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Mailman Lists

This service is for: 
Students, Grad Students, Faculty & Staff

IT supports a mailing list management package called Mailman. Mailman manages many aspects of mailing lists, including subscriptions, unsubscriptions, moderation (i.e. approval of submissions), redistribution of notes, archiving notes, and combining notes into daily, weekly, quarterly, monthly, or yearly digests.

There are many different mailing lists on the University of Calgary's Mailman service. Some of them are centrally administered, while others are administered by individuals on behalf of their department, research team, club, or other group. Instructors may request a mailing list containing the email addresses of all the students in their class. This is useful for announcements and discussion among the instructor and students.


Mailman FAQs

Submitted by sdweir on Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:20am

How do I remove myself from a mailman list?

The simplest way to unsubscribe from a mailing list is through the list's website. You can find a listing of all the publicly advertised lists at:

However, if the list owner has disabled public advertising for the list, it will not appear here. If you know the name of the list you wish to unsubscribe from, the list's website would be:

For example,'s website would be:

Another method is to send an email message to the list's unsubscription e-mail. The e-mail address would be For example,

Note: Requests to unsubscribe from employee mailman lists are not permitted unless there is a change of an employment or a request to change the primary email used for correspondence.

For a closed list, the list owner must approve your unsubscription. As such, there might be a delay between your unsubscription request and the list owner's approval. Once your unsubscription request has been processed (and approved if necessary), Mailman may send you a note confirming your unsubscription (depending on the list owner's preferences).

How do I subscribe to a mailman list?

The simplest way to subscribe to a mailman list is through the list's website. You can find a listing of all the publicly advertised lists at

However, if the list owner has disabled public advertising for the list, it will not appear here. If you know the name of the list you wish to subscribe to, the list's website would be:

For example,'s website would be:

Another method is to send an e-mail message to the list. The e-mail address would be Following the previous example, to join events-L, you can send an e-mail to:

Note: ist names always end in -L.

A common mistake is to send your subscription request to the list itself (e.g., rather than to the Mailman subscription address This not only does not work, but it advertises your mistake to everyone on the list.

Mailing lists are either open or closed. Closed simply means that the list owner must approve your subscription. The method for subscribing is the same in both cases, but the list owner might take a while to approve your subscription to a closed list. Once your subscription request has been processed (and approved, if necessary), Mailman will send you a note confirming your subscription.

What is an employee mailman list?

The university mailman lists are one of the university’s primary tools to ensure that all employees receive the most up-to-date information and communication. Employee mailman lists are the preferred method of communication with faculty and staff. Employees are automatically subscribed to an email list specific to their group. Requests to unsubscribe from employee mailman lists are not permitted unless there is a change of an employment or a request to change the primary email used for correspondence.

Contact the Integrated Service Centre at or (403) 220-5932 or refer to Guidelines for Employee Mailman Lists for more information.


How do I send an email to the mailman list owner?

If you need to contact the owner of a mailing list for any reason, use the address

For example, to contact the owner of the chess-club-L list, use the address

Typical reasons for contacting the list owner are:

  • To find out why your subscription or unsubscription request has not been processed
  • To find out who is subscribed to a private list
  • To determine if a posting would be appropriate for the list
  • To complain about an inappropriate posting made to the list

How do I find a mailman list?

To get a listing of publicly available mailing lists on the UCalgary system, visit the university's Mailman website:

This site displays a list of public lists, along with a brief description of each. Some lists may be private, so they will not be shown here. In this case you must contact the list owner and request the information.

How do I determine who is subscribed to a mailman list?

You can find the names of people on a specific list by visiting the list's mailman website. For example, to find out who is subscribed to the list chess-club-L, go to

On this page you will see an option to view the subscribers lists. Enter your e-mail address and password and select the Visit Subscribers List button. By default, most lists restrict this option to just list members.

Some lists are private, which means viewing the subscribers list is restricted to just list owners. In this case, you must contact the list owner and request the information.

Why do I get a message saying "Your message to listname-L awaits moderator approval" ?

Some mailman lists restrict who can send messages in an attempt to prevent inappropriate use. If you receive this message, that means your message requires approval before it is released to members on the list.

How do I create a mailman list?

Any member of the campus community may create a new mailman list, provided that it relates to teaching, research, or administration at the University of Calgary. If you create a mailman list, you will be responsible for configuring it, maintaining it and dealing with people who abuse it.

A mailman list is not the only method available for communicating with your colleagues. 

To create a mailman list, please use our Mailman List Request Form. You will be asked to specify the following

How do I delete a mailman list?

If you are the owner of a Mailman list that you will no longer be using, you can request to have it deleted by filling out the Mailman List Deletion form.

We recommend backing up any archives or subscription lists prior to this.

How do I administer a mailman list?

Administer your mailman list through the Mailman Web Interface

Sign into the Mailman Web Interface by filling in your mailman list name (list_name-l) then select the Admin button and Submit your request.  You will be prompted for your List Administrator Password.

List Options

Mailman is a very flexible mailing list manager. Some of the options that the list owner can specify include the following:

  • Open/Closed: Lists can be open, meaning that users can subscribe/unsubscribe themselves; or closed, meaning that the list owner must manually maintain the list.
  • Unmoderated/Moderated: Lists can be unmoderated, meaning that any submissions immediately go to all list members; or moderated, meaning that the list owner has to review and approve all submissions before they will be sent.
  • Unrestricted/Restricted: Lists can be unrestricted, meaning that anyone (even people who are not subscribed) can submit to the list; or restricted, meaning that only specified people can submit to the list.
  • Digested: Lists can be configured to accumulate all submissions for a specified period of time and send them all out as one note. This is useful for lists with a high volume of submissions.
  • Archived: List submissions can be archived so that subscribers can retrieve past submissions individually or in bulk.
  • Private/Public: The list owner can specify who can view the subscriber list via the e-mail interface.

What is the difference between a list administrator and moderator?

There are two types of users that can maintain a mailman list: Administrators and Moderators.

Administrators: have the ability to configure any settings in the list's administrative interface, subscribe and unsubscribe users, as well as moderate posts. Administrators access their web interface by going to: There is also a link to the administrative interface located at the bottom of the list's webpage.

Administrators can add additional administrators and moderators through the administrative interface. In the General Options menu, add the email addresses of people who you wish to be either administrators or moderators in the boxes entitled Details for owner orDetails for moderator. Mailman will send out notifications to these addresses whenever the list requires attention

Moderators: those that help manage posts. If the list uses any moderation rules, posts must receive approval before they are sent out to list subscribers. Moderators (as well as administrators) can either Accept, Hold, Reject, or Discard posts. Moderators access their web interface by going to:

Administrator and moderator interfaces are password protected, each using a separate password. These passwords can be set or changed in the Passwords menu of the administrative interface. Note that all administrators share a common password as do moderators.

How is list membership managed?

Administrators can subscribe and unsubscribe users as well as configure specific settings for individual users through the administrative interface. This is done through the Membership Management menu.

Subscribing Members
Adding members can be done through the Membership Subscriptions menu. To do this, enter the email addresses of the people you wish to subscribe in the subscription box. Please note that you can only enter one address per line.

If you have a list of people you wish to subscribe in a separate text file, you can upload that file, rather than typing them out into the box. To do this, press the Browse button and locate the file. When you are finished, press the Submit Your Changes button at the bottom of the page. If the list is rather large, you may have to wait a few minutes until they are subscribed.

Unsubscribing Members
Members can be removed through the Mass Removal menu following the same steps as subscribing members.

In addition, users can be unsubscribed through the Membership List menu. To unsubscribe a user in the Membership List menu, check off the unsub box(es) next to the email address(es) and press the Submit Your Changes button when finished.

Note that Mailman accepts the following email address forms in the text boxes and files:

Member Settings
Each member can have their own individual settings in Mailman. These can be set through the Membership List menu. Simply check/uncheck the appropriate settings for a user and press the Submit Your Changes button when finished. Members can also configure their own settings through their own user interface.

How do I change the privacy settings for my list?

To configure settings, including subscription/unsubscription and moderation policies, access the Privacy Options through the administrative interface.

Accessible through the Subscription Rules option, this determines whether or not your mailing list appears among the other lists on the University of Calgary's Mailman page:

Subscription/Unsubscription Policy
Accessible through the Subscription Rules option, administrators can decide if their approval is required for new subscribers or unsubscribers before they are added or removed from the list.

Member Moderation
Accessible through the Sender Filters option, administrators define whether new member postings are moderated or not, as well as how they should be handled. Also see Member Settings for individual user moderation.

What do I need to know about archiving and digests?

Mailman can archive messages sent through your list. This can be useful for members who wish to review old messages (e.g. new subscribers). Archiving can be set to public (accessible to anyone, even non-members) or private (accessible only to members).

New archive volumes can be set to start at yearly, monthly, quarterly, weekly, and daily intervals. You can access these settings through the Archiving Options menu page in the administrative interface.

Archives can be viewed online from your list's main webpage:

Rather than having every message sent to list subscribers, you may wish to send them as periodic digests. Through the Digest Options menu you can set digest configurations such as the volume frequency and size of each message.

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