Subscriber’s Guide

Last updated: January 23, 2024
Audience: StudentsInstructorsStaff

This information applies to: Old Mailman

Find a list’s information page

To find out information about a list; to subscribe, unsubscribe, or edit your subscription options; or to access archived messages — in other words, to do just about anything as a subscriber — you need to know the name of the list and how to access that list’s information page. All “listinfo” pages can be found at a URL similar to the following:

where listname is replaced with the actual name of the list for which you want to get information.

Subscribe to a list

To subscribe to a Mailman list, type in the listname in the box above and click the “Submit” button. You will be taken to that list’s information page where you will be able to subscribe. If you have a UW NetID, follow the UW login link on the list’s information page.

Unsubscribe or edit options

To unsubscribe or edit your subscription options, you need to go to the list’s information page. To do so, see the instructions above. Once you are at the listinfo page for your list, fill in your email address next to the “Unsubscribe or edit options” box and click on the box.

  • To unsubscribe, click on the “Unsubscribe” button.
  • If you want to edit your subscription options, you will need to log in with your password.

If you have forgotten your password, click on the “Remind” button and your password will be emailed to you.

Post a message to a list

All lists on the Mailman server at the UW have email addresses of the form

So if you know the name of the list to which you want to post, just add to the end of it. For example, if you want to post a message to the uwsports list, address it to

Etiquette guidelines for posting messages

There are a few general guidelines that should be followed when posting messages to a mailing list.

Meaningful subject line

When sending messages to a Mailman mailing list, make sure the entry in the Subject line is clear and descriptive.

Include a signature

Be sure to sign your full name at the bottom of your posting and include your affiliation(s) and email address. Some subscribers may receive their email messages with the header information stripped away by their local system and therefore cannot know the author of a particular posting.

Provide context

Every posting should begin with a clear introduction to the topic, or offer some kind of reference to the topic or a previous posting. There are often several “threads” of discussion going on simultaneously, which makes unreferenced postings confusing to readers.

A popular way of providing context is to quote verbatim from the original message. However, keep the quotations *short* and *relevant*. Quoting whole messages, signatures and all, can be inconsiderate.


Humor is appreciated, but please remember that humor in email can easily be misinterpreted. One way to express emotion is to use smilies. For example: humorous 🙂 , ironic 😉 , or sad 🙁 .


Some Mailman mailing lists are “unmoderated” lists. This means what members post goes directly to other members. To keep lists uncensored, it is important that only pertinent messages are posted to the list. Members whose messages do not meet minimum expectations may be notified by the list owner or site administrator, and may be excluded permanently from future participation.

Personal mail

Just as it is important to try to share public information with the whole group, private correspondence should remain just that — private. Send personal messages directly to individuals, not by way of the list.

Quality of communication

If you find something posted on the list objectionable, you have every right to voice your objections — but not in public. Please express your complaints directly to the person responsible. If enough complaints are received, it is unlikely the offender will post those kinds of messages again. You can also, of course, simply discard (not read) all mail from an offending writer. If you would like to contact the list owner, you can do so by sending email to where listname is replaced with the actual name of the list.

Note that this does NOT address harassment or illegal activities. Such instances should be reported to UW Information Technology by sending email to

Changing subscriber configuration options

Mailman performs lots of functions in addition to distributing messages to subscribers. It allows you to do a task, like subscribing to a list or changing how a list works, by going to a specific Web address.

  • Subscribers can do their tasks on the list information page at

    where listname is replaced with the actual name of the list. For Example, if a subscriber wanted to change his subscription options for the uwsports list, he would go to

Access a list’s message archives

Each mailing list may have its messages automatically archived. This can be useful for newcomers who want to catch up with the discussion, or for posting and archiving FAQs.

To access the archives of a particular list, go to the list’s information page (see above) and follow the link to the list’s archives.

Public archives

Messages sent to a Mailman list may be made available to the world through public archives. Public archives are indexed by online search engines such as Google and Bing. List owners can choose whether or not to keep archives of list messages and whether those archives should be kept private or made public.


Attachments are retained in the archive as long as the total archive size for the list is below 500 MB. Mailman strips attachments and provides a URL from which to retrieve the message. Message recipients should not rely on the URL location as a storage solution.