Mailman Administrator How-To

This document contains detailed instructions about how to accomplish some common mailman administrative tasks. In order to use these instructions you will need to be an "owner" of a list, i.e., you have the admin password for the list, and the list has your e-mail address as one of its administrators.

Accessing your list management screen.

When your list was created and you were designated the "owner" by the system administrator you should have received an e-mail message with information about the list, including the URL of the administrative web pages, and the password needed to access them.

If you did not keep this note, you should be able to find your list's administrative features by going to

https://mailman.sonoma.edu/mailman/admin/YourListName

The screen that you access will prompt you for your list administrator's password. Enter the password and then click the button to access your administration screen. If you do not know the password for your list, contatct IT Help Desk to have it reset.

Add a member to your list

Mailman allows a list manager to add people for their mail list, but the method is not intuitively named.

  • Access your list management screen.
  • Click on "Membership Management", then click "Mass Subscription"
  • Type the address of the individual that you would like to add into the text box. If you would like to add more than one person, enter each address on a separate line.
  • If you would like to send a welcome message to the new members then make sure that the "yes" button is checked.
  • Note that you can either subscribe an address, or simply "invite" someone to subscribe. If you're not certain that the person is interested, just invite them. It is considered bad network etiquette to subscribe people to lists, and expect them to unsubscribe if they're not interested.
  • Click the "Submit your changes" button at the bottom of the screen to put the changes into effect.

Removing a user from a list

Mailman allows the list manager to remove an individual from their mail list, but the method is not entirely intuitive.

  • Access your list management screen.
  • In the Membership Management section, find the line with the e-mail address of the individual that you would like to remove.
  • Click in the "unsub" box to the left of their address. If there are others to be unsubscribed, find their addresses and check their "unsub" boxes.
  • Click the "Submit your changes" button at the bottom of the screen to put the changes into effect.

Keep unwanted persons from joining

Mailman allows you to prevent persons from joining your list without explicit approval of the administrator. To activate this feature:

  • Access your list management screen.
  • In the Privacy Options section look at the second field, labeled "what steps are required for subscription."
  • Set the option to "require approval" or "confirm+approval" and click the "Submit your changes" button at the bottom of the screen.

Future subscription requests will cause Mailman to send you an e-mail message telling you that someone has tried to join your list. Go to the URL in the message and then use the on-screen form to accept or reject their request.

Changing maximum message size

Mailman places a limit on the size of message that it will deliver to prevent large messages from disrupting the list server of user mailboxes. In some cases the default value may not be large enough to allow messages and file attachments to pass through in a manner suitable for your list's purpose. To change the limit:

  • Access your list management screen.
  • In the General Options section, near the bottom, locate the field for "Maximum length in Kb of a message body" field. Change the limit to something suitable, or enter 0 for no size limit.
  • Click the "Submit your changes" button at the bottom of the screen to put the changes into effect.