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The SpamBouncer is a spam filter. It analyzes incoming email and separates spam from legitimate messages, adding a header to email that tells you whether the email appears to be spam or not. You can use that header to sort your incoming email into different folders, or to delete the spam entirely. The SpamBouncer can also block spam on your server, delete certain types of spam entirely, and send a challenge to senders of blocked email to allow them to bypass the filters.
The SpamBouncer can be installed in one of two ways:
The SpamBouncer is simply a complex set of Procmail recipes, or filters. To run the SpamBouncer, you must run the Procmail program on the server or workstation where your email is processed. Anyone that can run Procmail can run the SpamBouncer.
You do not have to read email on the same account that runs Procmail and processes your email. Many individual SpamBouncer users have Unix shell accounts on the server to which their email is delivered. They run the SpamBouncer on these accounts, and then use their favorite POP or IMAP email program to retrieve their email after it has been filtered. Most POP and IMAP email programs can filter email based on any header, which allows them to filter email based on the SpamBouncer's headers.
CAUTION! The SpamBouncer is a powerful program, but complex to install and configure. To use it safely, a user must be familiar with the Unix operating system and understand basic programming in at least one programming language. It is not a good spam filter for the average Internet user. (See the Spam Filters page in the SpamBouncer web site's Spam-Fighting Resources section for information about some good alternative spam filters.)
Procmail is a mail delivery agent (MDA) that is capable of filtering email according to complex rules. It is a common program on most computers that run a version of the Unix operating systems. It is installed as the default MDA on computers running the Linux operating system. If you are a Unix user, you may already be familiar with it. Users of the Apple Macintosh who run System 10 or later versions of MacOS, and Windows Users who install the Cygwin Linux emulation package, can also run Procmail.