Mailman - Frequently Asked Questions

Mailman FAQ

  1. What is Mailman?
     
  2. I get a security/certificate warning when going to the Mailman site. How do I import the certificate?
     
  3. How do I request a Mailman email list?
     
  4. What does the Mailman interface look like?
     
  5. When will my list expire?
     
  6. How do I login to the administrative interface?
     
  7. How do I see all of the publicly advertised lists?
     
  8. How can people subscribe to the list?
     
  9. What is the difference between a list administrator and moderator?
     
  10. How do I change the administrator or moderator password?
     
  11. How do I add or remove people from the list?
     
  12. How do I make the list hidden from the listinfo page?
     
  13. How do I discard all [spam-high] marked messages before they are held for approval?
     
  14. How do I allow everyone with a @mines.edu address send to the list but discard messages sent from a non-Mines address?
     
  15. How do I allow everyone with a @mines.edu address send to the list but hold messages sent from a non-Mines address?
     
  16. How do I allow anyone with an @mines.edu address to send messages to the list without approval?
     
  17. How do I allow anyone to send to the list?
     
  18. What are the options under the Membership List?
     
  19. How do I know my emails are being sent to the list?
     
  20. We have someone that should be able to send to the list but should not be a member of the list. How can we allow them to send to the list without them being moderated?
     
  21. I am a list moderator and/or administrator but my posts are being held for approval. Why?
     
  22. List member's postings are being held for approval. How can I allow members on the list to send emails to the list without being moderated?
     
  23. How can I get a list of subscribers emailed to me, the list administrator?
     
  24. What will list members see in the From field when they get a message sent to a Mailman list?
     
  25. When list members reply to a message, who does it go to?
     
  26. I am list administrator for multiple lists. Can the passwords be the same?
     
  27. Where do I add/change/remove list moderators or administrators?
     
  28. Why do I get bounces with "Reason: too many recipients?"
     
  29. Why do I get bounces with "Reason: Message has implicit destination?"
     
  30. Why do I get bounces with "Reason: Message body is too big?"
     
  31. I will be going on vacation (or leaving Mines). What should I do to keep the list maintained?
     
  32. Some of the attachments being sent to the list are being stripped or not being delivered with the posting.
     
  33. How long are messages pending moderator approval held in the queue?
     
  34. Are spam filter accounts available for existing Mailman lists?

  35. I am a list admin/moderator and have received a message with one or more of USER UNKNOWN or Subscription Disabled messages. What does this mean?

 

  1. What is Mailman?
    According to http://www.gnu.org/software/mailman/index.html, Mailman is free software for managing electronic mail discussion and e-newsletter lists. Mailman is integrated with the web, making it easy for users to manage their accounts and for list owners to administer their lists. Mailman supports built-in archiving, automatic bounce processing, content filtering, digest delivery, spam filters and more.
     
  2. I get a security/certificate warning when going to the Mailman site. How do I import the certificate?
    CCIT is using a self signed certificate for encrypting traffic between you and the Mailman server. This warning is normal. It is safe to import the certificate into your browser's trusted sites or accept the certificate permanently to avoid seeing this warning in the future. In Firefox you can accept the certificate permanently. In Windows XP using Internet Explorer 7 you will need to do the following.

When the "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" page appears, click on "Continue to this website." You will see a pink box with "Certificate Error" and a red shield with an X in it. Click on the shield, then "View certificates" and click on Install certificate. This may bring up the Certificate Wizard. If so, click on Next, then choose "Place all certificates in the following store,"browse and choose "Trusted Root Certificate Authorities" and click OK, NEXT and, finally, FINISH. You will see a security warning. Click YES, click OK and one more OK to close the View Certificate window.

The next time you connect to Mailman, the site will be trusted.

  1. How do I request a Mailman e-mail list?
    After reading the CCIT Mailing List and Mail Alias Guidelines, a list can be requested by sending an e-mail to postmaster at mines.edu. Lists must be requested by a Faculty or Staff member using their @mines.edu or @is.mines.edu account and must contain the following information.  Requests that do not contain each of the following will be rejected.  There should be no more than five (5) list administrators and moderators combined and be valid @mines or @mymail addresses.  The list administrators will be solely responsible for day-to-day operation of the list including managing list membership.  Lists that are not maintained properly will be disabled.

* The name of the list, lower case without spaces.

* The list administrator's Mines email address. This will be the main person in charge of the list and they will need to set a moderator password and add additional moderators or administrators.  Lists hosted on Mailman must have list administrators and moderators with valid Mines e-mail addresses.  Addresses that contain non-Mines e-mail addresses will be removed without notice.  Lists without a current Mines faculty, staff, or student as a list administrator will be removed without notice.

* A short and descriptive list name.

* A longer description of the list, which must be more descriptive than the name or the request will be rejected.

* Prefix line for postings -- what will be displayed on subject line?   example  [faculty-announce]

  1. What does the Mailman interface look like?
    Check out the sample screenshots.PDF versionText only version
     
  2. When will my list expire?
    Lists have a two year expiration. On the expire date, the list administrator/s will receive an email warning that the list is about to expire; lists can be renewed at that time. This expiration is needed to clear out old and forgotten lists that are no longer being used.
  1. How do I login to the administrative interface?
    http://mailman.mines.edu/mailman/admin/listname, replacing listname with the name of your list.
     
  2. How do I see all of the publicly advertised lists?
    See the Mines Mailman Lists page.
     
  3. How can people subscribe to the list?
    Start at the Mailman List Name page and follow the subscription instructions. A confirmation email may be sent and/or moderator approval may be required.
     
  4. What is the difference between a list administrator and moderator?
    There are two ownership roles associated with each mailing list.

    The list administrators have ultimate control over all parameters of a given mailing list. They are able to change any list configuration variable available through the administration web pages.
    The list moderators have more limited permissions; they are not able to change any list configuration variable but they are allowed to tend to pending administration requests, including approving or rejecting held subscription requests, and disposing of held postings.

    Of course, the list administrators can also tend to pending requests.
     
  5. How do I change the administrator or moderator password?
    Clicking on the Passwords option within the administrative interface will allow you to access this function.
     
  6. How do I add or remove people from the list?
    To add list members:
    Start at Membership Management
    Go to Mass subscription
    Add one address per line
    Submit the changes

    To remove list members:
    Start at Membership Management
    Find the member's name and click on "Unsub"
    Submit your changes

    Users can also subscribe or unsubscribe to the list by sending an email to LISTNAME-subscribe@mailman.mines.edu or LISTNAME-unsubscribe@mailman.mines.edu to unsubscribe. Depending on the list's configuration, the list administrator may need to approve such requests before they become active.
     
  7. How do I hide the list from the listinfo page?
    Begin at Privacy Options
    Subscription Rules
    Advertise this list...

    Select (Yes) or (No) and submit changes.
     
  8. How do I discard all [spam-high] marked messages before they are held for approval?
    Begin at Privacy Options
    Go to Spam Filters
    Use the following, exactly, in a Spam Filter rule.
    ^Subject: \[spam-high\]
    The preferred action is Discard
    Finally, click Submit.
     
  1. How do I allow everyone with a @mines.edu address send to the list but discard messages sent from a non-Mines address?
    Note: This configuration will also allow any spoofed @mines.edu address to be automatically accepted to the list. Unfortunately this is not a rare event. Please understand the consequence before configuring your list in this fashion.

    Begin at Privacy Options
    Go to Spam Filters
    Use the following, exactly, in a Spam Filter rule.
    from: .*@.*\.mines\.edu
    from: .*@mines\.edu
    sender: .*@.*\.mines\.edu
    sender: .*@mines\.edu

    Action - Accept

    Create a second Spam Filter rule with the following:
     .*
    Action - Discard

    Click on Privacy Options
    Then Sender Filters
    Add the following to the List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted.
    ^.*@mines.edu
    ^.*@is.mines.edu
    And submit your changes.
     
  2. How do I allow everyone with a @mines.edu address send to the list but hold messages sent from a non-Mines address?
    Note: This configuration will also allow any spoofed @mines.edu address to be automatically accepted to the list. Unfortunately this is not a rare event. Please understand the consequence before configuring your list in this fashion.

    Begin at Privacy Options
    Go to Spam Filters
    Use the following, exactly, in a Spam Filter rule.
    from: .*@.*\.mines\.edu
    from: .*@mines\.edu
    sender: .*@.*\.mines\.edu
    sender: .*@mines\.edu

    Action - Accept

    Create a second Spam Filter rule with the following:
     .*
    Action - HOLD

    Click on Privacy Options
    Then Sender Filters
    Add the following to the List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted.
    ^.*@mines.edu
    ^.*@is.mines.edu
    Submit the changes
  1. How do I allow anyone with an @mines.edu address to send messages to the list without approval?
    Note: This configuration will also allow any spoofed @mines.edu address to be automatically accepted to the list. Unfortunately this is not a rare event. Please understand the consequence before configuring your list in this fashion.

    Click on Privacy Options
    Then Sender Filters
    Add the following to the List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted.
    ^.*@mines.edu
    ^.*@is.mines.edu
     
  2. How do I allow anyone to send to the list?
    Note: This configuration will allow anyone in the world to send to the list. This includes spammers.

    Click on Privacy Options
    Then Sender Filters
    Add the following to the List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted.
    ^.*
     
  3. What are the options under the Membership List?
  • A copy of the legend is available online and shown below:
  • unsub -- Click on this to unsubscribe the member.
  • mod -- The user's personal moderation flag. If this is set, postings from them will be moderated, otherwise they will be approved.
  • hide -- Is the member's address concealed on the list of subscribers?
  • nomail -- Is delivery to the member disabled? If so, an abbreviation will be given describing the reason for the disabled delivery:

U -- Delivery was disabled by the user via their personal options page.
A -- Delivery was disabled by the list administrators.
B -- Delivery was disabled by the system due to excessive bouncing from the member's address.
? -- The reason for disabled delivery isn't known. This is the case for all memberships which were disabled in older versions of Mailman.

  • ack -- Does the member get acknowledgments of their posts?
  • not metoo -- Does the member want to avoid copies of their own postings?
  • nodupes -- Does the member want to avoid duplicates of the same message?
  • digest -- Does the member get messages in digests? (otherwise, individual messages)
  • plain -- If getting digests, does the member get plain text digests? (otherwise, MIME)
  • language -- Language preferred by the user
  1. How do I know my emails are being sent to the list?
    Subscribe yourself to the list and send a test email; if the list is working properly you will receive the test message.
     
  2. We have someone that should be able to send to the list but should not be a member of the list. How can we allow them to send to the list without them being moderated?
    Privacy Options -> Sender Filters -> List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted -> Add one address per line -> Submit changes.
     
  3. I am a list moderator and/or administrator but my posts are being held for approval. Why?
    Add yourself as a member of the list with the moderation flag turned off: in Membership Management, search for your name, uncheck the MOD column and save changes. If you do not wish to be a member of the list, add your email address to be automatically accepted under Privacy Options -> Sender Filters -> List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted.
     
  4. List member's postings are being held for approval. How can I allow members on the list to send emails to the list without being moderated?
    Membership Management, look to see if Mod is checked
    If it is, uncheck and Submit

    To clear all list members moderation bit:
    Choose Off under Set everyone's moderation bit, including those members not currently visible and Submit

    Newly subscribed list members may be moderated by default. If you would like to enable all new members to post messages without being moderated:
    Privacy Options -> Sender Filters ->
    By Default, should new list member postings be moderated.
     
  5. How can I get a list of subscribers emailed to me, the list administrator?
    This is helpful if the list of subscribers  is long and the web interface is a tedious way to list members. Send an email to LISTNAME-request@mailman.mines.edu, use your list's name and not LISTNAME, with only the following in the body of the message:

    who LIST_PASSWORD

    Note:
    LIST_PASSWORD should be replaced with the list administrative password.
     
  6. What will list members see in the From field when they get a message sent to a Mailman list?
    The email address configured in your email client: typically your email address.
     
  7. When list members reply to a message, who does it go to?
    When replying to a message sent to a list the reply will be sent, by default, to the original sender of the message. This action can be changed:
    General Options
    Where are replies to list messages directed. "Message poster" is the default. Changing this option to "This list" or "Explicit Address" will redirect replies. If you use "Explicit Address," be sure to also list the address under the "Explicit Reply-To: Header" section directly below. If the reply is sent to "reply to all" within the email client, both the recipient and the list will be replied to.
     
  8. I am list administrator for multiple lists. Can the passwords be the same?
    If you wish, yes. CCIT suggests using different moderator passwords because duties are usually shared among a larger number of individuals. Administrator passwords control every function of a list; moderator passwords have more restricted access.
     
  9. How do I add/change/remove list moderators or administrators?
    List administrators or moderators can be updated by the current list administrator to transfer ownership of a list to another administrator or to change who is responsible for moderating the list. When someone is added to either administrator or moderator role, you must also transfer password and login information to that person. Note: This is not automatically done by Mailman and is the current list administrator's responsibility.

    Modifying moderators or administrators can be done in General Options under "The list administrator email addresses" and "The list moderator email addresses."
     
  10. Why do I get bounces with "Reason: too many recipients?"
    An email was sent to the list with a large number of other recipients in the To: or CC: fields. An example would be if you sent an email message to thirty addresses with the email list being one of them. This has no relation to how many people are on the list. Mailman lists can contain thousands of members. To avoid this message, reduce the amount of people the initial email is sent to (in the To: or CC: fields) or send the email to only the list itself. If you still need to post to the list with a large number of recipients in the To: or CC: fields, the maximum setting of recipients will need to be increased. The default Mailman recipient limit is 10. To change this to a higher number, go to Privacy Options -> Recipient Filters, and increase the max_num_recipients. Think before changing this default setting. Most people on your list will not want to see a large number of visible addresses in a mailing list post.
     
  11. Why do I get bounces with "Reason: Message has implicit destination?"
    The email message sent to the list did not have the list in the To: or CC: fields. This is common if someone sends to the list but includes the it's address in a BCC field instead of  in the To: or CC field. The require_explicit_destination option can be changed in the Recipient filters tab under Privacy.
     
  12. Why do I get bounces with "Reason: Message body is too big?"
    The email message sent to the list is too large. This usually happens when the message contains an attachment that is larger than the allowed message body size. The message body size limit can be changed in General Options under "Maximum length in kilobytes (KB) of a message body. Use 0 for no limit." The default is 40k. It is not recommended that you use disable this feature, by setting the value to 0, since sending large attachments may cause users to go over quota.
     
  13. I will be going on vacation (or leaving Mines). What should I do to keep the list maintained?
    Be sure that the list has at least one other list administrator that will be able to maintain the list during your absence. You will need to add the new list administrator, #27, and provide them with the list administrator's password. If they are to be a temporary list administrator, you may wish to change the administrator password prior to revealing that information to a temporary administrator, see #10.
     
  14. Some of the attachments being sent to the list are being stripped or not being delivered with the posting.
    You have content filtering enabled for this attachment type. Use the Content Filtering section and add the correct mime type for the attachment being stripped to the pass_mime_type area. As an example, if your PDF document attachment is being stripped, add application/pdf to the pass_mime_type box and submit your changes. PDF attachments will now be allowed to the list. If you wish, all content filtering may be disabled for your list by choosing No in the Filter Content area.
     
  15. How long are messages pending moderator approval held in the queue?
    Messages are automatically removed after seven days. Messages marked as spam-high that are pending moderator approval may be automatically removed at any time.
     
  16. Are spam filter accounts available for existing Mailman lists?
    The list administrator may request a spam filter quarantine account by submitting a request to the Mines Help Center. The spam filter daily summary will be mailed to the list administrator requesting the spam filter quarantine account.
     
  17. I am a list admin/moderator and have received a message with one or more of USER UNKNOWN or Subscription Disabled messages.
    The list is set to warn the administrator whenever a subscription is disabled.  All of the people you see listed are members of the list but have invalid e-mail addresses or have multiple bounced messages during previous list posts which caused their subscription to be disabled.  If you want to disable notices, login to the list then click Bounce Processing and change "Should Mailman notify you, the list owner, when bounces cause a member to be unsubscribed?" to NO then click Save Changes.  Whenever a subscription is disabled due to having a bad e-mail address you will no longer be notified.  Those people will automatically be removed from the list every month or so.