Kmail + SpamBayes

I've been meaning to do something about spam filtering on my email, especially the email from this domain. I recently stumbled upon a menu entry in Kmail I hadn't noticed before 'Tools -> Anti-Spam Wizard...'. If you have SpamBayes installed (yum install spambayes), it is listed as an option for setting up spam filtering. Follow the prompts through the wizard, and click 'Finish' when done.

But now what? Nothing seems to change, no 'mark as ham' or 'mark as spam' options suddenly appeared in the context menu.

And thus it sat, unused, and therefore... useless.

Today I started looking a bit more closely at the filters that the wizard created. There were two that stood out: 'Classify as Spam' and 'Classify as NOT Spam'. These two are not applied to incoming mail, but are added to the 'Apply Filter' context menu. And apparently that is how you tell SpamBayes what is spam and what is ham.

So I went to my spam folder, selected today's spam, right-clicked, 'Apply Filter -> Classify as Spam'. It fed it to SpamBayes, and moved the messages to my spam folder. I selected a chunk of my read messages (ham) and right-clicked, 'Apply Filter -> Classify as NOT Spam' and it trained SpamBayes on them, and left them where they were.

I checked my email, and like magic, the incoming spam wound up in the spam folder without my intervention.

Moral of the story? Kmail needs to include in the Anti-Spam Wizard some basic 'getting started' instructions or a link to some help on the topic. This wasn't obvious to me before I found it. It makes sense, but it wasn't intuitive.

But now I know. And so do you.

Edit: And now I see a pair of new buttons in the toolbar. I don't think they were there before; I noticed them after a restart. So, after setting up SpamBayes, restart kmail, and you should see 'spam' and 'ham' toolbar buttons beside the 'trash' button.

  • Posted: 2009-10-28 22:38 (Updated: 2011-12-19 23:15)
  • Author: retracile
  • Categories: kmail email

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