Mailing Lists

ID #283

How do I use Mailman's email interface?

Applies to: Grid System, Managed Servers, VPS

Each mailing list has addresses associated with it that provide extra functionality. Let's use the list name example-list as a sample and assume you host mydomain.com at Modwest. So, example-list@mydomain.com is the base address where you send an e-mail to post to the list. Here is a list of additional utility addresses:


  • example-list-join@mydomain.com or example-list-subscribe@mydomain.com

    Sending to this address allows someone to subscribe to your list. The e-mail alone is enough to subscribe. The subject and the body of the email is not utilized.


  • example-list-leave@mydomain.com or example-list-unsubscribe@mydomain.com

    This pair is simply the opposite of -join. People that send mail to this address will be removed from the list.


  • example-list-owner@mydomain.com

    Allows people to contact all the administrators of the list by using one address.


  • example-list-bounces@mydomain.com

    An internal address that Mailman uses when dealing with undeliverable mail or when responding to requests.


  • example-list-confirm@mydomain.com

    The address that deals with -join and -leave confirmations.


  • example-list-request@mydomain.com

    Allows you to run commands on your list via email. This is the address you would send to when requesting a subscriber listing. Here are the commands that you can send to -request:

    • confirm $confirmation_string

      If you received an e-mail from the list like a subscription confirmation, you could verify the subscription by sending . confirm [confirmation string]" to -request. The string is required.


    • end

      End tells Mailman to cease reading commands so that it doesn't process your signature file that your mail program may attach.


    • help

      Mailman will send you a copy of the help dialogue upon receiving the help command.


    • info

      This provides general information about the Mailman list.


    • set

      You can use set to change your settings via e-mail. Set help will give you a list of options that you can set. Set show returns your current configuration.



  • In the following commands, the $address in [address=$address] is your membership address if it is different from the one you are sending from. Arguments surrounded by brackets are optional. Anything with a dollar sign in front of it is variable and should be replaced by a value that is appropriate for your situation. These commands should be entered as the 'Subject' of the message being sent.

    • Password [$oldpassword $newpassword] [address=$address]

      Used alone, password will send your current password. With $oldpassword and $newpassword, it sets your new password if you correctly enter your old password.


    • Subscribe [$password] [digest | nodigest] [address=$address]

      You can subscribe to a mailing list with this command. $password is what the initial password will be. If it is not set, Mailman randomly generates a password. You can also pick if you would like to be a digest or non-digest member. Digest members receive a compilation of all correspondence in a day; Non-Digest members receive the messages as they arrive at the mailing list. Setting an $address in this command will invite that address to join the list.


    • unsubscribe $password [address=$address]

      Unsubscribe removes you from the list.


    • who $password [address=$address]

      This command displays the current membership roster of the list. The printout shows the address and name of each member. The roster is separated into non-digest and digest members. Using this command is a good way to procure yourself a copy of your subscribers for backup.




Last update: 2012-05-04 15:20
Author: FAQ Admin
Revision: 1.4

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