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Home :: Support :: On-Line Manual :: Chapter 2: General Features

1: Getting Started 2: General Features 3: CGI Scripts 4: eCommerce 5: Multimedia & Database 6: FrontPage 7: Control Panel

Chapter 2 - General Features

2.1 Analyzing Traffic to Your Site Wusage 7.0

To count accesses, there is a directory called webstats in your www directory. To access it, just log on the Internet and with your web browser, go to:

  • http://www.yourdomain.com/webstats/
*For some customers, url may be as follows: http://www.yourdomain.com/wusage/

You will see a web page with statistics for your domain for the previous week. If you are a brand new domain, you won't see any statistics there yet. If you go to the link from that page leading to Weekly Reports, you will see a much more detailed report, including pie charts, graphs, etc. These reports are automatically generated for you once each week, and are stored in one place so you can compare weekly statistics easily. The previous week's data is erased each Sunday. For password protecting your webstats/ directory, please goto Password Protected Subdirectories. Raw Log File

In your home directory, you will see a file called access-log. You can download this file using a FTP program and open it in any word processor to see exactly what files were accessed, what domain the visitor came from, the dates and times of each visit, etc. You can also download this file to be used with your own web traffic analyzer. The previous week's data is erased each Sunday. Referral Log

By turning on the referral log, you will be able to view regular domain names in your traffic report rather than IP addresses.

2.2 Email Alias and Forwarding

You can setup email aliases and forwarding by using SiteControl at http://YOURDOMAIN.com/cpanel

Email alias is not a real email account. Instead it's an address that forwards all email it receives to another email account. For example, if you establish an email alias called info@yourdomain.com to go to john@yourdomain.com, then all email sent to info@yourdomain.com will be automatically forwarded to john@yourodmain.com (In this case, 'info' is called an alias of 'johndoe'.)
You can setup email alias so that email is forwarded to an account outside of your domain name as well. For example, you can setup info@yourdomain.com to go to johndoe@aol.com.
This way, you can have unlimited email addresses to fit your needs with only a handful of actual email accounts.
You can setup email aliases and forwarding by using SiteControl at http://YOURDOMAIN.com/cpanel

2.3 Email Autoresponders

An autoresponder is a simple way of setting up an email address which will return a message automatically when someone sends email to it. You can setup unlimited number of autoresponders by going to SiteControl at http://YOURDOMAIN.com/cpanel

2.4 Majordomo Mailing List

With qualifying accounts, at least one Majordomo mailing list comes standard with the plan. You should request the mailing list to be setup Contact Us form.
Majordomo Users Guide
Once you receive your Majordomo password, you can start using the list. It is being served by an automated mailing list manager that responds to commands emailed to the "Majordomo address" listed above. This guide has all the details of how to manage your list remotely using Majordomo.

There's a lot of info here, so please read this completely and carefully, and save it for future reference. ******

Your list-owner password is shown above. Keep track of this; you'll need it later. Instructions for changing your password are below.

As soon as possible, please issue a "newinfo" command for your list (see below) to create the file that someone will receive when they join or ask about your list.

You can issue a "who" command for your list to see who's already on your list. You may or may not already be subscribed to your own list.

The Gory Details

Your mailing list is managed by an automated mailing list management program called Majordomo. Majordomo should free you from dealing with most of the administrivia usually associated with running mailing lists (adding users, dropping users, etc.).

To submit something to your list, you (or anybody else) should simply mail it to the list posting address shown at the top of this file.

To be added to your list, a user simply sends a message to majordomo.

    address-- To: majordomo@FooBar.COM
    message-- subscribe ListName
Majordomo understands several commands, and is not limited to a single command per message (it will process commands until reaching end-of-message or the command "end"). The command "help" will tell you about all the other commands.

Actually, it won't tell you about _all_ the other commands that Majordomo understands. There are several commands there for use by list owners such as yourself, which are not advertised to the public. All of these commands are password-protected on a list-by-list basis, but anyone with a valid list/password combination can invoke these commands. This is not exactly high-tech security, but it's more intended to keep annoyance to a minimum than to be foolproof.

The "documented" commands which Majordomo understands and which are for everyone to use are:

    subscribe <list> [<address>]
    unsubscribe <list> [<address>]
    which [<address>]
    who <list>
    info <list>
    index <list>
    get <list>
    lists help end
You can get detailed explanations of all of these by asking for "help" from Majordomo (send a message containing just the word "help" as the message text to majordomo@FooBar.COM).

The "undocumented" commands for use by list owners are:

  • approve <passwd> {subscribe|unsubscribe} <list> [<address>]
    This is so that you can approve subscription or unsubscription actions that need approval by the list owner. Note that this is just a standard "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" command prefixed with "approve <password>" (where you substitute the password for your list, which is listed above, for "<password>").
  • approve <passwd> who <list>
    This allows you to get the list of addresses for your anonymous list. Without the password, even the list owner can not see who is on the list.
  • passwd <list> <old_passwd> <new_passwd>
    This is so you can change the password for your list, if you desire.
  • newinfo <list> <password>
    This is so that you can replace the information file that people get when they do "info <list>" or "subscribe <list>". It reads everything after the "newinfo" command to end-of-message or the word "EOF" on a line by itself as the new info for the list.
  • config <list> <password>
    Retrieves a self-documenting configuration file for the list <list>. The <password> can be the password contained in the file <list>.passwd or the admin_password in the configuration file.
  • newconfig <list> <password>
    Validates and installs a new configuration file. It reads everything after the "newconfig" command to end-of-message or the word "EOF" on a line by itself as the new info for the list. The config file is expected to be a complete config file as returned by "config". Incremental changing of the config file is not yet supported. As soon as the config file is validated and installed its settings are available for use. This is useful to remember if you have multiple commands in your mail message since they will be subject to the settings of the new config file. If there is an error in the config file (incorrect value...), the config file will not be accepted and the error message identifying the problem line(s) will be returned to the sender. Note that only the error messages are returned to the sender not the entire config file, so it would be a good idea to keep a copy of your outgoing email message.
  • writeconfig <list> <password>
    Write a new config file in standard form. Writeconfig forces a rewrite of the config file with all comments and default values in place. It is useful to use after an upgrade of majordomo since it will add the new keywords for people to change. It also updates the documentation in the file if that has changed.
Configuring Your List

You should retrieve the configuration file for your list. To do this, send an email message to the majordomo address listed at the top of this form. The contents of this message should be:

    config <list> <List password>
Where <list> <List password> are given at the top of the form. You will receive a config file that can be used to change the operation of your list. If the information at the top of this form shows that resend is being used, you want to configure the majordomo and resend subsystems. Otherwise you only have to configure those items that are associated with the majordomo system.

The configuration file is meant to be self documenting. Once you have completed all of the changes to the config file, You should use the newconfig command (described above) to put a new configuration file in place.

If you have a digest version of your list, you should retrieve the config file for the digest as well using:

    config <Digest List Name> <Digest list password>
and configure the parameters for the digest and majordomo subsystems.


When Majordomo requests your approval for something, it sends you a message that includes a template of the approval message; if you concur, you simply need to replace "PASSWORD" in the template with your list password, and send the template line back to Majordomo.

The requests for approval that Majordomo generates all start with "APPROVE" in the "Subject:" line.

You aren't limited to approving only things to Majordomo requests approval for. You can approve any "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" request, regardless of whether Majordomo has requested this approval, with an "approve" command. Thus, you can subscribe or unsubscribe people from your list without them having to send anything to Majordomo; just send an appropriate "approve PASSWORD subscribe LIST ADDRESS" or "approve PASSWORD unsubscribe LIST ADDRESS" command off to Majordomo.

Bounced Messages

Majordomo may bounce certain messages that people attempt to post to your mailing list. These messages may be bounced because they appear to be administrative requests (i.e., someone mailed a request to subscribe or unsubscribe to the posting address rather than to Majordomo or to the -request address), because they are too long, because they match strings that you or the list server owner has defined as being "taboo", or for any of a number of other reasons, many of which may seem annoying but have been decided upon as being useful in stopping unwanted messages from making it onto your list. (These are often configurable, so if you find a check to be too restrictive you can generally turn it off.) Note also that the bounces mentioned here are not the same as the errors that will be returned by various mail servers when addresses or hosts are unreachable. Those are generally referred to as bounces, also; sorry for the confusion.

Majordomo will forward these messages to you in another message whose subject line begins with the word "BOUNCE"; the subject line will also indicate the name of the list the message was bounced from (in case you manage more than one list) and the reason the message was bounced. If you decide that the message is OK and should not have been bounced, then you can cause Majordomo to post it anyway by sending the message back to the posting address (NOT to the Majordomo address) with a special "Approved: password" header. To do so, follow the following directions _exactly_:

  1. Save the original message (the body of the message you received from Majordomo) in a file. The portion you need will consist of the headers of the original message, followed by a single blank line, followed by the text of the original message. You do not need to include any of the headers of the message which contained the original message. Here's a quick example:
      From: majordomo@list.server \
      To: your-list-approval@list.server | Don't want these headers
      Subject: BOUNCE: taboo_header found /
      - Blank line
      >From list-member@her.site date \
      Received: some long routing info | Headers of original message;
      From: list-member@her.site | You want these. It's OK if you
      To: your-list@list.server | don't have the first line.
      Subject: Just a message /
      - Blank line, you _must_ have this!
      Hello. I'm just writing to
      consume some bandwidth and | Message body; include all of
      take up space in your mail | this.
    Basically you want everything after (and not including) the first blank line.
  2. Edit the file to insert a line that says "Approved: password" (where "password" is the password for your list) at the top, before the original message, with absolutely no intervening space:
      Approved: sekrit
      >From list-member@her.site date
      Received: some long routing info
      From: list-member@her.site
      To: your-list@list.server
      Subject: Just a message
      Hello. I'm just writing to
      consume some bandwidth and
      take up space in your mail
  3. Send this edited file back to the posting address for your list (NOT to Majordomo). You should make sure that your mailer doesn't try to do anything like include your prepared mail as an attachment, encode it somehow, indent every line, or add anything extra to the beginning or end of the message. There are mailers that will do pretty horrible things to messages before they are sent; you should take care that you aren't using one or, if you are, you have it configured to pass your text on unchanged.

    This time around, Majordomo will notice the "Approved:" line and check it against your list password. If it matches, Majordomo will strip off the header of your message and the "Approved:" line (leaving just the original message), and send the original message on through.

    Even your own messages may be bounced to you for approval. To send out your own message without server checks (perhaps you know it contains something the list server will complain about) you can pre-approve the message using one of the two following ways:

      If you're using a mailer that can add additional headers, add one like the following:
        Approved: sekrit
      It's precise location within the headers is not important.

      If your mailer does not allow you to add additional headers, you can add the line:

        Approved: sekrit
      as the first line of the message, followed by a blank line (which is required for your message to be sent properly) followed by the text of your message. The Approved: line and one following blank line will be deleted and the message will be passed without being checked. The blank line is important because it is used to differentiate between a pre-approval and the approval of a bounced message, outlined above.

If your list is moderated, (the moderate parameter in the config file is yes) then messages without an "Approved:" line are bounced, just as described above. To cause them to be posted to the list, you add a valid "Approved:" line and send them back, just as described above.

Restricting Posting

An easier alternative to moderation is to restrict who can post to the list, which can be done with the restrict_post configuration variable. The variable requires a file listing the people who can post.

The most common case is to limit posting to people who are subscribed to the list. This keeps out advertisements and other junk mail sent by non-subscribers. Since majordomo already has a file of subscribers, you don't need to create and maintain a file, so it's easy to set.

Change the restrict_post line to this, where <listname> is the name of your list:

  • restrict_post = <listname>

A digest version of a list is a way to reduce the number of messages sent from Majordomo to subscribers. Normally, each message to the list is remailed to all the subscribers, but with a digest, several messages are collected into a batch and then sent together as one message. This does not reduce the total size too much, although there are fewer mail header lines-- the main purpose is to reduce the number of separate messages. This actually helps the mail systems at both ends, and may help subscribers reduce clutter in their mailboxes.

A Majordomo digest is actually a separate mailing list. The digest of ListName would normally be called ListName-digest.

People subscribe independently to ListName and ListName-digest. Very likely no one would want to be on both lists. To change between ListName and ListName-digest, a subscriber needs to unsubscribe from one list and subscribe to the other. This can be done with one message to majordomo@FooBar.COM with two command lines in it, e.g.:

    unsubscribe ListName
    subscribe ListName-digest
Remember that ListName-digest will have its own information file and configuration file. Change them, if you want to, when you change the same files for ListName.

Majordomo will send a digest automatically when the size of the digest exceeds the size given as max_length in the configuration file of the digest list. The default max_length is 40 K. Thus the interval between digests can vary, but they will be of a predictable size.

2.5 Telnet/SSH

NOTE: GlobeInt.com customers who have signed up after July 1, 1999 do not have telnet access. Telnet will be phased out throughout year 2000 even for the existing customer. Please use SSH client instead. A telnet account is just another name for Unix/Linux UserID. When you sign up with us, you get a UserID and password. You may ask for more than one such UserID. See the Fee Schedule for pricing. Each telnet account for your domain has its own separate home directory, but shares the same www and FTP directories.
You need a telnet client program to access your telnet account. Simply put in yourdomain.com as the host, and connect to the server. When you are connected, you will be prompted for your UserID and password. Some of the programs available at the shell prompt are:

    mail - a primitive email program
    pine - a more powerful email program
    ftp - to FTP onto other sites
    telnet - to telnet to other sites
    pico - an easy to use text editor
    vi - a not so easy to use (but standard) text editor
    Joe - another easy to use text editor
    lynx - a text-based world wide web browser.
In general, it's a pretty complete POSIX environment. You access these programs by typing in their names and then following commands relevant to each program. If you need help with any of the programs, at the shell prompt, type man and the name of the program to get instructions for that program online. If your problem is not knowing the name of the program, try apropos subject (i.e. apropos mail). It is important to remember that Unix is case-sensitive, and that "Index.htm" is not the same as "index.htm."
QUICK TIP: If you experience problems with your telnet program when accessing the above programs you will need to make a entry in your login directories .bash_profile file. Just add the following line to the file: export TERM=vt100. This will allow you to access all shell programs properly.

NOTE: Telnet account is provided for file manipulations such as changing permission settings, password protecting sub-directories, and other minor account maintenance. It is not provided as a full-blown Unix account. Please make sure that you not abuse your telnet previlige.
9+ Character Names
A name of anywhere from 3-16 letters is legal for email accounts, FTP accounts, and telnet accounts. There is no limitation for file names on the server.


SSH (Secure Shell). SSH is a secure version of telnet application that encrypts the session so that others cannot eavedrop on the session. This improves the security because password is never sent in the clear. Hence, we are transitioning away from allowing telnet sessions toward using ssh. This means that you need to get SSH client software on your local machine.


  • Which SSH Version are we running?
    We employ SSH v1.x.
  • Where do I get SSH software for my computer?
    This depends on what kind of computer you are using.
Win32 (Windows9x, Windows NT): beos: Java: OS/2: Macintosh: UNIX:

2.6 Anonymous FTP

IMPORTANT: Your anonymous ftp account is for light use only. Your web hosting account is not designed for heavy anonymous ftp usage for the purposes of distribution programs and/or multimedia files. Please contact us for special pricing for such usage.
Your anonymous ftp site is completely different from your web site.

When people ftp to your domain anonymously, they will see the following directories:

    bin/ dev/ etc/ incoming/ lib/ pub/
"pub" is where you should put all your anonymously accessible files.
"incoming" is for the anonymous users to upload files.
For security the following applies
Only the incoming directory can be written to anonymously
Subdirectories are not creatable
The incoming directory is not readable by people dropping files there
You are responsible for any "pirated" software uploaded by the anonymous users. The anonymous ftp sites will be periodically monitored for any abuses.

You may ignore the other directories. Accessing the Anonymous FTP site via the Web To access the anonymous FTP site via the web, use the following address:

Your HTML to download a file called mirc511s.exe from a webpage would look like this: You should tell your visitors that they may need to right-click on the link if they are PC users, or if they use a Macintosh, they need to hold down the mouse button on the link, then select the appropriate option from the:

Pop-up menu.
Please note its possible during peak hours to receive a "to many anonymous users error", We must restrict the number of simultaneous anonymous users to keep the webserver and normal FTP performance within normal limits. If you receive this error often you may want to put you downloadable files in your main web directory and link to them with a http call Example:

    This assumes the zip files are in the main web directory.

2.7 Password Protecting Web Directories

QUICK TIP: If you are a FrontPage user, you should use the password protection tool that comes with Microsoft® FrontPage® 2000 EXCEPT when password protecting your webstats directory. More detail IMPORTANT: You will need to use both FTP and SSH to use this feature. This means if you have Value Plan, you wouldn't be able to use this feature.

2.7.1. Using .htaccess

(Please note that for the following, foobar.com is used as an example. You should substitute your own domain name in its place.)

Suppose your domain name is foobar.com and want to password protect http://foobar.com/members/ you would need to do the following:

  1. Using a text editor such as Notepad in your local PC, create a file called ".htaccess". Note that there is a period in front of htaccess. The file should contain following lines:
    • ---COPY EVERYTHING BELOW--------------------
    • AuthUserFile /home/foobar/.htpasswd
    • AuthGroupFile /dev/null
    • AuthName ByPassword
    • AuthType Basic
    • require user Spock
    • ---COPY UP TO THE LINE ABOVE---------------
    IMPORTANT: DON'T forget to replace "foobar" with your own domain name. Please don't include .com or .net extensions.
  2. Save the file in plain text.
  3. Upload the file via FTP to /www/foobar/member/ Make sure you are uploading it in ASCII (plain text) mode.
  4. Log onto your account on our server via SSH.
  5. Type following line at the command prompt and hit return:
      htpasswd -c /home/foobar/.htpasswd Spock
    This will create a file named .htpasswd in your home directory.
  6. you will be prompted to type in the password for Spock.
  7. Let's say you want to add another user called Kirk.
  8. Type folling line at the command prompt and hit return:
      htpasswd /home/foobar/.htpasswd Kirk
  9. You would then add "require user Kirk" to your .htaccess. It would look like this:
    • ---COPY EVERYTHING BELOW--------------------
    • AuthUserFile /home/foobar/.htpasswd
    • AuthGroupFile /dev/null
    • AuthName ByPassword
    • AuthType Basic
    • <Limit GET POST>
    • require user Spock
    • require user Kirk
    • </Limit>
    • ---COPY UP TO THE LINE ABOVE---------------
  10. That's it. Test it by visiting http://foobar.com/member/ You will be prompted to enter username and password.
2.7.2 Adding Additional Users and Passwords pairs

  1. Again SSH to your account.
  2. Type following line at the command prompt and hit return:
      htpasswd /home/foobar/.htpasswd Sulu
    IMPORTANT: DON'T forget to add "require user Sulu" to your .htaccess file.
  3. You may reuse existing user/password combinations that you created in your .htpasswd file to allow access other password protected directories -- just use the right user name in the .htaccess file.
    IMPORTANT: You should store the .htpasswd file in your home directory so it is hidden from others.

2.8 SSI (Server Side Includes)

In order for your SSI to work, the web page must have either .sht or .shtml extensions.
Sample SSI:

    <!--#exec cgi="/cgi-bin/count.cgi"-->
    Please note that the url must be relative as shown above. Following would not work:

    For more discussion on SSI, please click here.

2.9.1 Administering MailMan

(For information on accessing Mailman, creating your Mailman list, or converting your majordomo list, please click here

Mailing lists allow you to maintain contact with a wide range of people, and help develop communities. Mailman is a fully web-based mailing list manager, which allows you to administer your lists and your users to subscribe and unsubscribe using only a browser. Mailman includes other features such as message archiving, so users can browse past messages on your list.

When you choose to administer existing accounts, then you will be shown the General Options page for your list and will also see a listing of the other categories of settings that are available. For all of these categories you will be able to makechanges using your browser, but none of the changes will go into effect until you go to the bottom of the screen and click the Submit Your Changes button. Changes will then be immediately put into effect -- nothing needs to be changed or restarted on the list server itself.

The remainder of this document will talk about each of the settings as they appear in the configuration categories for your list. Note that each list server is configured with different default settings, so this document does not assume that any particular setting will be the default when you look at your own list.

2.9.2 Mailman: Quick Reference

This document is intended to serve as a quick reference guide for mail list managers. It will briefly outline some of the more common tasks that are assigned to persons who "own" a list, normally a novice list administrator who only needs to know about a few of Mailman's features. Persons wanting a complete reference for all of Mailman's list administration functions should read the Administrator's Manual for complete information.

Accessing your list management screen.

When your list was created and you were designated the "owner" by the system administrator you should have received a welcome note informing you that your list was active. You can now access the administrative functions through Sitecontrol by going to the Email Manager and then selecting Mailman lists. You will then be able to create new lists, convert existing majordomo lists, and administer existing lists.

Changing maximum message size.

Mailman places a limit on the size of message that it will deliver to prevent large messages from disrupting the list server of user mailboxes. In some cases the default value may not be large enough to allow messages and file attachments to pass through in a manner suitable for your list's purpose. To change the limit:

  • Access your list management screen.
  • In the General Options section, near the bottom, locate the field for "Maximum length in Kb of a message body" field. Change the limit to something suitable, or enter 0 for no size limit.
  • Click the "Submit your changes" button at the bottom of the screen to put the changes into effect.

Removing a user from a list.

Mailman allows the list manager to remove an individual from their mail list, but the method is not entirely intuitive.

  • Access your list management screen.
  • In the Membership Management section, find the line with the e-mail address of the individual that you would like to remove.
  • The check mark in the first column by their address, labeled "subscr" indicates that they are subscribed to your list. Uncheck the box by the address that you would like to remove.
  • Click the "Submit your changes" button at the bottom of the screen to put the changes into effect.
Add a member to your list

Mailman allows a list manager to add people for their mail list, but the method is not intuitively named.

  • Access your list management screen.
  • In the Membership Management section, scroll down to the area labeled "Mass Subscribe Users."
  • Type the address of the individual that you would like to add into the text box. If you would like to add more than one person, enter each address on a separate line.
  • If you would like to send a welcome message to the new members then make sure that the "yes" button is checked. This will send the new members their password and list configuration instructions.
  • Click the "Submit your changes" button at the bottom of the screen to put the changes into effect.
Note: Network etiquette generally frowns on opt-out lists -- adding unsuspecting persons to a list and then telling them that they can leave if they want. Do not use Mailman for unconscionable activities such as sending Spam.

Keep unwanted persons from joining

Mailman allows you to prevent persons from joining your list without explicit approval of the administrator. To activate this feature:

  • Access your list management screen.
  • In the Privacy Options section look at the second field, labeled "what steps are required for subscription."
  • Set the option to "require approval" or "confirm+approval" and click the "Submit your changes" button at the bottom of the screen.
Future subscription requests will cause Mailman to send you an e-mail message telling you that someone has tried to join your list. Go to the URL in the message and then use the on-screen form to accept or reject their request.

2.9.3. General Options

Mailman's general options allow you to specify most of the ways that your mail list will interact with the web server and how it will present itself to the users. The text in the "setting" should match the different characteristics listed under General Features. The description content provides a brief description of each setting as well as guidelines for use when appropriate.

Setting Description
The public name of this list (make case-changes only). This is the name by which the list will be referred to in all automatically generated messages as well as on the listing of lists available on the server. Note that this name must match the name of the list as it was created -- you may only change the case of the name in this field.
The list admin's email address - having multiple admins/addresses (on separate lines) is ok. This field should contain the e-mail address of the list administrator. The list administrator will receive all administrative messages generated by the server as well as any requests that require approval (postings to moderated lists or requests to subscribe to non-open lists).

Note: the persons listed as administrators do not automatically receive copies of list traffic. If they want to participate in the list they must also add their address as a subscriber.

A terse phrase identifying this list. This phrase will appear in two places: on the general listinfo page showing all of the lists hosted on the server, and in the header of all messages sent through the list itself. This value is best kept short.
An introductory description - a few paragraphs - about the list. It will be included, as html, at the top of the listinfo page. Carriage returns will end a paragraph. This information will be included at the top of the listinfo page for this list. In cases where the listinfo page is used to entice people to join the list you would want to use this setting to provide a detailed description of the purpose and nature of the list.
Prefix for subject line of list postings. This value will be added to the beginning of the subject line of all list traffic in order to help members identify/filter list traffic. By default the value is the name of the list enclosed in [square brackets]. You may modify this value to something other than the name of the list.
List-specific text prepended to new-subscriber welcome message. When new users join your list, or when they are added by the list manager, they receive a note welcoming them to the list and telling them about their password and list-related URLs. Text contained in this box will be prepended to the generic technical information so that you can let them know about specific procedures or protocols related to their participation in the list.
Text sent to people leaving the list. If empty, no special text will be added to the unsubscribe message. This is your last chance to get a word in when people leave your list.
Are replies to a post directed to the original poster or to the list? Poster is strongly recommended. When poster is selected, the reply-to line will be written by Mailman so that persons hitting reply in their mail program will send their response back to the individual who posted the note. When this value is set to list, the reply-to line will be rewritten so that persons hitting reply in their mail program will send their response back to the list itself.

While the program suggests that this be set to poster, you should consider the purpose of the list in selecting this value. Lists that intend to focus on discussion are best set to "list" to encourage conversation. Lists used for announcements are best set to poster to prevent unwanted traffic and the inadvertent broadcast of replies.

(Administrative filter) Check postings and intercept ones that seem to be administrative requests? If you activate this feature Mailman will check traffic for administrative requests that have inadvertently been sent to the list. This will prevent the classic case of a user sending a note to the entire list membership saying "unsubscribe."
Send password reminders to, eg, "-owner" address instead of directly to user. This is a setting that Mailman refers to internally as the "umbrella list" setting. If your list does not actually consist of people but instead of lists (so that messages cascade from this "umbrella" down into the constituent lists) then you want this setting to be yes. This means that the password and subscription information will not be sent to all of the members of the constituent list, but instead to the list owner alone.
Suffix for use when this list is an umbrella for other lists, according to setting of previous "umbrella_list" setting. When using your list as an umbrella list as mentioned above, this setting is what will be used to specify who the owners of the constituent lists are. While -owner is not universal, it will cover the conventions used by most of the mail list managers that are used today (and will work with Mailman lists).
Send monthly password reminders or no? Overrides the previous option. When set to yes, list members will receive an automatically generated monthly posting reminding them of their password as well as the URLs to access their list configuration options. This will save you're a lot of time as administrator as it will let users solve a lot of their own problems.
Send welcome message when people subscribe? When set to yes people who join the list or who are added by the list administrator will receive an automatically generated welcome message with information including the list address, their password, and the URLs needed to access their list preferences.
Should administrator get immediate notice of new requests, as well as daily notices about collected ones? This setting dictates the frequency with which the list administrator is told of pending administrative requests: either notes awaiting moderator approval or subscription request for controlled lists. By default the server will send a daily reminder of the pending requests. If the list owner would like more immediate notification then they should check "yes" here for immediate notice of each request.

The notification that you receive will include a URL that will take you to the pending administrative requests page detailed near the end of this document.

Should administrator get notices of subscribes/unsubscribes? Because list membership is checked easily through the web, the list manager may not feel that it is necessary to know of all of the comings and goings of list members (especially on large lists with a lot of turnover). Saying yes here will tell Mailman to send a short note to the list manager for each person that is added or removed from the list.

Note: Mailman does not currently let the list manager block persons from leaving the list. If you are running a list for something like a course or committee, where participation is mandatory, make sure to have this set this to "yes" so you will be informed of unauthorized departures.

Note: If you are migrating large lists over to Mailman, or if you are creating new lists using the mass subscribe feature, you may want to deactivate this initially so that the manager is not flooded with innumerable subscribe notices.

Send mail to poster when their posting is held for approval? Setting this option to yes will send a short "we have your message and it is awaiting approval" note to persons whose postings are being held for approval. This is a useful "courtesy" and will help people on moderated lists from wondering why their note never showed up.  This message will also be sent to non-members who attempt to post to lists that allow posting for members only.
Maximum length in Kb of a message body. Use 0 for no limit. This setting will allow you to specify the maximum size of messages allowed to be passed through the list to the subscribers. This is an important security measure as it allows you to block a malicious poster from bombing everyone's list with a large file and it prevents your server from being tied up delivering inappropriately large messages.

If you do not wish to have a limit on the size of message, set this value to 0.

Number of outgoing connections to open at once (expert users only). This is the number of parallel connections that Mailman will open to deliver traffic on the list. Only system administrators should modify this value.
Host name this list prefers. For multi-home hosts (systems that have different aliases) this would be the value that Mailman uses to identify itself. You should not attempt to modify this value without consulting your system administrator or Mailman may cease to work.
Base URL for Mailman web interface. This is the base portion of the Mailman URL that will be prepended to all of the pointers to specific web features. You should not attempt to modify this value without consulting your system administrator or Mailman may cease to work.

2.9.4 Membership Management

The membership management section allows you to do two things: add/remove users from your list, or adjust the custom user settings.

Adding and Removing Members

The addition and removal of members is done thought the membership management screen. When you access this screen you will be shown a table listing all of your subscribers as well as their current member settings. Through this screen Mailman allows the list manager to remove an individual from their mail list, but the method is not entirely intuitive.

Find the line with the e-mail address of the individual that you would like to remove.

  1. The check mark in the first column by the user address, labeled "subscr" indicates that user is subscribed to your list. Uncheck the box by the address that you would like to remove.
  2. Click the "Submit your changes" button at the bottom of the screen to put the changes into effect.
Mailman allows a list manager to add people for their mail list through this screen, but the method is not intuitively named.
  1. Scroll down to the area labeled "Mass Subscribe Users."
  2. Type the e-mail address of the individual that you would like to add into the text box. If you would like to add more than one person then each address should be entered on a separate line.
  3. If you would like to send a welcome message to the new members then make sure that the "yes" button is checked. This will send the new members their passwords and list configuration instructions.
  4. Click the "Submit your changes" button at the bottom of the screen to put the changes into effect.
Note: You will almost always want to send new subscribers the welcome message so that they have their password and the information necessary to customize their configuration.

Note: Network etiquette generally frowns on opt-out lists apart from their common use within an organization for official communications and notices -- adding unsuspecting persons to a list and then telling them that they can leave if they want. Do not use Mailman for unconscionable activities such as sending Spam.

Subscriber Options

In the main table each participants address is shown along with the current options for that user's list settings. As list administrator you have the capability to modify any of the options for each of your subscribers. Modifications are made by checking or unchecking the boxes for each feature on the row corresponding to the subscriber's settings that you wish to change. After making the modifications you need to click the "Submit Your Changes" button at the bottom of the screen to put them into effect.  Note that because these settings are user configurable not all users may have the same settings when you look at this page. Do not be alarmed, it simply means that they have taken the time to modify their settings.

Setting Values
subscr This setting indicates whether or not the member is subscribed. If you uncheck this box and then submit the changes on this page the user will be removed from the list.
hide As a privacy feature, Mailman allows subscribers to make themselves invisible to others as part of the web-based e-mail subscriber list. A check here indicates that the person will not appear to others as a member of the list. This setting does not affect the ability of the list manager to see the subscriber on the list management page.
nomail Users may disable mail delivery if, for example, they are going to be away from their mail but do not want to unsubscribe.

Mailman's bounce feature may also set a user to nomail status if mail to their address experiences delivery problems.  See the section on bounce handling for more information.

ack Members may request that Mailman send a short acknowledgement when a they post a message to the list. Members find this useful for moderated lists so that they know that their posting was delivered to the moderator successfully.
not metoo In the event that members find their own posts annoying, thay can tell Mailman not to include them in the delivery of their own postings to the list.
digest If the digest feature has been activated for the list, members may choose to receive list traffic bundled as a single large message as opposed to receiving individual messages. This setting indicates whether the member will receive individual posts or the digest.
plain When a user opts for digest delivery, this setting indicates whether the digest will be delivered as plain text or in MIME format. Most users of modern, GUI-based mail clients can handle MIME traffic with no problems. Persons using character-based mail clients should opt for plain-text digests.

2.9.5 Privacy Options

Mailman was created with the privacy shortcomings of other lists in mind. There are a number of manager-configurable settings that can help in preventing spam, subscription abuse, and widespread disclosure of list traffic to non-subscribers.


Description Value
Advertise this list when people ask what lists are on this machine? In general, people in the outside world can see a list of available Mailman lists by visiting http://name.of.host/mailman/listinfo

By setting this value to "no," this list will not be included in the directory of available lists.

What steps are required for subscription? Confirm: when a subscription request is made a message will be sent back to the address being added. The new member will have to reply to the message (without having to modify anything) for their subscription to become active. This prevents someone from maliciously adding people against their will.

Require Approval: when a subscription request is made a note will be sent to the list administrator letting them know that a person is petitioning to join. The list administrator will be given a URL to follow that will then show them the request and allow them to approve or deny it via the web.

Confirm+Approval: includes both of the above.

Membership exposure

Description Value
Who can view subscription list? This setting dictates access to the subscription list via the web.

Anyone: this allows anyone in the world to browse by and take a look at who the members of your list are. Never ever use this setting unless you are trying to say "I have contempt for all of my list members and hope that they get spammed out of their minds."

List members: this is the traditional setting for most lists, allowing participants to see who the other people on the list are but blocking view to the general public. This settings can be overridden by individual users who have set the "hide" option for their account.

List admin only: only the administrator can see the list members.

Show member addrs so they're not directly recognizable as email addrs? This is a nice feature that discourages theft of lists: the membership list does not show actually addresses but instead shows participants as "username at foo.com". This should block most harvesters if they manage to get through to the listing.

General posting filters

Mailman allows you a good deal of control over who may and may not post to the list. Because there is a bit of good old-fashioned logic involved some people may be confused by these settings. Please see the chart following the descriptions of the settings for an illustration of how these settings work in concert.

Description Value
Must posts be approved by an administrator? This settings defines the list as "moderated" or "unmoderated" in most people's minds. If set to yes, postings are held and the administrator is notified of their existence. They may then approve or reject postings via the web interface. If set to "no," postings to the list are immediately delivered to list membership.
Restrict posting privilege to list members? (member_posting_only) Under nearly all circumstances this should be set to "yes." This restriction will cause Mailman to hold for administrative review all posts to the list that do not originate from a list member. Setting this to yes prevents you from being spammed by people who manage to get a hold of your list address.

Note: there is a use to setting this to no, see the chart below.

Addresses of members accepted for posting to this list without implicit approval requirement. This settings can be used to designate posting privileges to persons who are not subscribers to the list. It may also be used to specify persons who are exclusively allowed to post. Please see the chart below for explanation.

Posting privileges explained

The posting privileges settings outlined above actually interact with one another. This chart will help to explain their use so that you can optimally configure your posting privileges. Each box shows who may post for each of the configurations.

Who is allowed to post? Posting restricted to list members?
Are there implicitly approved people? Yes List members and individuals listed. Only listed persons may post.
No List members only. Anyone in the universe.

Spam-specific posting filters

Value Description
Must posts have list named in destination (to, cc) field (or be among the acceptable alias names, specified below)? This prevents the list from being used as part of a BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) spam.
Alias names (regexps) which qualify as explicit to or cc destination names for this list. Helps Mailman make allowances for mail systems that do not substitute the address for alias or for mail servers where list address receives mail from an alias with a different name.
Ceiling on acceptable number of recipients for a posting. Prevents the list from being used as part of a mass recipient spam. Also discourages use of list as recipient of office jokecast notes and bogus solicitations.
Addresses whose postings are always held for approval. Allows manager to designate special special individuals whose postings are always held for approval while when postings are otherwise allowed through.
Hold posts with header value matching a specified regexp. Allows you to filter out known addresses or domains that function primarily as spambone providers.
Hide the sender of a message, replacing it with the list address (Removes From, Sender and Reply-To fields) This tells Mailman to rewrite the header so that traffic appears to be coming from the list itself instead of the original poster. Provides some added privacy for posters, but may be annoying to some list members as mailbox headers show only the list name instead of the actual poster.

2.9.6 Regular Member Options

These are options that affect the normal mail traffic that is delivered immediately and individually to list members.

Setting Description
Can subscribers choose to receive mail immediately, rather than in batched digests? While this seems a bit silly, it is really asking about what options are available to list members. If you say no, then subscription to the list will be available only as a digest.
Header added to mail sent to regular list members. Allows you to add a uniform header to all notes passing through the list.
Footer added to mail sent to regular list members. Allows you to add a uniform footer to all notes passing through the list. The default footer shows the list name, the list address, and the URL that persons can go to in order to access the list information and change their settings.

Note: including this footer information will cut down on the number of times list users will have to contact the list administrator asking for things such as their configuration access information and the like.

2.9.7 Digest Options

These options affect the way that the list will process messages that are to be delivered to subscribers in the form of a digest. Unlike other mail list managers, the digest feature of Mailman is built into the package and it easy to activate and configure.

Setting Description
Can list members choose to receive list traffic bunched in digests? This setting allows you to specify whether or not users can opt to receive mail traffic to the list in the form of a digest.

Note: There are some instances, such as a list for emergency announcements, where you want mail to be delivered immediately in all cases and where you would want to disable the digest feature.

Which delivery mode is the default for new users? This setting specifies whether new users added by the list manager default to regular or digest delivery. Users adding themselves to the list via the listinfo page are given the option to choose for themselves: the options selected here is what will be chosen for them as a default.
How big in Kb should a digest be before it gets sent out? Mailman will collect list traffic until this threshold is reached, then it will deliver the digest to users. This setting is useful in preventing digests from containing so many messages that the reader becomes disoriented.
Should a digest be dispatched daily when the size threshold isn't reached? When installed, Mailman is set to run a daily maintenance script. If you check yes for this option Mailman will send a digest at the specified time even though the size threshold has not been reached. This is a good idea for low traffic lists that may take some time in reaching the threshold.

Note: By default, the daily dispatch time is noon (server time). If you want to be sure of the time that your daily dispatch goes out ask the system administrator of your system.

Header added to every digest. Allows you to add a uniform header to all digests passing through the list.
Footer added to every digest. Allows you to add a uniform footer to all digests passing through the list. The default footer shows the list name, the list address, and the URL that persons can go to in order to access the list information and change their settings.

Note: including this footer information will cut down on the number of times list users will have to contact the list administrator asking for things such as their configuration access information and the like.

2.9.8 Bounce Options

Unlike many other mail list managers, Mailman includes built-in bounce handlers to help the list manager deal with address that have delivery problems.  If you run large lists with dynamic membership then these settings may save you a lot of time in helping to weed out addresses that go bad.

Value Description
Try to figure out error messages automatically? Tells Mailman whether or not to bother you with bounce messages. Mailman does a pretty good job of figuring out error messages generated with RFC-compliant mail agents. On large lists with a large number of subscribers coming and going, this feature will save you a lot of reading from MAILER-DAEMON.
Minimum number of days an address has been non-fatally bad before we take action. In the even that there is a problem reaching a host or domain, this setting tells Mailman how long to hold onto the delivery error messages before taking action. In practice, this is a good way of preventing persons from getting bounced just because their network is flaky and not reliably reachable.
Minimum number of posts to the list since members first bounce before we consider removing them from the list. This amounts to telling Mailman how many times to try someone before giving up.
Maximum number of messages your list gets in an hour. Mailman uses this guesstimate to help figure out some of the characteristics of the bounce notifications that it receives. Give this setting your best shot.
Action when critical or excessive bounces are detected. This setting tells Mailman what to do when one of the above conditions are met, or when a "fatal" error is recorded attempting to deliver to an address.

Do nothing: Mailman will keep attempting to deliver to the address despite the futility of the effort -- this setting in effect disable automatic bounce handling.

Disable and notify: Mailman set the problem account to "nomail" status and notifies you of the problem.

Disable and DON'T notify: sets problem account to "nomail" status but doesn't bother you with the details.

Remove and notify me: removes the problem account from the list and sends a note to the list manager.

2.9.9 Archival Options

Unlike other mail list managers, Mailman has a built-in archival feature that is easily activated and configured by the list manager.

Value Description
Archive messages? Setting this to "yes" will cause Mailman to store a record of all traffic sent thorough the list.
Is archive file source for public or private archival? If set to "private," then only list members are able to access the contents of the list archive. They will be prompted for their list password when the try to access the contents. Setting this to "public" will allow anyone to access the list archives through the listinfo page.

Note: think carefully about whether your list membership wants their identities and postings made available to the world at large by making the archive public. Public access means that web spiders will be able to store and make available member's writings outside of the context of the list to which they were posted to the list.

Set date in archive to when the mail is claimed to have been sent, or to the time we resend it? Determines whether the message is stored with the time stamp of the sender when the note was sent, or the time stamp at the time it was approved by the moderator (when applicable).
How often should a new archive volume be started? The main archive screen for a list breaks down the archive content based on this setting. There is no best setting here, only what is, most appropriate based on the list's function and the amount of traffic that it receives.

2.9.10 Mail-News and News-Mail

In the event that you find it useful to gate your list traffic onto USENET, you can use these settings to set up the service. Note that you may need to talk to your system or network administrator to make sure that your news server will work nicely with this list gateway.

Value Description
The Internet address of the machine your News server is running on. This is the host name of your NNTP server. If in doubt, contact your system administrator for this setting. Make sure to use a host that you have permission to post to.
The name of the Usenet group to gateway to and/or from. Make sure that this newsgroup is available on your news server.
Should posts to the mailing list be resent to the newsgroup? Specifies whether messages sent to the list should be sent to the news group for the entire world to see.
Should newsgroup posts not sent from the list be resent to the list? Specifies whether or not messages posted by people out there in the world who are not members of the list should be gated and distributed to list members.

2.9.11 Other Administrative Activities

In addition to the web-based access to list settings, Mailman provides three links at the top of each administrative page for "other" activities.

Tend to pending administrative requests.

There are primarily three instances when you will need to tend to administrative requests.  Whether the administrator is notified immediately for each request or just once per day is dictated by the switch in Mailman's general settings section. Note that if you have multiple requests pending you can work your way down the page clicking the appropriate action for each request before submitting them all at once. You do not need to click on the submit action on this page after answering individual requests.

1. When a posting is held because it was posted by a non-member. If you are running a list on which only members can post, items that are being held for review will appear in this section for your review.  As the list administrator you have three options.

  • Accept the posting and forward it to list members.
  • Deny approval: the original poster will be sent notification of the rejected posting request along with the explanation that appears in the message box on this screen. You may customize the message as you see fit.
  • Reject the message with no notification sent to the poster. This is particularly useful for spam.

2. When you operate a moderated list, you will use this feature to accept or reject postings following the same guidelines as for non-members postings above.

3. When you operate a list where subscription requires administrator approval, user petitions to join will be listed on this page. You should click accept or deny as appropriate.

Go to the general list information page.

Following this link takes you to the list's "public" information page. This is the page that your subscribers use to log in and modify their settings, it is also the gateway to the list archive.

Edit the HTML for the public list pages.

Mailman allows you to customize the look and feel for many of the pages that are accessible by your list subscribers. This is nice if you want to take the time to "brand" web pages. The following pages can be customized:

  • The general list information page
  • The subscriptions results page
  • The user specific options page
  • The changing user options results page
  • The archives index page

When you follow the link to a particular page you are shown the source HTML in a browser window. In order to make modification you will need to know how to write raw HTML code and insert it in the proper places in the page source. It is important to note that within the source there are embedded Mailman fields that are inserter on-the-fly when the user loads the page. You can identify the Mailman fields because they are enclosed in angle brackets and are of the form

It is suggested that you not make modifications to the Mailman field tags unless you are an advanced user who understands the implications of modifying or removing these fields.

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