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UBC Mathematics: MathNet FAQ [Manage Mailing List]

UBC Mathematics: MathNet FAQ [Manage Mailing List]

Question: How do I manage the mailing list?
Author: Joseph Tam
Date: Sept. 9, 2004

A mailing list is managed via commmands Emailed to an address processed by the mailing list software (Majordomo). It is assumed you've requested a mailing list to be created on your behalf and received the necessary information particular to your mailing list. Otherwise, read

How do I set up a mailing list?

After the IT staff have created the mailing list for you, you will be given two key pieces of information:

  1. The mailing list name: in this page, it is assumed to be mlist. Substitute this value with the name of your particular mailing list. Naturally, the mailing list submission address will be
  2. A password: to do any administrative function, you will have to supply this password. For illustrative purposes, the password in this set of instructions is xxxyyy -- substitute this value with the password given to you.

To manage your mailing list, enter your commands in the body of a message (the Subject: header is ignored) and send them to

Here are the most common commands (literal commands will be in this typeface and subsituted values will be in this typeface:

  • Add an Email address to the mailing list:
    approve xxxyyy subscribe mlist
    approve xxxyyy subscribe mlist Minnie Mouse <>
  • Delete an Email address from the mailing list:
    approve xxxyyy unsubscribe mlist
  • Get the membership of a mailing list:
    approve xxxyyy who mlist
  • Change mailing list password:
    passwd mlist xxxyyy newpass
  • Get more information about using Majordomo:

You may put multiple commands in a message (e.g. subscribing many members at once). The end command is used to finish processing, as some mail readers may append your signature to the bottom of your message which may cause an error.

The mailing list owner receives notifications by Email when

  • Mailing list is reconfigured.
  • Confirming subscription/unsubscription requests (if the list does not have an open subscription policy).
  • A message needs approval (if the list is moderated).
  • A message is rejected from an unknown address (if list has members-only submission policy).
  • Message is rejected due to size (if their is a maximum size policy).
  • Recipient bounce message: if Email could not be delivered.