Mailing Lists

Owner administration

Useful settings

Our mailing lists come with some sensible default values, but you will want to check and tweak them accordingly. Here is a list of some noteworthy settings for privacy and user management:

Furthermore, please don't edit the public HTML pages directly as this might be overwritten at any time. Instead, please make the edits in the mailman-templates repo.

Server-side administration

Creating a list

  1. The mailing lists are run on list1, so login as

  2. Create the list by typing the command newlist <listname>, for instance newlist gazonk to create

  3. You'll be asked for the email of the person running the list, and an initial password. Enter both.
  4. When you've entered the details, the list will be created and the person running the list will get a notification with the initial password.
  5. Add the list under the appropriate section in Howto/MailingLists in internal Git.

Removing a list

Here it depends whether you would like the archive to remain available via the web interface and the list restorable with most of its settings. If not, you can delete the mailing list completely (option A). If yes, you have to make the list as inactive as possible (option B). Option A is preferred as it avoids having a myriad of inactive lists.

  1. Announce your intention to the list via an email so all subscribers are informed.
  2. Announce the decision and the date when the mailing list will be shut down.
  3. Remove all subscribers by logging in on and running: remove_members --all <listname>.

  4. Option A: Run the command rmlist <listname>. Add the flag -a to also remove any remaining archives from the disk. Without -a, the archives are still browsable.

  5. Option B: Enable emergency moderation and set the strictest privacy/secrecy options (see above).

Mail queue management

  1. On list1, the directory /var/lib/mailman/bin contains useful scripts, e.g. find_member

  2. Run mailq to get a list of mails in the queue, it's often around 1-300 at any one time.

  3. If you see a lot of mails from * to a single email address, or similar, this can be caused by someone trying to subscribe the same person thousands of times to our mailing lists. Mailman then generates a mail for each attempt.

TechDocs/MailingLists (last edited 2019-06-28 14:26:53 by max.mehl)