SWARPAnet is changing its mailing list software from majordomo to mailman. This means that all mailing lists on SWARPAnet domains (infersys.com, keyfitz.org, swil.org, etc) will become mailman lists. The reason for this change is simple: mailing list spam is a huge problem, both for the subscribers and for the list admins, and mailman has better tools for handling list spam in reasonable ways.
The primary interface mailman provides to each mailing list
is a web page. For the list
this page is located at:
https://www.example.com/mailman/listinfo/listnameIn many ways, the web interface is the most intuitive way to manage a list, especially if you are a list administrator and want to perform complex list-management tasks. However, mailman also has an e-mail interface which provides some commonly-used commands to list subscribers.
This document is a brief guide to how to do perform simple
list tasks via e-mail in the mailman world, and is designed for
people who are used to interacting with lists the majordomo
way. This document contains no further information about how
to use the mailman web interface, since that is somewhat
self-explanatory and is widely documented elsewhere. In this
guide, we use example.com as the example domain, and assume
that the list you are interested in is called
email@example.com. It should be clear how to
substitute the name of a real domain.
In particular, this document contains:
There are two important changes here. First, you need to know
what address to use in order to reach the mailing list software.
In the majordomo world, requests were sent to
firstname.lastname@example.org. In the mailman world,
requests go to an address specific to the list in question.
Normally, this address will be:
If you forget the address to use, look at the full headers
of any message sent to the list. Mailman messages contain a
block of headers with names starting with
which give meta-information. For instance:
List-Id: listname.example.com List-Unsubscribe: <https://www.example.com/mailman/listinfo/listname>, <mailto:email@example.com?subject=unsubscribe> List-Archive: <http://www.example.com/pipermail/listname> List-Post: <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> List-Help: <mailto:email@example.com?subject=help> List-Subscribe: <https://www.example.com/mailman/listinfo/listname>, <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=subscribe>In particular, the
List-Helpentry tells you the general address for list requests, and its name is
email@example.com, as above.
The second big change in sending e-mail to mailman is where to place the command. Unlike majordomo (which ignores the subject line entirely) mailman uses the subject line to figure out what command you want to run. So you would send a message with:
Subject: commandto run command, or possibly:
Subject: command argumentif the command takes an argument.
One good command to try is
help, which requires
no arguments and which gives you the list of commands you can
send to mailman via e-mail, including all the ones i describe
on this page.
Unlike majordomo, mailman has a password associated with each subscriber to a list. This password is mostly a mild anti-abuse mechanism --- it is not sent or stored securely, so do not use an important password here.
However, this means that, if you want information from a mailing list you're on, you need to know your password. (This is true for both the e-mail interface and the web interface.) If you forget it, go to the web interface and have it mailed to you. Note that the initial message mailman sends you when you successfully subscribe to a list contains your password, so, if you keep that message around, you will be able to look up the password whenever you want.
Once you have the password, how to use it depends on the command. However, the most common case is that the command will take the password as an argument on the subject line:
Subject: command passwordor, if there are other arguments,
Subject: command password argument
In order to subscribe to a list, send mail to the general help
address using the
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: subscribeIf you want to pick your password, you can specify it on the command line:
To: email@example.com Subject: subscribe mykickassl1stpassw0rd(If you do not specify a password, mailman will randomly generate one for you.) If you want to subscribe using an address other than the one from which you are sending your message, specify that using
From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: subscribe optionalpassword firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to unsubscribe from a list, send mail to the general
help address using the
To: email@example.com Subject: unsubscribeAs in the
subscribecase above, you can specify your password and/or your address. In this case, if you do not provide a password, mailman will send a confirmation e-mail to the address it is trying to unsubscribe.
In order to find out who is on a list via e-mail, use the
who command. This command requires a password:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: who mykickassl1stpassw0rdIf you're writing from an address other than the one which is subscribed to the list, you can use the
address=syntax described in the
subscribesection to tell mailman which list user you are.
We hope this helps. Much of this information is available elsewhere in one form or another, but this page is specific to SWARPAnet, so, if it is unclear, you can write us and ask. Happy mailing list use!
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Last updated on 2005-06-23 (Thu) at 23:28 EDT