If you're familiar with mail servers, an advanced user's summary of Majordomo's commands appears at the end of this message.
Majordomo is an automated system which allows users to
subscribe and unsubscribe to mailing lists, and to retrieve files from
list archives. You interact with the Majordomo software by sending it
commands in the body of mail messages addressed to
email@example.com. Do not put your commands on the
subject line; Majordomo does not process commands in the subject line.
You may put multiple Majordomo commands in the same mail message. Put
each command on a line by itself.
If you use a signature block at the end of your mail,
Majordomo may mistakenly interpret each line of your signature as a
command, which will cause you to receive error messages. This is
usually not harmful, but to keep this from happening, either put a line
starting with a hyphen ("-") before your signature, or end your valid
Majordomo commands with the command
end on a line by itself.
This will stop the Majordomo software from processing the remaining
Here are some of the things you can do using Majordomo:
Find out which lists are on a system
To get a list of publicly-available mailing lists on this system,
mail a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the keyword
on a line in the body of the message. Majordomo will reply to you with
all the mailing lists it manages. Each line of the will contain the
name of the mailing list and a brief description of the list.
To get more information about a particular list, use the
command. For example, to get information about the list
include the following line
in the body of the mail message.
Subscribe to a list
If you wish to subscribe to one or more lists on this system, you can
send commands to Majordomo to have it add you to the list, so you can
begin receiving mailings. Note some lists may be moderated and require
an administrator's approval for you to be added. Majordomo will handle
these cases automatically. To receive list mail at the address from which
you're sending your mail, include a line with the
followed by the list's name:
If for some reason you wish to have the mailings go to a different
address (a friend's address, an account on another system, or an
address which is more correct than the one that automatically appears
From: header on the mail you send) you would add that
address to the command. For example, if you're sending a request from
your work account, but wish to receive
demo-list mail at the
email@example.com, you'd put the line
subscribe demo-list firstname.lastname@example.org
in the body of the mail message.
When you are added to the list, you will will be mailed a confirmation of your subscription. For some lists, you may also receive notification that an authorization key is required for subscription. In that case a message will be sent to the address listed in the subscribe request containing a key, and directing the user to reply to the Majordomo server with a given command (which will be described in the message body). (This may seem like a hassle, but it helps keep you from being swamped with email by someone who forged subscription requests from your address.) You may also get a message that your subscription is being forwarded to the list owner for approval. If your request is forwarded for approval, the list owner should contact you soon after your request.
Once your subscription is approved, you should receive an introductory message, containing list policies and features. Save this message for future reference; it will also contain directions for unsubscribing from the list. If you lose the intro mail and would like another copy of the policies, send the following command to the Majordomo server:
(substituting, of course, the real name of your list for
Unsubscre from mailing lists
Your original intro message contains the exact command which should be used to remove your address from the list. However, in most cases, you may simply send the command "unsubscribe" followed by the list name:
(This command may fail if your provider has changed the way your address is shown in your mail.) To remove an address other than the one from which you're sending the request, give that address in the command:
unsubscribe demo-list email@example.com
In either of these cases, you can tell Majordomo to remove the address
in question from all lists on this server by using
* in place
of the list name:
unsubscribe * unsubscribe * firstname.lastname@example.org
Find the lists to which an address is subscribed
To find the lists to which your address is subscribed, send this command in the body of a mail message to the Majordomo server:
You can look for other addresses, or parts of an address, by specifying
the text for which Majordomo should search. For instance, to find
which users at
my-isp.com are subscribed to which lists, you
might send the command
Note that many list owners disable the
considering it a privacy violation.
Find out who's subscribed to a list
To get a list of the addresses on a particular list, you may use the
who command, followed by the name of the list:
Note that many list owners allow only the list's subscribers to use the
who command, or disable it completely, believing it to be a
Retrieve files from a list's archives
Many list owners keep archives of files associated with a list. These may include:
- back issues of the list
- help files, user profiles, and other documents associated with the list
- daily, monthly, or yearly archives for the list
To determine whether a list has any files associated with it, use the
To retrieve an archived file from a mailing list use the
command, specifying the list name and archived filename. For exampl,
to retrieve the files called
profile.form (presumably a form
to fill out with your profile) and
the messages posted to the list in November 1996), you would include
the following lines
get demo-list profile.form get demo-list demo-list.9611
in the body of your message.
Get more help
To contact a human site manager (for the CS Majordomo server), send
e-mail to email@example.com. To contact the owner of a
specific list, send mail to that list's approval address, which is
formed by adding
-approval to the user-name portion of the
list's address. For example, to contact the list owner for
firstname.lastname@example.org, you would send mail to
A help message from Majordomo is available by sending mail to email@example.com containing the following line
in the body of the message.
Command summary for advanced users
In the descriptions below, items contained inside square brackets
 ) are optional. When typing the item, do not include the
's around it. Items that are emphasized, such as
address, are meta-symbols that should be replaced by
appropriate text. Majordomo understands the following commands:
- subscribe list [address]
- Subscribe yourself (or address, if specified) to the named list.
- unsubscribe list [address]
- Unsubscribe yourself (or address if specified) from the
unsubscribe *will remove you (or address) from all lists. This may not work if you have subscribed using multiple addresses.
- get list filename
- Get a file related to the list.
- index list
- Return an index of files available to the list.
- which [address]
- Find out which lists you (or address, if specified) are subscribed to.
- who list
- Find out who is subscribed to the named list.
- info list
- Retrieve the general introductory information for the named list.
- intro list
- Retrieve the introductory message sent to new users. Non-subscribers may not be able to retrieve this.
- Show the lists served by this Majordomo server.
- Retrieve a help message.
- Stop processing commands (useful if your mailer adds a signature).
Commands should be sent in the body of an email message to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Multiple commands can be processed provided
each occurs on a separate line. NOTE: Commands in the
Subject: line are NOT processed.
If you have any questions or problems, please contact the Lab Staff.