Using Pyzor

Pyzor is a completely free database and software HashSharingSystem, written by Frank Tobin. .

Install Pyzor

  • As of SpamAssassin version 4.0.1, a simplified perl version of the Pyzor client is included that should work if the official Pyzor client is not installed. It is enabled by changing the default setting of the configuration option pyzor_perl from 0 to 1.

  • To install Pyzor, see the installation instructions at InstallingPyzor. Do not simply follow the instructions at the Pyzor site.

Using Pyzor Site-wide

  • Note permissions advice concerning /etc/mail/spamassassin in RazorSiteWide and add the following to your /etc/mail/spamassassin/ pyzor_options --homedir /etc/mail/spamassassin
    • Now put some servers in that dir: pyzor --homedir /etc/mail/spamassassin discover
    • And finally, restart spamd: /etc/init.d/spamd restart

Is it working?

You can run SpamAssassin from the command line to figure out if it is using Pyzor. The process is described at RazorHowToTell, but the summary is to run the following from the command line:

  echo "test" | spamassassin -D pyzor 2>&1 | less

This test should return output similar to:

Oct  6 11:11:46.956 [10904] dbg: pyzor: network tests on, attempting Pyzor
Oct  6 11:11:52.055 [10904] dbg: pyzor: pyzor is available: /bin/pyzor
Oct  6 11:11:52.056 [10904] dbg: pyzor: opening pipe: /bin/pyzor --homedir /some/dir/.pyzor check < /tmp/.spamassassin10904BmyCb9tmp
Oct  6 11:11:52.344 [10904] dbg: pyzor: [10906] finished: exit 1
Oct  6 11:11:52.345 [10904] dbg: pyzor: check failed: no response

The "check failed: no response" does not indicate a problem, as this test does not pass in an actual properly-formatted email message. If you have an actual message handy, use that for your test; you should see output similar to:

Oct  6 19:34:05.896 [14864] dbg: pyzor: network tests on, attempting Pyzor
Oct  6 19:34:10.940 [14864] dbg: pyzor: pyzor is available: /bin/pyzor
Oct  6 19:34:10.942 [14864] dbg: pyzor: opening pipe: /bin/pyzor --homedir /some/dir/.pyzor check < /tmp/.spamassassin14864qX2Rmwtmp
Oct  6 19:34:11.248 [14864] dbg: pyzor: [14866] finished: exit 1
Oct  6 19:34:11.248 [14864] dbg: pyzor: got response: (200, 'OK') 0 0

Pyzor on Debian

If you are using Debian, a pyzor package is available in the stable distribution.

Detailed instructions

Very detailed instructions on configuring pyzor for a personal Unix account are in SingleUserUnixInstall.


Using SpamAssassin to submit spam is described in ReportingSpam.

Pyzor on Windows

It is possible to make Pyzor work on Windows with a little extra effort.

  • Download and install ActivePython from
  • Download and install Pyzor from You'll need something that can un-bzip2 the files. Installing simply means running the following from the folder you extracted pyzor into:

    python build
    python install
  • Create a folder somewhere for the pyzor config files. You can use your spamassassin folder if you like as it only creates a single file called servers. I used c:/python24/etc/pyzor
  • Create a pyzor.bat in your python folder (c:\python24 by default when I installed it), containing the following line, modified for your python folder path.

    @c:\python24\python c:/python24/scripts/pyzor --homedir c:/python24/etc/pyzor %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9
  • Edit /Lib/site-packages/pyzor/ with the following changes:
    • Find signal.signal(signal.SIGALRM, handle_timeout) and put a # in front of it.
    • Find the section for: def time_call(self, call, varargs=(), kwargs=None): and change it to read like this:

          def time_call(self, call, varargs=(), kwargs=None):
              if kwargs is None:  kwargs  = {}
              return apply(call, varargs, kwargs)
  • From a command prompt in the python folder context, run the following where /python/pyzor is the folder you created in the previous step.

    pyzor discover
  • Now you are ready to configure SpamAssassin to use it.
  • (This is not necessary in v3.1.7) Edit your /site/lib/mail/spamassassin/ Find the "sub helper_app_pipe_open_windows" section and the line that reads

    if ($stdinfile) { $cmd .= " <'$stdinfile'"; }"

    and replace it with

    if ($stdinfile) { $cmd .= " <\"$stdinfile\""; }"

    because Windows won't pipe a file with a space after the < and single quotes around it.

  • Edit v310.pre and uncomment the load for the Pyzor plugin.
  • Edit your and add configuration lines for pyzor. For example:

    use_pyzor   1
    pyzor_path c:\python24\pyzor.bat
    pyzor_timeout 10
  • That should do it. If you do a spamassassin --lint -D you should see pyzor
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