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OpenBSD Mailing List Server

                    Introduction to List Administration

As the owner of a Majordomo mailing list, there are several basic duties
you will need to perform:  configuration, moderation, subscriber
management, document management, and monitoring.  Each of these duties
will be outlined in this document.  A separate, detailed help file is
available for each duty.

This document assumes that your mailing list has already been created.
If that is not the case, see "help createlist" for an introduction to
list creation.

In the examples in this document, wherever you see this word:
substitute the name of any mailing list at  Wherever you see
this word:
substitute an e-mail address.


There are several ways to issue administrative commands.  The most
common way is to use e-mail.  Commands should be mailed to
Commands should always be placed in the body of the e-mail messages,
never in the Subject header.  Majordomo only processes commands in plain
text or HTML parts of a message, although it is possible to use
attachments in some circumstances.  See "help command_parser" for more

In addition, if you have shell access for the computer on which
Majordomo runs, you may be able to use the mj_shell program 
(see "help mj_shell" for more details).  mj_shell allows you to type
Majordomo commands at the command line.  The mj_shell commands use the
same syntax as the e-mail commands.

Finally, if Majordomo is configured to use the WWW, there will be
an interface for list administrators at the following location:
and an interface for list subscribers at

The rest of this document, and most of the Majordomo help system,
assumes that you are using either the e-mail or the shell interface.
The WWW interfaces have separate instructions.


If you want to perform administrative tasks, you have to tell Majordomo
your administrative password.  The easiest way to do this is to always
use this command first...

  default password YOURPASSWORD

...substituting the list's administrative password for YOURPASSWORD.

For more details, see "help admin_passwords".


There are many different ways to run an electronic mailing list.  Some
common differences are:

  * Is the list public or private?
  * Who can post messages to a mailing list?
  * Can the subscribers receive messages in a digest?
  * How are bounces (error messages from addresses that are unable
    to receive mail) handled?
  * Will a monthly reminder be sent to the subscribers?

The answers to all of these questions are determined by your mailing
list's configuration settings.  Because there are over 100 settings,
they have been divided into several categories.  Each setting has a
separate help page.

There are three basic commands used to manage the settings.  The
configshow command is used to see the current value of a setting.  For

  configshow GLOBAL whereami

To change a setting, the configset command is used.  For example,

  configset LISTNAME access_password_override = 0

To return a modified setting to its default value, the configdef
command is used.  For example,

  configdef GLOBAL taboo_body

For more details, see "help admin_config".


Sometimes, when someone attempts to subscribe to your mailing list or
post a message, approval is required before the subscription succeeds or
the message is distributed on the list.  When this happens, we say that
the request is "stalled."  Majordomo keeps track of these "pending
requests" by assigning a "token identifier" to each request.  It then
sends the list moderators a "consult" message with instructions for
approving or rejecting the request.

The showtokens command will display all of the stalled requests for
a mailing list.  For instance,
  showtokens LISTNAME

The token identifier for each request will look something like this:

In the following three examples, substitute a valid token identifier
for the word TOKEN.

To see information about a stalled request, use the tokeninfo command:
  tokeninfo TOKEN

To approve a stalled request, use the accept command:
  accept TOKEN

To discard a stalled request, use the reject command:
  reject TOKEN

To make posted messages fully moderated, change the moderate setting:
  configset LISTNAME moderate = 1

To allow only subscribers to post freely, change the restrict_post setting:
  configset LISTNAME restrict_post = LISTNAME
(substitute the name of a mailing list for both instances of LISTNAME)

For more details, see "help admin_moderate".

To learn how to change the appearance of posted messages, and the
way in which they are delivered, see "help admin_delivery".

Subscriber Management

Anyone who signs up to receive messages from a mailing list is
considered a subscriber.  The complete list of subscribers can be 
displayed using the who command, 
  who-enhanced LISTNAME

If your mailing list has many subscribers, you can search the 
list using a pattern (see "help patterns" for more information).
For example, to find all of the e-mail addresses containing "abc", 
use the following command:
  who-enhanced LISTNAME abc

The who-enhanced command will show the personal settings for
each subscriber (see "help set" for an explanation of the settings).
To change the settings for a subscriber, use the set command.
For example, the following command:
will cause a subscriber to receive messages bundled in a digest.

You can add subscribers using the subscribe command, for example,

Addresses can be removed using the unsubscribe command, for instance,
  unsubscribe LISTNAME ADDRESS

Configuration settings such as subscribe_policy and unsubscribe_policy
determine whether or not your approval is needed to join or leave your
mailing list.  The who_access and which_access configuration settings
control who is able to see the list of subscribers.

For more details, see "help admin_subscribers".

Document Management

Each mailing list has a file space, part of which is public, and part
private.  You can see a directory of the files that are available with
the index command:

  index-recursive LISTNAME

shows the public files, and
  index-recursive LISTNAME /

shows the entire file space, including the public directory.  The
archive of messages previously posted to the mailing list is usually
located in the public/archive directory. 

Files can be retrieved from the public directory using the
get command, for example:


where FILE is the name of a file.  File names beginning with a slash,
'/', can only be retrieved with the get command by a list administrator.

Each list has three special private documents, /faq, /info, and /intro.

  /faq    contains frequently asked questions and answers.
          The faq command will retrieve this document.
          The newfaq command will replace this document.

  /info   is a welcome message that new subscribers receive.
          The info command will retrieve this document.
          The newinfo command will replace this document.

  /intro  contains an introduction to the mailing list.
          The intro command will retrieve this document.
          The newintro command will replace this document.

The archive of posted messages can be reviewed with the archive command.
For example,

  archive-index LISTNAME 50

will show a summary of the 50 most recent messages, and

  archive-get LISTNAME 30

will cause the 30 most recent messages to be mailed to your address

For more details, see "help admin_documents".


Majordomo keeps a log of every posted message and command that it
processes.  There are several ways in which you can see what the people
on your list have been doing.  Majordomo can send you notices
automatically, or you can ask Majordomo for a report when the need
arises.  For example, the following command will show a summary of all
activity on a list for the past seven days:

  report-summary LISTNAME 7d ALL

Also, if your list is public, anyone can learn more about it with the
following command:

  lists-full LISTNAME

For more details, see "help admin_monitor".

See Also:
   help admin_commands
   help admin_config
   help admin_delivery
   help admin_documents
   help admin_moderate
   help admin_monitor
   help admin_passwords
   help admin_subscribers
   help archive
   help configdef
   help configset
   help configshow
   help digest
   help lists
   help newfaq
   help newinfo
   help newintro
   help report

This is the "admin" help document for 
Majordomo 2, version 0.1201103110.

For a list of all help documents, send the following command:
   help topics
in the body of a message to

For assistance, please contact the administrators.
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