Mailman FAQs

About Mailman

Where do I request a Mailman list?

You can request a Mailman list by filling out the List Request Form and selecting Mailman List. You have the option of a either a ‘moderated’ or ‘list members only’ list. All messages sent to moderated lists need to be approved by the list administrator. For 'list member only' lists any subscriber of the list may send messages to the list. Messages from non-subscribers must be approved by a moderator or administrator.

Who is eligible to create a Mailman list?

Anyone with an email address may request the creation of a Mailman list.

Can people who don’t have Yale email addresses subscribe to my list? Can they be administrators or moderators?

Yes and yes. Anyone, regardless of affiliation, can subscribe or be added as an administrator or moderator of a list.

I requested a list a couple of days ago and I haven’t received anything regarding my request or the lists yet. Who should I contact?

Please check any mail filters and spam folder to make sure the information regarding your request made it through. If you don’t find a confirmation of your list request being processed, please contact

General Questions

Why doesn’t my list appear on the main Mailman page?

If you would like your list to appear on the public page, you will need to log into the administrator interface and change the list’s privacy settings. After logging in, click “Privacy Options”, change the answer to “Advertise this list when people ask what lists are on this machine?” to “Yes”, and hit “Submit Your Changes.”

What is the difference between a list administrator and a list moderator?

List administrators have complete control over all settings of a given list. List moderators may only respond to pending list requests, including approving or rejecting held subscription requests, and approving or rejecting messages held for moderation.

How do I transfer ownership of a Mailman list?

You can transfer a Mailman list via the General Options section of the list administrator interface. Adding a new administrator and removing yourself will transfer the ownership of the list.

Can I keep a history of all messages sent to my list?

You can turn on message archiving under Archiving Options in the administrator interface. You have the option of making the archives public or private.

Subscriber settings

Can I view the subscriber list on a single page?

This method can help you export the list of email addresses.

  1. Log in to the admin site:
  2. Change the url to go to the roster page:

By default, email addresses are obscured (with the word "at" instead of "@"). If you would like to disable this, Go to "Privacy Options" => "Subscription Rules" and set "obscure addresses" to "no".

How do I add members to my list?

Once you log into the administrator interface, click on “Membership Management” -> “Mass Subscription”. You may then add one or more email addresses to subscribe or invite, with one email address per line.Subscribing adds the addresses immediately, while inviting sends a message (which you may customize) to the addresses, inviting them to subscribe

Can people subscribe themselves to my list?

The simplest way for the administrator to allow people to sign themselves up to the mailman list is to send people to your listinfo page, such as ""

The simplest way for your members may be to embed the signup form in your website. You can also use the following line of code to to so, if you have access to put HTML directly on your website. Just replace "GROUPNAME" with the name of your mailman list. 

<form action="" method="POST"> E-mail: <input name="email" /><input type="submit" value="Sign Me Up!" /> </form>

On Google Sites, this code can be put in an "HTML Block".

By default, the moderator has to approve every signup. If you don't want to deal with that, you can disable it under “Privacy Options” => “Subscription Rules” => "subscribe_policy“ set to ”Require Approval"

Where can I subscribe to or unsubscribe from a Mailman list?

If you know the list name, you can subscribe or unsubscribe by visiting the list’s general information page: If the list administrator has made this a closed list, your subscription request will need to be approved before you begin to receive any list messages.

Privacy Settings

Can anyone (subscribers and non-subscribers) send messages to a Mailman list?

As a list administrator, you can set several filters to moderate any list postings. These can be found under “Privacy options” in the administrator interface. By default, postings by list members are not moderated.

What happens when a message is held for approval?

By default, non-members and moderated list subscribers who send messages to the list have their messages held for approval. List administrators and moderators will receive an automated email listing held messages. You can see held messages and other requests here: Alternatively, posts by non-members and moderated list subscribers can be automatically rejected or discarded. These privacy options can be found in “Sender filters” under “Privacy options”. Administrators can include their own text in the rejection notice. Notifications are not sent to senders when their message is discarded.

My list is receiving lots of unsolicited messages. How do I prevent this from happening?

If your list is receiving lots of unwanted messages, you can turn on emergency moderation from the “General options” page in the administrator interface, which will temporarily hold all messages sent to the list until they are approved by an administrator or moderator.If you are receiving unsolicited messages from specific addresses, you can add them to the lists of non-member addresses whose postings will be held for moderation, automatically rejected, or automatically discarded. These settings can be found in “Sender filters” under “Privacy options”.

Can I open my list so anyone can send messages to it?

You can open your list so anyone who knows the name of the list can send mail to it. This would only be appropriate if you have few subscribers.

Under "Sender Filters" in "Privacy Options..." you can change the option "Action to take for postings from non-members for which no explicit action is defined" to "Accept".

Can I selectively allow individuals to send messages to my list even if they are not subscribed?

You can specify non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted under “Non-member filters” in “Privacy options”

If you would like your list open to all members of the Yale community, you should add ^.* to the list of non-member addresses. This would only be appropriate if you have few subscribers.

I have an alias I would like to use for my Mailman list but I continue to receive bounce messages. How can I fix this?

By default, messages sent to your list require the list explicitly named in the To or CC field. You can specify any aliases and change this setting under “Recipient filters” in “Privacy options”

I have forgotten the (non-administrator) password/I would like to unsubscribe from a Mailman list. Where should I go?

You should visit and scroll to the bottom. There, you should enter your email address, and you will be given the option of unsubscribing or having your password sent to you.

I have forgotten the administrator password for my Mailman list. How can I reset it?

To reset the administrator password, you should contact, and include in your email the name of the list.