Review List Configuration


Once you have a list setup, we encourage your to review its configuration. In general new mailing lists are setup a discussion lists which allows any subscriber to post messages to the list. Depending on the intended purposes the list owner has for the list this may, or may not be appropriate. Reviewing the list's configuration settings before manually adding members, or advertising the list is available allows opportunity to ensure everything is working as the list owner expects. A detailed description of the many Mailman List Configuration Options is available for further reading.

In this article:

What materials do I need?

  • A web browser
  • The Mailing list name

How do I use this technology?

Access List Admin Site

To review your list's configuration settings, go to the List's admin page.

  1. Open a Web browser and go to, where listname is the name of the mailing list for which you are the owner.
  2. Enter your administrator password into the List Administrator Password field, and then click Let me in...

    Mailman 2 List Administrator Login page


Once you are logged on to the List's administration site, you should see the Configuration Categories at the top of the page.

Mailman List Administration General Options section

Browse through each of the available configuration sections to become familiar with the configuration options. Click on each option for more information. The Mailman List Configuration Options knowledge article provides additional information.


Review General Options

Once you've familiarized yourself, you'll want to make sure to set a few values that will make the list more welcoming new new subscribers, and easier for list owners and moderators to maintain. These options are found in the General Options sections of the list's administration site.

  1. Click General Options.
  2. Under the Notifications section locate the welcome_msg field.
    1. Enter text that will be added to the generic welcome message that Mailman can send to all new subscribers.
    2. Just below the welcome_msg field locate the send_welcome_msg radio box and select either No or Yes. This will tell Mailman whether or not to send the lists welcome message to new subscribers.
  3. Locate the goodbye_msg field.
    1. Enter text that will be added to the generic message that Mailman can send to individuals that choose to leave the list.
    2. Just below the goodbye_msg field locate the send_goodbye_msg radio box, and select either No or Yes. This will tell Mailman whether or not to send the list's goodbye message to people leaving the list.
  4. Locate the admin_immed_notify field.
    1. Decide if list moderators should be notified about pending requests immediately, or sent a daily summary. Select the desired option.
      • No: Send daily summary notices
      • Yes: Send immediate notices for each request
  5. Locate the admin_notify_mchanges field.
    1. Decide if list administrator's should be notified when people subscribe, or unsubscribe to the list.
      • No: Do not send subscribe/unsubscribe notices
      • Yes: Send subscribe/unsubscribe notices
  6. When completed scroll to the bottom of the page.
  7. Click Submit Your Changes to save.


Review Privacy options

Mailman has several privacy options available that can make managing lists. For example, you could allow anyone with an email address to subscribe, and deny anyone external to the University of Alaska from joining.

  1. At the top of the list's admin site click Privacy options...
  2. Under the Subscribing section.
    1. In the advertised field decide if the list should be advertised on the Mailman server's public page of available lists.
      • No: Hide the list
      • Yes: Do not hide the list
    2. In the subscribe_policy decide if how subscription to the list should be managed.
      • Confirm: Sends an email message to the subscribers address with directions to finalize their membership.
      • Require approval: Sends an email message to list owner who must approve the request to join the mailing list.
      • Confirm and approve: Sends both a confirmation message to the subscriber, and requires the list owner/moderator to approve the request before the person is added to the list's membership.
    3. In the subscribe_auto_approval field you can set rules to manage who can subscribe to the list. See the Use Regular Expressions with Mailing Lists article for some ideas.
  3. If the list will have individuals/departments that routinely send messages to the list that are not themselves subscribers you'll want do add these addresses to the allow list.
    1. At the top of the list's admin site click Sender filters.
    2. Under Non-member filters locate accept_these_nonmembers.
    3. Enter the email address that the message(s) will be coming form, one per line.
  4. When completed scroll to the bottom of the page.
  5. Click Submit Your Changes to save.


Subscribe Yourself

When a new Mailman list is created there are no members (the only exception are Dynamic Mailing lists) subscribed, not even the individual who requested the list will not be automatically added. If the list owner/administrator wants to receive the messages that are sent to the list they will need to be added. For detailed directions on how to manage the list's membership please review the Mailman Guide for List Administrators - Membership Management article. It is not a requirement for list owners/administrators to be subscribed; however, keep in mind that it is possible, and in some cases desirable, to configure lists to only allow subscribers to post messages. In this case if the list owner attempts to post a message to the list it will not be accepted.


Get Subscribers

Once you've reviewed the list's settings you'll need subscribers. How the list acquires them will depend on the purpose of the list. If its for a small group of people, then you can probably them them directly, email them, or add them yourself. If the list is intended for a larger audience, you might want to advertise your list on a webpage, a news letter, etc.

Subscribers will generally want to know the following information:

  • Name of the list
  • Purpose of the list
  • Restrictions on the use of the list
  • How to subscribe
  • How to unsubscribe

Need additional help or have issues

For support, requests may be submitted anytime by Requesting Support for the Mailing List service. Support Requests are worked by Priority based on the Impact and Urgency of need as well as the order they are received by the IT Employees with the knowledge and permissions to assist with the request.

For immediate assistance please review the Contact Us page for ways to contact the appropriate support group.

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Article ID: 307
Thu 9/17/20 10:54 AM
Wed 5/24/23 8:49 AM

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