Commands for List Owners

In the commands below, if a word appears in capitals, you will need to replace it with the appropriate value. For example, wherever you see LIST, you will need to substitute the name of one of CSF's mailing lists. Majordomo commands should be sent to Always put the commands in the body of the message; commands in the Subject: line will be ignored.

Subscriber Commands

Commands that pertain to individual subscribers use the same syntax as the ones the subscribers themselves use. The only difference is that the appropriate e-mail address must be the last part of the command. For example, to unsubscribe the address from your list, simply use the command
unsubscribe LIST
A table of commands for subscribers appears on the listproc-majordomo comparison chart.


For majordomo to accept commands for a list, you must tell it the correct password for your list. There are two ways to do this. The first is to indicate the password once, as the first command:
default password YOUR_PASSWORD
The other way is to use the approve command as a preface to every command you use. In the example above, this would look like
approve YOUR_PASSWORD unsubscribe LIST
The first way will often save some typing.

Basic Commands

The Help Command

Many of the most important settings are discussed in detail in the New list configuration document. That document contains basic information about issuing commands. Please read it first. In addition, majordomo has a help file which is available through e-mail for many of these topics. For example, to get the help file for the subject_prefix option, use the command
help configset_subject_prefix
A full list of commands is available using the command
help topics
Some of the help files are difficult to understand. If you have any questions, please tell us right away; it will help us to improve the software.

The following table summarizes a motley collection of commands for list owners, most of which are not described in the other documents.
How do I... Majordomo Command Comments
Moderate some individuals who are not being civil configset LIST access_rules <<TAG
Create a "sublist" of people who need to be moderated. Use the subscribe command once for each person in the sublist. See below for more details.
Add someone to the list without sending a welcome message subscribe-nowelcome LIST ADDRESS
Remove someone from the list quietly unsubscribe LIST ADDRESS People are not notified when you remove them from the list.
Obtain a list of all of the list's settings configshow LIST Some of the settings, such as delivery_rules, may only be changed by one of the site managers.
Allow only subscribers to post messages to the list configset LIST access_rules <<TAG
See below for more discussion about access rules.
Limit the size of messages distributed on the list configset LIST maxlength = SIZE SIZE is the number of bytes, 40000 by default. Messages larger than this will be sent to you for approval.
Include e-mail addresses in index digests configset LIST digest_index_format = subject_author Index digests list only the subjects of the messages by default.
Obtain a list of subscribers who LIST Addresses in an auxiliary list may be obtained using who LIST:SUBLIST.
Give people a choice of seeing a Subject: prefix configset LIST subject_prefix = PREFIX Subscribers who do not like prefixes must use the command set LIST noprefix. See the subscriber features document.
Search the subscriber list who LIST PATTERN Use the command help patterns for a discussion of how to write regular expression patterns.

Access Rules and Auxiliary Lists

Several examples of access rules are given in this and the other majordomo web pages. If it is your desire to use more than one access rule, remember to leave a blank line between rules. Since some access rules may already be defined, the safest way to define new access rules is to obtain the current settings with
configshow LIST access_rules
and then edit and send back the result of the configshow command.

Auxiliary lists are used in access rules to allow you to refer to a group of people conveniently. Subscribing someone to a sublist does not automatically subscribe that person to your mailing list; nor does removing an address from a sublist cause that person to be unsubscribed from the mailing list. To remove someone from a sublist, use the unsubscribe command.

The following example illustrates the flexibility of access rules and sublists. Consider these access rules:

configset LIST access_rules <<EXAGGERATED

deny, reply="Ssh!  Keep your voice down."



deny, reply="You need to sign up first."

deny, reply="Sorry, I can't let you do that."

deny, replyfile=goaway.txt



There are six sublists used here, of which only MAIN necessarily exists. MAIN refers to all people who are subscribed to your list. It is up to you to decide who belongs in what sublist, and what the sublists are called. I have arbitrarily named the other sublists heroes, villains, prisoners, hoopjumpers, and loudmouths...when someone tries to use the list, majordomo will use the first rule which matches the identity of that someone.

The use of sublists may seem a bit awkward. When you use the subscribe command to place someone's address into an auxiliary list, you use the plain name of the sublist, like heroes. When you refer to a sublist in an access rule, you must preface it with a '@', for example @heroes, to tell majordomo you mean "everyone in this list of addresses."