What is Mailman?

Mailman is a mailing list manager — software for managing electronic discussion lists and electronic newsletters. Mailing list managers take most of the tedium out of maintaining and sending to electronic mailing lists by providing a single email address for each list, by facilitating list maintenance and by automatically dealing with many non-delivery errors. The characteristics of each list can be set separately. For example, some lists may be configured for announcements, in which only one or two people can send to the list. Another list may be created for discussion, in which everyone can send to the list. You may be familiar with other mailing list managers such as Majordomo and Listserv. Why Mailman?

Getting to the Mailman administrative interface

Public vs. private lists

As the name implies, private lists are intended to remain out of the public eye. This means that, among other things, the mailing list will not be in the list of public mailing lists. Additionally, the archives of private lists are only available to subscribers.

List owners can manage their lists with Mailman's administrative web interface. Some mailing list managers require list owners to send specially formatted email commands to a specific administrative email address to administer their lists. And although Mailman mailing lists can be administered via email, the web interface provided by Mailman greatly simplifies list administration.

Links to the administrative interface for public lists can be found here: http://lists.tsl.state.tx.us/mailman/admin. Clicking on the name of a list in the "Lists" column will take you to the administrative interface for that list.

Alternatively, the address for each list's administrative interface can be figured out from the name of the list. This is the only way to determine the address of the administrative interface for private lists. Replacing <list-name> with the name of the list, the URL for the administrative interface would be: http://lists.tsl.state.tx.us/mailman/admin/<list-name> For example, if the list we were interested in were named mylist, the address for the administrative interface would be: http://lists.tsl.state.tx.us/mailman/admin/mylist If you are unsure of the exact name of the list, look at the email address to which you send list postings. The name of the list is everything before @lists.tsl.state.tx.us.

Finding out who is subscribed

Like most Mailman tasks, there are two way to find out who is subscribed to a particular list — via the administrative interface or via e-mail. It is recommended that you use the web interface.

via the administrative interface (see Getting to the Mailman administrative interface):
On the administrative interface you should see a list of links under the heading "Configuration Categories". Click the link labeled "Membership Management". If the list has very few subscribers, all of them will be listed on the resulting page. If the list has many subscribers, the subscribers' addresses will be sorted alphabetically with a separate page for each letter. You'll notice that at the top of the list of subscribers is a note letting you know how many members the list has.
via e-mail:
send the who command to the request address for the list you are interested in. The request address is <list-name>-request@lists.tsl.state.tx.us, where <list-name> is replaced with the name of the list. For example, the request address for a the list mylist would be mylist-request@lists.tsl.state.tx.us. The body of the request should be formatted as follows: who <password>Replace <password> with the list password (see Finding the list password).

Creating a new list

To request the creation of new Mailman mailing least, fill out the mailing list application.

Viewing the list archives

Every message successfully posted to a mailing list is automatically archived by Mailman. These archives are available on the web. A link a mailing list's archives can be found the list's web interface (see Getting to the Mailman web interface). Under the heading "About <list-name>" is a link to the archives of the list.

Alternatively, the address for each list's archives can be figured out from the name of the list. Replacing <list-name> with the name of the list, the URL for the archives would be: http://lists.tsl.state.tx.us/pipermail/<list-name>

For example, if we wanted to view the archives for a list named mylist, the address would be: http://lists.tsl.state.tx.us/pipermail/mylist

Getting more help

List administrators are encouraged to become familiar with Mailman's administrative interface (see Getting to the Mailman administrative interface).

Appropiately enough, help is also available on a mailing list for Mailman users. To subscribe fill out the form on the Mailman-Users info page.

Lastly, you are welcome to contact the Mailman administrator at mailman-owner@lists.tsl.state.tx.us. If you have any comments or corrections, or would like to see something added to this guide, please contact the Mailman administrator.