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What means the error: config: no configuration text or files found! do you need to run sa-update?

Question / Problem

Sa-update fails with the following message, what can I do?
config: no configuration text or files found! do you need to run 'sa-update'?
check: no loaded plugin implements 'check_main': cannot scan!
Check the necessary '.pre' files are in the config directory.

Answer / Solution

The path to rules and/or config dir is invalid. Make sure you run the executable (spamd.exe, spamassassin.exe, ...) from their main directory instead of specifying an absolute path to run.