SpamAssassin and Exim on Arch Linux: some config trouble

I had this happen – SA wasn’t reading user_prefs out of a proper home dir:

[12071] info: spamd: creating default_prefs: //.spamassassin/user_prefs
[12071] dbg: config: using "/.spamassassin" for user state dir
[12071] dbg: config: mkdir /.spamassassin failed: mkdir /.spamassassin: Permission denied at /usr/share/perl5/vendor_perl/Mail/SpamAssassin.pm line 1577
[12071] dbg: config: Permission denied
[12071] warn: config: cannot write to //.spamassassin/user_prefs: No such file or directory
[12071] info: spamd: failed to create readable default_prefs: //.spamassassin/user_prefs
[12071] dbg: config: read_scoreonly_config: cannot open "//.spamassassin/user_prefs": No such file or directory

I thought this was due to the way spamassassin was invoked, so I tried specifying the user and homedir explicitly. It didn’t work. I tried creating a ‘spamd’ user, a homedir, changing the invocation to that:

sudo spamd -c --max-children 3 --username spamd -H "/var/lib/spamassassin/" -s stderr -D

Didn’t help.

Then I RTFMed some. That reminded me of writing something about user ‘nobody’ in exim.conf. That’s the user for which spam filtering is invoked; so if you allow per-user configuration, it doesn’t really matter that you specify “/var/lib/spamassassin” as a homedir, that’s just for the parent spamd process. For every child, the directory will be changed; for ‘nobody’ it’s ‘/’.

So I changed that line to have ‘spamd’ instead, and voila!

[12071] info: spamd: creating default_prefs: /var/lib/spamassassin/.spamassassin/user_prefs
[12071] dbg: config: using "/var/lib/spamassassin/.spamassassin" for user state dir
[12071] warn: config: created user preferences file: /var/lib/spamassassin/.spamassassin/user_prefs
[12071] dbg: conf: finish parsing

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