spamd-setup gives 404

spamd-setup gives 404

spamd is a wonderfully simple but amazingly effective spam fighting tool.
It originated with the OpenBSD project.
I’ve been using it since early 2007. This short post documents a situation
I’ve seen a few people encounter lately.


spamd-setup is usually run on a regular basis via cron. It can be used
to download various lists of spam sources. The OpenBSD
website has a number of available lists. Sometimes lists go away. Sometimes
new lists come into being..

The symptom

Not so long ago, I started seeing message like this:

From: (Cron Daemon)
Subject: Cron /usr/local/sbin/spamd-setup
X-Cron-Env: X-Cron-Env:
Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 01:48:03 +0000 (GMT)

ftp: Error retrieving file – `404 Not Found’
ftp: Error retrieving file – `404 Not Found’

This is the output from the cronjob which invokes spamd-setup.
From what you can see, two lists are not being retrieved. But
which two?

Which list is it?

Let’s run things in debug mode with a dry run and see what we get:

# /usr/local/sbin/spamd-setup -nd
blacklist uatraps 51165 entries
blacklist nixspam 40000 entries
ftp: Error retrieving file - `404 Not Found'
blacklist spamhaus 0 entries
ftp: Error retrieving file - `404 Not Found'
blacklist spews1 0 entries

That’s pretty clear. SBL and SPEWS are not there. /usr/local/etc/spamd.conf
contains the problem lines:


Changing it to this solves the problem:


There are other such lists availble at the OpenBSD website, but
those are the two I use.

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