (Requires Rspamd 1.3.0+). Example script which restores the removed headers is shown below (to be added to /etc/rspamd/rspamd.local.lua):

  type = 'postfilter',
  priority = 10,
  callback = function(task)
    local metric_score = task:get_metric_score('default')
    local score = metric_score[1]
    local required_score = metric_score[2]
    -- X-Spamd-Bar & X-Spam-Level
    local spambar
    local spamlevel = ''
    if score <= -1 then
      spambar = string.rep('-', score*-1)
    elseif score >= 1 then
      spambar = string.rep('+', score)
      spamlevel = string.rep('*', score)
      spambar = '/'
    -- X-Spam-Status
    local is_spam
    local spamstatus
    local action = task:get_metric_action('default')
    if action ~= 'no action' and action ~= 'greylist' then
      is_spam = 'Yes'
      is_spam = 'No'
    spamstatus = is_spam .. ', score=' .. string.format('%.2f', score)
    -- Add headers
      add_headers = {
        ['X-Spamd-Bar'] = spambar,
        ['X-Spam-Level'] = spamlevel,
        ['X-Spam-Status'] = spamstatus
      remove_headers = {
        ['X-Spamd-Bar'] = 1,
        ['X-Spam-Level'] = 1,
        ['X-Spam-Status'] = 1

Migrating from Rspamd 1.2 to Rspamd 1.3

There are no incompatible changes introduced in Rspamd 1.3 version.

Migrating from Rspamd 1.1 to Rspamd 1.2

There are no incompatible changes introduced in Rspamd 1.2 version.

Migrating from Rspamd 1.0 to Rspamd 1.1

The only change here affects users with per-user statistics enabled. There is an incompatible change in sqlite3 and per-user behaviour:

Now both redis and sqlite3 follow common principles for per-user statistics:

  • If per-user statistics is enabled check per-user tokens ONLY
  • If per-user statistics is not enabled then check common tokens ONLY

If you need the old behaviour, then you need to use a separate classifier for per-user statistics, for example:

    classifier {
        tokenizer {
            name = "osb";
        name = "bayes_user";
        min_tokens = 11;
        backend = "sqlite3";
        per_language = true;
        per_user = true;
        statfile {
            path = "/tmp/bayes.spam.sqlite";
            symbol = "BAYES_SPAM_USER";
        statfile {
            path = "/tmp/bayes.ham.sqlite";
            symbol = "BAYES_HAM_USER";
    classifier {
        tokenizer {
            name = "osb";
        name = "bayes";
        min_tokens = 11;
        backend = "sqlite3";
        per_language = true;
        statfile {
            path = "/tmp/bayes.spam.sqlite";
            symbol = "BAYES_SPAM";
        statfile {
            path = "/tmp/bayes.ham.sqlite";
            symbol = "BAYES_HAM";

Migrating from Rspamd 0.9 to Rspamd 1.0

In Rspamd 1.0 the default settings for statistics tokenization have been changed to modern, meaning that tokens are now generated from normalized words and there are various improvements which are incompatible with the statistics model used in pre-1.0 versions. To use these new features you should either relearn your statistics or continue using your old statistics without new features by adding a compat parameter:

classifier {
    tokenizer {
        compat = true;

The recommended way to store statistics now is the sqlite3 backend (which is incompatible with the old mmap backend):

classifier {
    type = "bayes";
    tokenizer {
        name = "osb";
    cache {
        path = "${DBDIR}/learn_cache.sqlite";
    min_tokens = 11;
    backend = "sqlite3";
    languages_enabled = true;
    statfile {
        symbol = "BAYES_HAM";
        path = "${DBDIR}/bayes.ham.sqlite";
        spam = false;
    statfile {
        symbol = "BAYES_SPAM";
        path = "${DBDIR}/bayes.spam.sqlite";
        spam = true;

Migrating from Rspamd 0.6 to Rspamd 0.7

WebUI changes

The Rspamd web interface is now a part of the Rspamd distribution. Moreover, all static files are now served by Rspamd itself so you won’t need to set up a separate web server to distribute static files. At the same time, the WebUI worker has been removed and the controller acts as WebUI+old_controller which allows it to work with both a web browser and the rspamc client. However, you might still want to set up a full-featured HTTP server in front of Rspamd to enable, for example, TLS and access controls.

Now there are two password levels for Rspamd: password for read-only commands and enable_password for data changing commands. If enable_password is not specified then password is used for both commands.

Here is an example of the full configuration of the Rspamd controller worker to serve the WebUI:

worker {
	type = "controller";
	bind_socket = "localhost:11334";
	count = 1;
	password = "q1";
	enable_password = "q2";
	secure_ip = ""; # Allows to use *all* commands from this IP
	static_dir = "${WWWDIR}";

Settings changes

The settings system has been completely reworked. It is now a lua plugin that registers pre-filters and assigns settings according to dynamic maps or a static configuration. Should you want to use the new settings system then please check the recent documentation. The old settings have been completely removed from Rspamd.

Lua changes

There are many changes in the lua API and some of them are, unfortunately, breaking ones.

  • many superglobals are removed: now Rspamd modules need to be loaded explicitly, the only global remaining is rspamd_config. This affects the following modules:
    • rspamd_logger
    • rspamd_ip
    • rspamd_http
    • rspamd_cdb
    • rspamd_regexp
    • rspamd_trie
local rspamd_logger = require "rspamd_logger"
local rspamd_trie = require "rspamd_trie"
local rspamd_cdb = require "rspamd_cdb"
local rspamd_ip = require "rspamd_ip"
local rspamd_regexp = require "rspamd_regexp"
  • new system of symbols registration: now symbols can be registered by adding new indices to rspamd_config object. Old version:
local reconf = config['regexp']
reconf['SYMBOL'] = function(task)

new one:

rspamd_config.SYMBOL = function(task)

rspamd_message is removed completely; you should use task methods to access message data. This includes such methods as:

  • get_date - this method can now return a date for task and message based on the arguments:
local dm = task:get_date{format = 'message'} -- MIME message date
local dt = task:get_date{format = 'connect'} -- check date
  • get_header - this function is totally reworked. Now get_header version returns just a decoded string, get_header_raw returns an undecoded string and get_header_full returns the full list of tables. Please consult the corresponding documentation for details. You also might want to update the old invocation of task:get_header to the new one. Old version:
function kmail_msgid (task)
	local msg = task:get_message()
	local header_msgid = msg:get_header('Message-Id')
	if header_msgid then
		-- header_from and header_msgid are tables
		for _,header_from in ipairs(msg:get_header('From')) do
	return false

new one:

function kmail_msgid (task)
	local header_msgid = task:get_header('Message-Id')
	if header_msgid then
		local header_from = task:get_header('From')
		-- header_from and header_msgid are strings
	return false

or with the full version:

rspamd_config.FORGED_GENERIC_RECEIVED5 = function (task)
	local headers_recv = task:get_header_full('Received')
	if headers_recv then
		-- headers_recv is now the list of tables
		for _,header_r in ipairs(headers_recv) do
			if re:match(header_r['value']) then
				return true
    return false
  • get_from and get_recipients now accept optional numeric arguments that specifies where to get sender and recipients for a message. By default, this argument is 0 which means that data is initially checked in the SMTP envelope (meaning MAIL FROM and RCPT TO SMTP commands) and if the envelope data is inaccessible then it is grabbed from MIME headers. Value 1 means that data is checked on envelope only, while 2 switches mode to MIME headers. Here is an example from the forged_recipients module:
-- Check sender
local smtp_from = task:get_from(1)
if smtp_from then
	local mime_from = task:get_from(2)
	if not mime_from or
			not (string.lower(mime_from[1]['addr']) ==
			string.lower(smtp_from[1]['addr'])) then
		task:insert_result(symbol_sender, 1)

Protocol changes

Rspamd now uses HTTP protocols for all operations, therefore an additional client library is unlikely to be needed. The fallback to the old spamc protocol has also been implemented to be automatically compatible with rmilter and other software that uses the rspamc protocol.