I am currently getting a ton of email from "myself" and have been having a ton of difficulty filtering it. I have postfix configured to check SPF and (presumably) reject if it fails, and SpamAssassin has the SPF filter installed. But nothing is working. I can connect to postfix over telnet and plaintext a message from "myself" to myself without authentication and it just arrives in my inbox like it's supposed to be there.

$ sudo -u spamd -H spamassassin -D --lint 2>&1 | grep SPF
May 24 10:12:04.282 [15707] dbg: diag: [...] module installed: Mail::SPF, version v2.008
May 24 10:12:04.289 [15707] dbg: plugin: loading Mail::SpamAssassin::Plugin::SPF from @INC

relevant bits of master.cf

smtp      inet  n       -       n       -       -       smtpd -o content_filter=spamassassin
submission inet n       -       n       -       -       smtpd -o content_filter=spamassassin
smtps     inet  n       -       n       -       -       smtpd -o content_filter=spamassassin
policyd-spf unix - n n - - spawn user=nobody argv=/bin/python /usr/libexec/postfix/policyd-spf
spamassassin unix - n n - - pipe flags=R user=spamd argv=/usr/bin/spamc -e /usr/sbin/sendmail -oi -f ${sender} ${recipient}

Excerpt main.cf

smtpd_recipient_restrictions =
    check_policy_service unix:private/policyd-spf,
    reject_rhsbl_reverse_client dbl.spamhaus.org,
    reject_rhsbl_helo dbl.spamhaus.org,
    reject_rhsbl_sender dbl.spamhaus.org,
    reject_rbl_client zen.spamhaus.org

and I have the SPF defined in the txt records in my DNS (I relay all mail through mailjet due to network restrictions):

example.com. 20020 IN TXT "v=spf1 include:spf.mailjet.com ?all"

Edit: Per suggestion, I have updated my DNS, though the exact behavior still exists:

example.com. 86400 IN TXT "v=spf1 include:spf.mailjet.com -all"

Edit 2: I added a DMARC record to enforce quarantine on 100% of violations, and it's still not working:

_DMARC.example.com. 86400 IN TXT "v=DMARC1; p=quarantine; rua=mailto:[email protected]; ruf=mailto:[email protected]; fo=1; pct=100"

and I've checked SPF and DMARC with mxtoolbox, and everything looks good.

but Postfix just passes the mail right on through, and SA tacks on SPF_NEUTRAL in the header. So......... how do I make this work? How can I prevent this garbage email from coming through?

Edit: I don't care if SA or Postfix blocks it, I just don't want it in my inbox. I think I may have mixed up trying to integrate both blocking and that's why it's not working? Or did I misconfigure my DNS?

Edit 3: According to Method 2 here: https://serverfault.com/questions/905591/receiving-spam-from-my-own-email-address-postfix this should be working? (This question is older and uses the perl module, whereas I'm using the newer python module, but I implemented it the same way.)

  • It should be -all, and SPF by itself might not be enough. Commented May 24, 2019 at 14:35
  • Thanks @RuiFRibeiro, I've updated my DNS to have -all but I still get the SPF_NEUTRAL header
    – Chris
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 14:39
  • SPF by itself in the DNS is a "recommendation". You have to do the setup on your side for filtering too. I would have a look to DMARC also. Commented May 24, 2019 at 15:06
  • @RuiFRibeiro Thanks again! I have postfix running against the SPF check utility, and I have SpamAssassin running the SPF check. I've also set up DMARC to quarantine 100% of violations... still not working. absolutely no change in behavior. I'm not sure what else there is to set up?
    – Chris
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 15:23
  • How is the DMARC setup on the email server side? It is not enough to set it up on the DNS side. Commented May 24, 2019 at 15:30

1 Answer 1


I also find that spamassassin SPF implementation is "bizarre".... instead of postfix-policyd-spf-perl and postfix-policyd-spf-python that works perfectly.

For this reason I have

  1. configured postfix to first check SPF using postfix-policyd-spf-python, blocking everything that violates SPF rules

  2. then check mail content using spamassassin + its SPF rules


apt install postfix-policyd-spf-python

then edit file /etc/postfix/main.cf inserting the spf filtering before spamassassin (amavis in my case):

smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_mynetworks, permit_sasl_authenticated,  reject_unauth_destination, check_policy_service unix:private/policy-spf, check_policy_service inet:

and add the following line in /etc/postfix/master.cf

policy-spf  unix  -       n       n       -       -       spawn user=nobody argv=/usr/bin/policyd-spf

then restart postfix and everything will work as expected!

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