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Mailman FAQ

Email lists allows communication among many people who are interested in a particular topic or belong to a certain group. At Rice, Mailman is the name of the tool for managing mailing lists. This document explains how a subscriber can add/remove themselves from a list as well as update receiving options. This document is also a resource for list owners and explains how to request and manage a list.

Overview
Terms of Use

For Subscribers of a Mailman List  

For Administrators of a Mailman List


 Overview

Messages sent to an e-mail mailing list are sent to members of the list also called subscribers. Each mailing list needs at least one person to serve as the administrator or owner of the mailing list to set up the list, solve problems, and add/delete subscribers. Some lists have moderators that examine each submitted message to decide if they should release it to the list or delete it.

 Terms of Use

All members of the Rice community must abide by Rice policies and the Mailman List Terms of Use. Included from KB 69733:

Like all Rice information technology services, email lists must follow the Acceptable Use of Information Technology (Rice Policy 832).

Email list owners and subscribers should also keep in mind the following specific points:
  • All email lists must be owned or co-owned by a current faculty, student, or staff of Rice University using their @rice.edu address. Any list that fails to have an identifiable current faculty, student, or staff as an owner may be locked or closed without notice.
  • In order to ensure that email lists are closed when they are no longer needed, list owners may be asked to re-certify their lists. If a list is not re-certified, it may be closed without further notice.
  • Spam mailings and/or commercial use of an email list are potential grounds for removal from any and all email lists provided by Office of Information Technology (OIT).
  • Members of an email list are responsible for the content of any message they send to that list, and list owners are responsible for moderating (change to reviewing contents of list posting) lists for inappropriate messages and for determining whether a list's archives are publicly accessible.
  • List owners are also responsible for the proper management of their list, and may have their list ownership revoked if they do not manage their lists appropriately. 
  • Responsibilities of list owners include (but are not limited to):
    • Responding to and assisting with subscription and unsubscription requests
    • Ensuring that their list has appropriate configurations for the purpose of that list, including whether or not it is moderated, advertised, etc.
    • Making subscribers aware if the list is advertised and/or if the archives are accessible to the Internet at large
    • Maintaining the list of subscribers and removing addresses which are no longer functional or belong to people who should no longer be on the list
    • Responding promptly to errors related to their list (e.g. delivery and remove errors)
    • Taking ownership of off-topic list postings, abusive behavior, and/or abuse of the email list service by their subscribers
    • Ensuring that usage of their list does not violate the Acceptable Use Policy
    • Transitioning list ownership to another individual if and when appropriate
  • Departments or central administration may require university faculty, students, or staff to subscribe to certain email lists for the purpose of university business. In all other cases, however, email lists are to be "opt-in".
  • Email lists may be locked or closed, have their names or other configurations modified, etc. by OIT staff without the consent of a particular list owner if resource usage, verifiable complaints, and/or university business needs require it.
  • Email lists which are closed due to owner request, lack of an eligible owner, violation of Terms of Use will be removed from the system. This includes all archives, subscriber lists, and settings.
  • OIT Services cannot recover settings of any list greater than 30 days after deletion.
  • OIT Services cannot recover any subscriber list or archives greater than 30 days after deletion.
  • Exceptions to these terms require approval from OIT leadership.


           For Subscribers of a Mailman List

           How do I unsubscribe from a Mailman list?

            Messages that you receive from a mailing list should have an unsubscribe option at the bottom of the message. Click the link and follow instructions. But you can also follow these steps:
            • Go to: https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/listinfo/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list you are unsubscribing from].
            • Or, go to: https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/listinfo/ and click the name of the list you wish to unsubscribe from.
            • Scroll to the bottom of that mailing list page.
            • Enter your email address next to the button Unsubscribe or edit options.
            • Click on Unsubscribe or edit options.

             How do I subscribe to a Mailman list?

            If you receive an invitation to join a mailing list, you can just follow the given instructions. But you can also follow these steps: 
            • Go to: https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/listinfo/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list you wish to subscribe to].
            • If you don't know the list's name, go to: https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/listinfo/ (list of all Rice public Mailman lists). Click the name of the list you wish to subscribe to.
            • Complete the Subscribing section of the form and select the Subscribe button.

             How do I manage my subscription options on a Mailman list?

            Messages that you receive from a mailing list have an unsubscribe option at the bottom of the message. Click the link and it will present the options web page (where you can update options in addition to unsubscribing). You can also go directly to: https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/options/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list.] Once on the page (see screen shot below), you have three choices:

            1. To update settings, you need to enter your email address and password. You can change your password, email address, name and other options including switching to digest mode so you get posts bundled together instead of one-by-one.
            2. To unsubscribe, select the unsubscribe button and an confirmation email will be sent to you.
            3. For a password reminder, click the remind button and it will be emailed to you.


            Login subscriber form

            Mailman has quite a number of options available to subscribers to indicate their preferences on receiving messages as the screenshot below indicates. The OIT Help Desk can help you with these options.


            Editing Subscriber Options



             For Administrators of a Mailman List

             How to Request a Mailman List

            If you wish to request a Mailman List, complete this online form after agreeing to the Mailman List Terms of Use. Submitting this form will generate an email confirmation with Help Desk Request Tracker (RT) number.  Use this number when contacting the OIT Help Desk if you have any questions or need to modify your request.

             How do I subscribe members to my list?

            In order to subscribe addresses to your list:

            • Go to https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/admin/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list.]
            • Log in with the list owner's password.
            • Click on Membership Management.
            • Click on Mass Subscription.
            • Set your preferences for subscribing these users.
            • Enter all of the addresses and names that you want to subscribe in the following format: email address (First Last) OR email address (Last, First)
            • Click on Submit Your Changes.

             How do I unsubscribe members from my list?

            In order to unsubscribe addresses to your list:

            • Go to https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/admin/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list.]
            • Log in with the list owner's password.
            • Click on Membership Management.
            • Click on Mass Removal.
            • Set your preferences for unsubscribing these users.
            • Enter all of the addresses and names that you want to unsubscribe.
            • Click on Submit Your Changes.

             How do I make my list show up on Rice Mailman lists?

            If you want your list on the Rice public Mailman lists (https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/listinfo) so individuals can see it. Follow these steps:
            • Go to https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/admin/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list.]
            • Enter the list owner/administrator password.
            • Click on Privacy Options.
            • Click on Subscription Rules
            • Select Yes next to "Advertise this list when people ask what lists are on this machine?"
            • In "What steps are required for subscription?"
            • Select Confirm to have them confirm via an email (eliminates garbage entries).
            • Select Confirm and approve if the owner needs to approve each member.
            • Click on Submit your changes.

             What is difference between an administrator and a moderator?

            Administrators can modify the settings of a list and can add/remove subscribers as well as accept/reject moderated messages. Moderators only have the ability to add/remove subscribers and accept/reject moderated messages. 

            If you are an administrator or moderator, before leaving a group or Rice, be sure to remove yourself and add your replacement so the list will continue.

            Administrator and moderator email addresses are listed under General list personality.


             How do I make a list moderated?

            • Go to: https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/admin/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list.]
            • Enter your owner/administrator password.
            • Click on Membership Management.
            • Click "On" under "Set everyone's moderation bit, including those members not currently visible."
            • You want to turn off the moderator bit (the check under the Mod column) for any user that you want to be able to post to the list unmoderated.
            • If you want to have moderators other than the owners, after you have set everyone's status to moderated, you need to add emails to the moderators list under General options and set a moderators password under Passwords. 
            • To remove moderation, go to the Privacy options then to Sender Filters and set the "Action to take for postings from non-members for which no explicit action is defined to ACCEPT" and then Submit your changes.


            Modify Subscription Options and be sure to SUBMIT any change.
            1-UnsubscribeAndEdit.png
              
              What is the mylistname-bounces@mailman.rice.edu address used for?
            • mylistname-bounces@mailman.rice.edu is the address that receives information about addresses that are not responding, incorrect, or otherwise illegal for your list. It was originally intended so that the owner could get a notice when an address that was broken was trying to post to the list; if the address was legitimate, the moderator/owner could resubmit the post to the list.
            • Unfortunately, this address can also sometimes receive SPAM or notify the owner/moderator about SPAM. It is possible to suppress bounce notifications for error messages that Mailman can't figure out. This will cut down on a lot of the SPAM related messages to the bounce addresses. However, it will eliminate the ability to diagnose problems where a subscriber is having email issues and is unable to post to the list. To suppress notifications of this type:
            • Go to https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/admin/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list.]
            • Log in with the list owner password.
            • Click on Bounce processing.
            • Select No next to: Should Mailman send you, the list owner, bounce messages that failed to be detected by the bounce processor? [We do not recommend suppressing the bounce message. Yes is recommended.]
            • Click on Submit Changes.

              How can I view who is subscribed to a list?
            • If the list allows it, get a subscriber list by going to the list info page: https://mailman.rice.edu/listinfo/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list.]
            • Scroll to the bottom of the page. You can see a form to request the list subscribers.
            • List Owners have permission at this page. Using the list admin password, an owner can view the member list.
            Click Visit Subscriber List to request the view the member list.
              How can I get a list of subscribers emailed to me?
            • A list owner can send an email to: listname-request@mailman.rice.edu [Replace listname with the name of the list.]
            • Subject line is left blank
            • Message body should contain the following text: who listpassword [Note: listpassword is the owner password for the list]
            • In order to perform this operation or restrict the request for list subscription, you must already be a subscriber of the list.
            • The resulting email is a list of all member addresses, both Non-digest and Digest members.


              My post is held because "message has implicit destination." How do I avoid this?
            • The list email address must be explicitly specified, which means:
              • List address must be specified in the "to" or "cc" fields of email messages
              • List address cannot be specified in the "bcc" (blind carbon copied) field.

              How do I make my list accept mail from all @rice.edu addresses, even if they are not subscribers?
            • Go to https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/admin/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list.]
            • Enter your list owner's password.
            • Click on Privacy options.
            • Click on Sender Filters.
            • Enter the following text next to "List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted.": ^.+@.*rice\.edu
            • Click on Submit your changes.

              How do I configure my Mailman list discard mail not from its subscribers?
            • Go to https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/admin/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list.]
            • Enter your list owner's password
            • Click on Privacy Options.
            • Click on Sender Filters.
            • Select Discard next to "Action to take for postings from non-members for which no explicit action is defined."
            • Click on Submit your changes.
            • NOTE: this will discard, not bounce, any email sent from a non-member address, even if it is from a member. 

              How do I add alternate email addresses for members to use to send email to the list?
            • List authentication is done by the listed return address in each email. If the person is included as a list member, they can only send email using the "listed return address." Other email addresses for the same person (such as an alias) are not acceptable. Add sender addresses to the "List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted" in the PRIVACY, SENDERS section of the list's admin page.
            • Alternatively, add sender addresses to the "List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted" when you encounter them when approving moderated requests.
            • Add as a sender email directly to the "accepted" list. To do this:
            • Go to https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/admin/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list.]
            • Enter the List owner's password.
            • Select Privacy, Senders.
            • Find "List of non-member addresses whose postings should be automatically accepted."
            • Type the email addresses in the box on the right (one to a line).
            • Click on "Submit your changes."
            • Add as a sender email to the "accepted" list when approving messages for delivery:
            • This can only be done in response to an email from mylistname-owner@mailman.rice.edu
            • As list administrator, your authorization is requested for the following mailing list posting. Visit: https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/admindb/listname Go to https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/admin/listname [Replace listname with the name of the list.]
            • Enter the List owner's password.
            • View the messages that are held for moderation.
            • Look on the left for the option "to add the address to one of these sender filters."
            • Click Accept.
            • Click on "Submit your changes."

              I received a message from the list that a member, or members, have been automatically removed from my list.
            • Mailman will remove members from a list when it gets a set number of reports from the distant mail server that email to that member was undeliverable.
            • An automatic process looks for inactive Rice accounts and unsubscribes members whose accounts have been deleted.

            See Also:




            Keywords:frequently asked questions mailman bounce listserv mailman rice.edu moderator administrator password moderate unsubscribe message subscriber subscribe owner list mail man   Doc ID:69748
            Owner:Dora L.Group:Rice University
            Created:2017-01-03 18:02 CDTUpdated:2021-06-10 10:03 CDT
            Sites:Rice University
            Feedback:  1   3