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Wed, Oct 26, 2016 9:57 pm

Mailman mailing list commands

GNU Mailman provides a means to manage electronic mailing lists. The software is written primarily in Python and is free; it is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), which allows you to modify the code for the software, if you wish.

If your email address is in a Mailman mailing list, you can send an email message to the list with help in the subject or body of the email to get an email reply showing you the commands that you can put in email messages to the list. E.g., supposing that you are a member of a mailing list called "browncoats" on the server To see a list of the available commands supported by the Mailman mailing list handling email to that mailing list, you would send an email with help in the subject or body of the message to I.e., you would put the name of the mailing list, in this case "browncoats" followed by a dash and the word "request" as the email address to which you would be sending the command. If you put help in the body of the message, you don't need to specify a subject, but put help as the first line of the message with no other text on the line.

[ More Info ]

[/network/email/mailing_list/mailman] permanent link

Mon, Apr 27, 2015 11:30 pm

Mailman moderation bit

If you go to the membership management page for a Mailman mailing list, you will see a checkbox next to every member's address in a "mod" column and an option to "Set everyone's moderation bit, including those members not currently visible" near the bottom of the web page. If you check the mod checkbox next to the member's address, the list member will not be able to send messages to the list without the message being approved by the list owner or a moderator for the list.

When the box is checked for a member, postings from the member are held and administrators are notified of their existence. They may then approve or reject postings via the web interface. If unchecked postings to the list are immediately delivered to list membership.

If a list is to be used only for announcements from the list owner and designated moderators, then everyone else should have the box checked.

Note: Applies to Mailman 2.1.14 as well as other versions.


  1. GNU Mailman List Management Guide v 2.0
    GNU Mailman Documentation

[/network/email/mailing_list/mailman] permanent link

Sun, Jun 10, 2007 12:28 am

Mailman Mailing List Messages Arriving with Unwanted Attachment

I set up a Mailman mailing list for a family member. After I set up the list, she sent a message to the list. The message arrived with a .txt attachment, ATT00088.txt, that was 251 bytes in size. The attachment had only 3 lines. The first was the mailing list name, the next was the mailing list email address, and the last was the listinfo URL for the mailing list. She uses Outlook 2003 and this is apparently a problem that occurs with Mailman maling list messages received by Outlook users when a footer is added to messages, which is Mailman's default behavior. Apparently Mailman adds the footer as an attachment if the original message posted contains a message formatted in HTML MIME, or a text/plain MIME bodypart using a different character set than what Mailman would use for the footers.

To prevent the addition of a footer to messages, from the main mailman administration page for the list, I clicked on [Non-digest options] The text below appeared in the "Footer added to mail sent to regular list members" field.

%(real_name)s mailing list

The information listed has the following meaning.

msg_footer (nondigest): Footer added to mail sent to regular list members

Text appended to the bottom of every immediately-delivery message. This text can include Python format strings which are resolved against list attributes. The list of substitutions allowed are:

Since the list owner did not want any footer being sent with messages, I removed all of the text from that field.

I also went to the digest options page and for the "Header added to every digest" field, I removed all of the text in that field.


  1. [Mailman-Users] Why are footers sent as attachments?
    Posted: January 29, 2006
    The Mailman-Users Archives
  2. 4.39. HELP! Mailman is munging HTML & MIME-formatted messages before they are sent out? (problems with Mailman 2.1.x footers)
    Mailman FAQ Wizard

[/network/email/mailing_list/mailman] permanent link

Sun, Jun 10, 2007 12:15 am

Messages from Mailman Mailing List Appear From Listname-bounces

I set up a Mailman mailing list for a family member. When she receives messages from the list they are arriving with a "from" address of On Behalf Of", with "listname" being the name of the mailing list, followed by the sender's address. She uses Outlook 2003 and sees this as the "from" address, but when the same messages arrive in a Hotmail account, the "from" address is the sender's email address. This behavior is apparently due to the fact that Mailman creates, among other message headers, a "Sender" header of the form "Sender: listname-bounces@listdomain". Some email clients, such as Outlook will place the contents of that "sender" header in the "from" field when they display the message.

By default, most email clients don't display the message headers, but if you view the message headers for a message, you will see the "sender" header that Mailman adds. Viewing Message Headers in Outlook 2002 explains how to view those headers in Outlook


  1. Why do posts appear to be from
    Author: R. Skiver Thompson
    August 2004
    Frequently Asked Questions About Mailman
  2. Viewing Message Headers in Outlook 2002
    December 16, 2004
    MoonPoint Support

[/network/email/mailing_list/mailman] permanent link

Sun, May 20, 2007 11:30 pm

Mailman Not Sending Welcome Message

I'm using Mailman, the GNU Mailing List Manager for a new mailing list. After creating a new mailing list through the web interface for mailman, I created aliases in /etc/aliases, which are shown below, for the list and ran the command newaliases.

## book_nook mailing list
book_nook:              "|/var/mailman/mail/mailman post book_nook"
book_nook-admin:        "|/var/mailman/mail/mailman admin book_nook"
book_nook-bounces:      "|/var/mailman/mail/mailman bounces book_nook"
book_nook-confirm:      "|/var/mailman/mail/mailman confirm book_nook"
book_nook-join:         "|/var/mailman/mail/mailman join book_nook"
book_nook-leave:        "|/var/mailman/mail/mailman leave book_nook"
book_nook-owner:        "|/var/mailman/mail/mailman owner book_nook"
book_nook-request:      "|/var/mailman/mail/mailman request book_nook"
book_nook-subscribe:    "|/var/mailman/mail/mailman subscribe book_nook"
book_nook-unsubscribe:  "|/var/mailman/mail/mailman unsubscribe book_nook"

I then added an email address to the list with the option to send a welcome message checked. But the welcome message was never sent. After doing a little checking, I discovered I needed to create a crontab entry for mailman 1 .

On my RedHat Linux system, the file to be submitted for the cronjob is /var/mailman/cron/, but may be in /usr/local/mailman/cron on other systems 2

At the end of the file, I saw the following lines:

# At 3:27am every night, regenerate the gzip'd archive file.  Only
# turn this on if the internal archiver is used and
27 3 * * * /usr/bin/python -S /var/mailman/cron/nightly_gzip

There was no GZIP_ARCHIVE_TXT_FILES entry in /var/mailman/Mailman/, so I commented out the entry in Since I don't need to gate news from a news server to mail, I also commented out the entry for that function by putting a "#" in front of it.

# Every 5 mins, try to gate news to mail.  You can comment this one out
# if you don't want to allow gating, or don't have any going on right now,
# or want to exclusively use a callback strategy instead of polling.
0,5,10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50,55 * * * * /usr/bin/python -S /var/mailman/cron/gate_news

I then submitted the cronjob for mailman with crontab -u mailman /var/mailman/cron/


  1. [Mailman-Users] Not sending password reminders, subscription confirmations
    By Helmut Schneider
    July 13, 2006 Mailing Lists
  2. Mailman - a mailing list manager
    The FreeBSD Diary

[/network/email/mailing_list/mailman] permanent link

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