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If Declude stops working after a SM upgrade use these instructions to fix it
Problem reported by Linda Pagillo - 9/18/2021 at 9:48 AM
Submitted
@SmarterTools Team... Could you guys make this a sticky since a lot of SM users also use Declude? Thanks for your consideration. :)

Hey everyone. I have had a couple of reports of people experiencing issues with Declude not starting up after a SM upgrade. It was causing messages to get stuck in the Spool\proc directory because Declude was stopped and not processing messages. A description of the issue and the fix can be found here: https://know.mailsbestfriend.com/declude_will_not_run_with_smartermail_17x--16718783.shtml

I'm aware that this has been an issue since SM 17x was first released and I have posted this fix before, but since I received a few reports, I can see it is happening again. Even though you all have followed the instructions and set the mailConfig.xml to read-only so it will not get overwritten, it seems like that is no longer working and it is being renamed or deleted even though it was set to read-only. 

For example, I'm working with someone who was running 7914. He set his mailConfig.xml to read-only then he upgraded to 7929. He said his mailConfig.xml was deleted. He is not sure if it was from the uninstall of 7914 or the install of 7929.  He also said that he did not have this issue on his other SM servers which he upgraded from 7887 to 7929. So it is very possible that the mailConfig.xml was deleted by the uninstall of 7914.

I just wanted to give you guys a heads up just in case you experience the same issue.
Linda Pagillo
Mail's Best Friend
Email: linda.pagillo@mailsbestfriend.com
Web: www.mailsbestfriend.com
Authorized SmarterTools Reseller
Authorized Message Sniffer Reseller
 

27 Replies

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1
Martin Schaible Replied
I can confirm, that the file "mailConfig.xml" was deleted even if it's marked as read-only. I made this experience on two servers after update to build 7906.
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Ben Replied
Thanks for pointing this out.

Is there any progress on declude reloaded to solve this issue permanently?
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J. Dikkenberg Replied
Second what @Ben said, would love to hear where the progress of Declude Reloaded is at, and possible when it will be released.

For us it is the point when we will switch to the newest version of Smartermail too. 
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Martin Schaible Replied
Declude is "end-of-life" since years. So far i know, the development and maintenance of the product has stopped.

But anyway, the problem can be solved easy without using rocket science: After the update of SmarterMail, simply copy a saved "mailConfig.xml" to the directory and mark it read-only. You may automate this with a simple batch.

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echoDreamz Replied
At this point… I’m thinking declude is fully dead. 
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J. Dikkenberg Replied
@echoDreamz really? Is there a good alternative that you know of?
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Martin Schaible Replied
Declude works still very good, if you maintain your own filters and phrases.

Alternatives are the ususal suspects like SpamAssasin, Rspamd and many external services.
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David Barker Replied
@echoDreamz  Declude has reached its EOL but is not dead. It still works absolutely fine, not sure where you are getting your information from but you may want to check with the people who manage Declude namely Mail's Best Friend. Declude has been rebuilt from the ground up as DR (Declude Reboot) which is currently in Beta testing.
Email : david.barker@mailsbestfriend.com
Web : www.mailsbestfriend.com
Office : 866.919.2075
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echoDreamz Replied
DR has been in beta testing for quite a while now. Until I see proof of its existence, it’s vaporware.

In our environment, declude uses a TON of cpu resources, more than than the smartermail process itself does. Thanks mainly to all the regex matches. 
0
David Barker Replied
@echoDreamz criticism is easy. Any guy sporting a Fu Manchu wearing a baseball cap can do that. What we need is real feedback and help - which is beneficial to the entire community and gets DR out to users sooner. Would you be a beta tester for us? 
Email : david.barker@mailsbestfriend.com
Web : www.mailsbestfriend.com
Office : 866.919.2075
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echoDreamz Replied
I've been waiting for Linda to get back to me for well over a year on that. We certainly wouldnt mind giving it a go.

The main issue is the lack of communications about DR and even Declude, the declude page shows a last updated of 2020 (a year ago nearly, maybe not accurate?). As well, not a word about DR here, social media (that I could find), I havent received anything via email since the beginning of last year.
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Linda Pagillo Replied
@echoDreamz.. I checked and you are not following us on Twitter or Facebook and you are not a part of our MBF community list and have never asked us to add you. Our beta testing is currently a closed beta and not public. If you wanted to know you just needed to ask. Our goal is to work out as many of the kinks as we can before releasing a public beta. We want to make for the best experience with as few issues as possible. If you have the time and are serious about providing detailed feedback, problem reporting and feature requests, we are very happy to have you. We will reach out to you directly to talk about how you could contribute. 
Linda Pagillo
Mail's Best Friend
Email: linda.pagillo@mailsbestfriend.com
Web: www.mailsbestfriend.com
Authorized SmarterTools Reseller
Authorized Message Sniffer Reseller
 
0
echoDreamz Replied
Linda, my username here doesn’t reflect anything business related. I’ll DM you. 
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Linda Pagillo Replied
Thanks!
Linda Pagillo
Mail's Best Friend
Email: linda.pagillo@mailsbestfriend.com
Web: www.mailsbestfriend.com
Authorized SmarterTools Reseller
Authorized Message Sniffer Reseller
 
0
J. Dikkenberg Replied
@Linda Pagillo I am on your community mailinglist, but I did never get an update about the status of Declude Reboot. Would you  mind posting an ETA or status update here for all of us?
1
Martin Schaible Replied
@echoDreamz: You can avoid high CPU load with clever design of your rules.

Mostly the rule-files doesn't check if a previous filter has triggered or not. Therefore not needed tests will be made which causes a CPU load. A check for already given points is the key to low cpu load.

I run the different fien granulated tests in around 190 small rule files, created for specific themes. In the first lines of each file a "testFailed" command checks the actual situation and leaves the file, if possible.

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Linda Pagillo Replied
@J.Dikkenberg... DR is currently in private beta testing. We have a meeting with our devs on Friday late afternoon. I will post a DR status update by the following Monday. Thanks for your patience :)
Linda Pagillo
Mail's Best Friend
Email: linda.pagillo@mailsbestfriend.com
Web: www.mailsbestfriend.com
Authorized SmarterTools Reseller
Authorized Message Sniffer Reseller
 
0
echoDreamz Replied
Martin, I have a ton of other things to do than going and designing rules for Declude :)
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J. Dikkenberg Replied
@Linda Pagillo
Great! Let the community know what it is exactly.

I am specifically interested in:
- How it is integrated with Smartermail 
- How easy it is to use and test
- What it exactly does
- What it can handle under heavy load
- If it has an API or webhook functionality 

Maybe it is feature complete but I would love to be able to run Declude on existing mail to test the rules, maybe from the Webmail.
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ActorMike Replied
Same thing happened to me! The read only
mailConfig.xml file got deleted. Fortunately had a backup copy of it. This workaround has been fine for 2 years.
4
Linda Pagillo Replied
Hey everyone! We met with our devs on Friday and there are a few more things that need to happen before we can make DR a public beta. With that being said, we do not have an ETA for public beta at this time.

@EchoDreamz... I will be reaching out to you later today via email about the status of your beta.

@J. Dikkenberg... To answer your questions...

- How it is integrated with SmarterMail

DR is a brand new program built from the ground up and we are very pleased to say that is it cross-platform! We have different modules to integrate with the different MTAs out there (SmarterMail, Postfix etc...)

- How easy it is to use and test

Currently, DR text file based so it is easy to install and manage. As for testing, we are working on putting together a default configuration file set to make testing easier. DR is a very powerful and robust
program and the configuration options are basically endless so we want to give everyone something to start with that makes sense and will be effective.

- What it exactly does

DR will perform anti spam and antivirus checks just as any anti-spam system. It works with a weighting system just as the current Declude does. The more important aspect of DR is it provides the administrator the ability to control and manage the flow of emails, traffic and can run any kind of test for any purpose the administrator may have. We like to call it EPIC the (Email Processing Integration Center).

- What it can handle under heavy load

DR is lightweight and is designed to handle anything that the hardware can handle. Load will not be an issue.

- If it has an API or webhook functionality

No, DR does not have an API or webhook as of yet. However, we developed DR in a way which will allow others to build their own custom modules for it if they like. 

Please let me know if you have further questions. Thanks.
Linda Pagillo
Mail's Best Friend
Email: linda.pagillo@mailsbestfriend.com
Web: www.mailsbestfriend.com
Authorized SmarterTools Reseller
Authorized Message Sniffer Reseller
 
1
J. Dikkenberg Replied
Linda many thanks for answering all the questions we had, I am sure we are going to like it!
1
Linda Pagillo Replied
My pleasure J!
Linda Pagillo
Mail's Best Friend
Email: linda.pagillo@mailsbestfriend.com
Web: www.mailsbestfriend.com
Authorized SmarterTools Reseller
Authorized Message Sniffer Reseller
 
2
Heimir Eidskrem Replied
Our mailconfig.xml got deleted too.
We have been using Declude since Scott first made it.
Looking forward to the next chapter of Declude.


1
Ben Replied
Looks like even a smartermail service restart also deletes the mailconfig.xml file 😩

SM Service crashed earlier, auto restarted, but then everything was stuck in the spool for 6 hours until I noticed!

I assumed declude only reads in the file once on startup, does it continuously check it?
0
ActorMike Replied
Same here, if the SM service is restarted, it deletes the mailconfig.xml  file! It did not used to do this.
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Ben Replied
To answer my own question, server did a windows update, xml was renamed, but naming it back without a service restart was enough to get mail flowing again.

I guess just setting up a scheduled task to run every minute renaming the file back should be enough?

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