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Manage Mailman Email Distribution Lists (for List Owners)

Introduction

Email distribution lists are a convenient means of contacting large groups of people. The University of Wyoming offers an email distribution list hosting and management package called Mailman. Mailman offers a robust feature set and convenient web interface to manage lists. Below are some common tasks and their procedures. For more information regarding distribution lists please see Mailman Email List Manager Frequently Asked Questions.

Procedures

Request a New List

  1. Fill out the new list request form located here : https://www.uwyo.edu/itsecure/mailman/
  2. Once the list has been created, a confirmation email will be sent.
  3. Complete list setup through the web interface located here: https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/[list-name], where [list-name] is the name of your list.
     

Delete a List

List owners can use the Mailman List Deletion Request Form to request a list deletion. If the owner no longer has an account, please contact userhelp@uwyo.edu with the delete request.
 

Change List Owners

  1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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  2. Under General Options, find the List Administrator Addresses section, where all of the current owners are listed.
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  3. Edit this list to add or remove owners. The list must have at least one owner who has an @uwyo.edu address.
     
  4. When finished, click on the Submit Your Changes button near the bottom of the page.
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Security and Passwords

The list password can be changed on the list's administration page.

  1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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  2. Under Change list ownership passwords, enter the new password in the Enter new administrator password and Confirm Administrator password fields.
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  3. When finished, click on the Submit Your Changes button near the bottom of the page.
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If the list password has been lost, contact userhelp@uwyo.edu for assistance.

For Mailman security information see the "What level of security does Mailman provide?" topic in the Mailman Email List Manager FAQ.
 

Adding Subscribers through the WebInterface

  1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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  2. Click Membership Management and select Mass Subscription.
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  3. In the Enter one address per line below... text box add the address of the individual that you would like to add to the list. If you would like to add more than one person, enter each address on a separate line.
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  4. If you would like to send a welcome message to the new members then make sure that the Yes button is checked for Send Welcome messages to new subscribees. You can also add users by entering a file name in the ...or specify a file to upload box or by clicking the Browse button to select the file.
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  5. Click the Submit your changes button near the bottom of the page to put the changes into effect.
     

Getting a List of Your Subscribers

  1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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  2. In the Membership Management section, select Membership List.
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  3. If your list has many members, see Creating a Text File Containing the Members of a List.
     

Removing Subscribers through the Web Interface

  1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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  2. In the Membership Management section, select Membership List.
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  3. Find the address of the individual that you would like to remove and check the box in the unsub column by the address that you would like to remove.
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  4. You can also remove or unsubscribe users using Mass Removal by entering a file name in the ...or specify a file to upload box or by clicking the Browse button to select the file. The file must be a plain text file containing one address per line. If you do not have such a file, you can create one. See Creating a Text File Containing the Members of a List.

    If you would like to send an unsubscription acknowledgment message to the unsubscribed members then make sure that the Yes button is checked for Send an unsubscription acknowledgment to the user?
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  5. Click the Submit your changes button near the bottom of the page to put the changes into effect.
     

Open and Closed Subscription/Unsubscribe Policies

  1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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  2. Click on Privacy options.
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  3. To require approval to subscribe, in the What steps are required for subscription? section click on Confirm and approve. Confirm and approve both sends an email to the subscriber to verify the request came from the subscriber and requires the list owner to approve the request. It is appropriate for lists that are closed and limit membership and is recommended over Require Approval because of the additional protection confirmation offers. Confirm is appropriate for open lists that are open to anyone.
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  4. To require approval to unsubscribe, in the Is the list moderator's approval required for unsubscription requests? section click on Yes. Yes is appropriate for lists that are closed where the owner needs to control who receives messages sent to the list. No allows members to unsubscribe without the owner's approval and is appropriate for open lists.
     
  5. When finished, click on the Submit Your Changes button near the bottom of the page.
     

Email Commands to Subscribe and Unsubscribe

While we strongly recommend the web interface, some users prefer email commands to subscribe and unsubscribe. The exact behavior of these commands will vary depending on the permissions of the list. If the list has a closed subscription these requests will be bounced to the list owner. Otherwise, the user will simply be added/removed as a list member.

  • To have a user join your list via Email
    Have the user send an email to [list-name]- subscribe@uwyo.edu
     
  • To have a user join your list via Email
    Have the user send an email to [list-name]-unsubscribe@uwyo.edu
     

Preventing Automatic Replies from Postings to Mailman Lists

Sometimes messages are inadvertently posted to a Mailman mailing list, such as when "Automatic reply" messages are generated as out-of-office message responses to a post to a mailing list. This procedure will prevent "Automatic replies" from being posted to a list and cause them to be deleted immediately.1

  1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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  2. Click on Privacy Options at the top of the second column, then click on Spam Filters.
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  3. In the large box labeled "Spam Filter Rule 1", enter Subject.*Automatic Reply.* and in the Action section for this rule, select Discard.1
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  4. Click on Submit your changes at the bottom of the page.
     
  5. Click the Add new item button and then, in the large box labeled "Spam Filter Rule 2", enter Subject.*Automatic reply.*, and in the Action section for this rule, select Discard.1
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  6. Click the Submit your changes button at the bottom of the page and then logout.
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1Note that setting the Action to Discard will delete the message. Usually the messages can be safely deleted. However if the owners want to review messages caught by these rules, set the Action to Hold instead of Discard. Then the usual moderation request will be sent to the owners to approve or deny the "Automatic reply" message that is being held for review.
 

Replacing the Current Members of a Mailman List with New Members

If you do not have a text file with the current members of your list, see Creating a Text File Containing the Members of a List, or you can request one by emailing postmaster@uwyo.edu.

  1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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  2. Click on Membership Management in the first column, then click on Mass Removal.
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  3. In the Mass Removal section:
     
    1. Turn off notices:
      Send unsubscription acknowledgement to the user? NO
      Send notifications to the list owner? NO
       
    2. Browse to the text file either provided to you or which you have used for a prior Mass Subscription on your computer and select it.
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    3. Click Submit your changes. This will remove all the member addresses from the file.
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  4. On the Membership Management page click on Mass Subscriptions.
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  5. In the Mass Subscriptions section:
     
    1. Verify/set to the following:
      Subscribe these users now or invite them? Subscribe
       
    2. Turn off notices:
      Send welcome messages to new subscribees? NO
      Send notifications of new subscriptions to the list owner? NO
       
    3. Browse to your text file of new addresses on your computer and select it.
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    4. Click Submit your changes.
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    5. Save this text file of new addresses to use the next semester/year/etc. for the Mass Remove.

Creating a Text File Containing the Members of a List

A list of your current members can be displayed from the List Information page.

  1. Verify the list format and access settings.

    1. Log into the admin page for the list at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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    2. Select Privacy Options and then scroll down the page to the last section, Membership exposure.
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    3. Review the Who can view subscription list? setting. For most lists, the List admin only setting is most appropriate.
       
    4. Review the Show member addresses so they're not directly recognizable as email addresses? setting. Verify or set this option to No to display email addresses in username@uwyo.edu form. If set to Yes, addresses are obscured and display in username at uwyo.edu form.
       
    5. If you have made any changes, click Submit Your Changes.
       
    6. Select, from the rightmost set of links at the top of the page, Go to general list information page.
      You can also reach this page directly, without logging into the admin page, by entering the following in your browser:
      https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/listinfo/list-name
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    7. In the last section, List-name Subscribers, provide your email address and password in the Enter your address and password to visit the subscribers list: section and click Visit Subscriber List. A list of the members will be displayed.
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  2. To use this list for mass removals, save the displayed email addresses into a file.

    1. Select the list from the web page display and paste it into a New Text document or other text document.
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    2. If you are using the Firefox browser, there may be spaces, an asterisk and a space before each email address. These need to be removed before using the file. To remove the spaces and asterisk, in the text editor (Windows Notepad in this example) select and then copy the spaces before and after the asterisk up to but not including the first letter of the first address.
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    3. From Edit, select Replace and paste the spaces, asterisk and space you previously copied,  into the Find what: box.
       
    4. Do not enter anything in the Replace with: box.
       
    5. Click Replace All to remove the spaces and asterisk from the beginnings of the lines.
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    6. Save the file.
       

    You can now use this file to remove all members of your list in the Membership Management, Mass Removal section of the web page.

    See Replacing the Current Members of a Mailman List with New Members, above, for important information before proceeding.

List Moderation

Moderation is used for limiting postings that are sent out through the mailing list.   While most lists are unmoderated, some owners want to review postings and approve them before they are sent to list members, which requires moderation.

Generally the owner(s) and moderator(s) of a moderated list are the same, but non-owner moderator(s), who can moderate postings but not change other configurations, can be added by the owner.

  1. Adding Moderators who can approve postings
    1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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    2. The General Options page is displayed.  In the The list moderator email addresses section, add  the addresses of moderators who are not owners.
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    3. When finished, click on the Submit Your Changes button near the bottom of the page.
       
    4. On the General Options page click on Passwords. On the Passwords page, enter a password that is different from the Administrator password for the moderator in the Enter new moderator password and Confirm moderator password fields.
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    5. When finished, click on the Submit Your Changes button near the bottom of the page.
       
  2. Requiring approval for list members to post to the list
    1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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    2. Click on Privacy options.
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    3. Under the Sender filters section, in the By default, should new list member postings be moderated? section, click Yes. This will affect future subscribers.
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    4. Under the Sender filters section, in the Action to take when a moderated member posts to the list section, select Hold.
       
    5. When finished, click on the Submit Your Changes button near the bottom of the page.
       
    6. To update moderation settings for current members, click on the Membership Management page.
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    7. Under Additional Member Tasks, find Set everyone's moderation flag, including those members not currently visible and click On, then click the Set button.
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  3. Viewing the requests requiring approval
    1. Log into the Administrative Requests page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admindb/[list-name], or the list's administration page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/[list-name], where [list-name] is the name of your list.
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    2. Click on Tend to pending moderator requests.
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    3. View the summary list of subscription requests, unsubscribe requests, and postings being held for approval.
       
    4. Follow the More detailed instructions link towards the top of the page for an explanation of each option (e.g. Defer, Accept, Preserve, etc.).
       
    5. After you have acted on all of the pending requests, click on the Submit All Data button.
       
  4. Allowing a member of the list to post on a moderated list without requiring approval
    1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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    2. In the Membership Management section, select Membership List.
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    3. Find the address of the individual that you would like to post without requiring approval.
       
    4. Deselect the mod checkbox to remove the checkmark.
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    5. When finished, click on the Submit Your Changes button.
       
  5. Allowing a non-member of the list to post on a moderated list without requiring approval
    1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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    2. Click on Privacy options.
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    3. Under the Sender filters section, find the List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted section and enter the non-member addresses you would like to have the ability to post without moderation.
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    4. When finished, click on the Submit Your Changes button near the bottom of the page.
       
  6. Allowing anyone to post to a moderated list without requiring approval

    To allow anyone to post to a moderated list without requiring approval, the steps in both Allowing a member of the list to post on a moderated list without requiring approval and Allowing a non-member of the list to post on a moderated list without requiring approval, above, must be applied.

  7. Turning on emergency moderation for a list

Change Maximum Message Size

  1. Log into the list admin page at https://lists.uwyo.edu/mailman/admin/list-name (where list-name is the name of your list).
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  2. Go to General Options (this is the default when you log in).
     
  3. Near the bottom, locate the Maximum length in Kb of a message body field.
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  4. Change the limit to something suitable, or enter 0 for the maximum size of 10 M.
     
  5. When finished, click the Submit your changes button. Your changes are now in effect.
     

 

Reviewed: 0414 By: SH

Additional help with the installation and configuration of
UW-supported software is available:
Faculty/Staff
Contact the IT Help Desk at 766-HELP (4357), option 1
Email UserHelp@uwyo.edu
Contact your IT user consultant
(www.uwyo.edu/infotech/services/helpdesk/uc/)

Students
Email ASU-IT@uwyo.edu
Contact the IT Help Desk at 766-HELP (4357), option 1
Come to the student computer lab in the lobby of the
Information Technology Center.

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