2. Subscribing and Unsubscribing

The ezmlm command addresses for subscribing, unsubscribing and querying the status of subscriptions are explained below.

Note: Lists may be configured to not respond to any public requests, i.e. it is closed and you will not be permitted to subscribe or unsubscribe. Lists may also be moderated, in which case subscription requests will only be successful if and when the moderator accepts the request.

Subscription and unsubscription requests always require confirmation from the owner of the specified email address before completion or passing on to the moderator.

To confirm your subscription or unsubscription request you should just reply to the "Reply-To" address. Usually, the "reply" function of your email software will do this for you.

2.1. Subscribing Using Email

  • To subscribe yourself to an ezmlm mailing list send an email to:

    listname-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk

    Ezmlm will send you a confirmation request, and once you reply to it, a message confirming that you are a subscriber.
  • To subscribe someone else to an ezmlm mailing list, use the following email format:

    listname-subscribe-foo=bar.com@maillist.ox.ac.uk

    Here the default subscriber address (the one you are sending from) is overridden by an argument to the subscribe command. To subscribe any address just replace the "@" in the address with an "=" and add it after a hyphen to the command. Ezmlm will, of course, ask foo@bar.com to confirm that they want to be subscribed to the list.

2.2. Unsubscribing Using Email

  • To unsubscribe yourself from an ezmlm mailing list use the following email format:

    listname-unsubscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk

    Ezmlm will send a confirmation request to your address and remove the address once you reply.
  • To unsubscribe someone else from an ezmlm mailing list use the following email format:

    listname-unsubscribe-foo=bar.com@maillist.ox.ac.uk

    See the subscribe information above for formatting of this command.

2.3. Using the Web Interface

The Ezmlm web interface can be used to view your subscriptions and to unsubscribe from maillists.
  • Go to the Ezmlm web site and select the Show My Subscriptions link
  • After you have authenticated yourself with the server, you will see a list of all the maillists you are subscribed to.
  • Each maillist has an associated Unsubscribe link. If you wish to be unsubscribed from a particular maillist, click its Unsubscribe link.

2.4. Other useful commands

  • To find out if your email address is subscribed to the list or not, send the following command:
    listname-query@maillist.ox.ac.uk

To send messages to an ezmlm list, you must know its name. If the list is called mailinglist@example.org, just send a message to mailinglist@example.org. Any message accepted at this address is sent to all list subscribers.

2.5. Warning messages and automatic deletion of subscribers - the process

Ezmlm needs to perform a house-keeping role on maillists otherwise subscriber lists become clogged with old and unreachable email addresses. When a maillist message bounces back to Ezmlm from the intended recipient, the system notes that this has happened. It will carry on trying to deliver messages for upto 12 days. If messages still bounce back to the system after this time, a warning message is sent to the subscriber. The warning message lists the numbers of the messages missed and that the user can retrieve these from the archive if they want to read them. However, if this warning message bounces as well, ezmlm waits another 12 days, then sends a probe message. Only if this message bounces is the subscriber removed from the subscriber database. This mechanism guarantees that a subscriber won't be removed due to a temporary error, while assuring that all non-existent or permanently failing addresses will be removed eventually.

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