L-Soft international, Inc.
List Owner's Manual
LISTSERV®, version 1.8d
5 March 2000
So-called "boilerplate" files are handy for list owners who find
themselves answering the same questions over and over again. Usually
these questions refer to basic LISTSERV usage. You can save yourself a
lot of time by keeping files on-line such as the ones below to cut and
paste into replies. Feel free to edit these to suit your own tastes (or
compose your own!).
(Be sure to insert the appropriate list names and LISTSERV hosts as
LISTSERV subscription requests need to be sent to the LISTSERV address
rather than to the list itself. You do this by sending mail to
LISTSERV@host with the command
SUB listname Your Name
as the body of the message. If you are unfamiliar with LISTSERV and its
associated commands, I suggest that you add the commands
as additional lines of your message. LISTSERV will then send you a file
containing a General Introduction to Revised LISTSERV that will give you
some instruction on the service and a Quick Reference Card of the
Thanks for your interest. If you have trouble subscribing with this
method, please let me know and I will attempt to help.
[if you have Subscription= Open,Confirm you might want
to add the following:]
Because LISTSERV verifies mailing paths for new subscribers (a process
not implemented when the list administrator adds people manually), it is
preferred that users subscribe themselves by the method outlined above.
On Sun, 20 Mar 1994 22:44:25 -0800 (PST) you said:
You need to redirect LISTSERV commands like the above (minus the double
quotes by the way :)), to <listserv@host>. The *-request
type addresses are for reaching the person that run the list.
You've sent mail that appears intended for a mailing list to one of the
addresses used to reach the list owner. That is, rather than sending
your mail to listname@host you've sent the note to
listname-REQUEST@host. Please re-send the appended note to
the list address if you haven't done so already.
----------- original message follows:
[Use this one after you have done an exhaustive search of the list and
determined that the person simply isn't on the list. Typically the user
is subscribed to a redistribution list and doesn't realize it.]
Unfortunately I can't unsubscribe you from listname because you
aren't subscribed to listname@host. I have run a check to
see if you might be subscribed under a slightly different network
address and have not found anything.
There are a few possibilities you should look into. Are you getting a
digest? Are you perhaps getting a redistributed copy of postings,
possibly from a redistribution list? If you look at the mail headers,
and there is an indication that you may be getting the postings from
another source, you will have to ask the people that run the other
source to remove you from their list.
I've done a search of listname for a possible duplicate
subscription for you and have not found anything. It's possible that the
mail you are receiving was actually sent from listname before
your unsubscribe request was processed. Depending on the routing, it
could take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for all such messages to get
through the network, so please be patient.
[If you forward such messages to the list, or back to the sender, you
can add the following at the beginning. I ran across this one in the
CBAY-L mailing list archives, and edited it slightly.]
This message was sent to me from LISTSERV instead of the list. The
original message included the entire message being replied to, including
the mail headers. These headers in the body pointed to the list itself.
LISTSERV has mail-loop avoidance code and when it sees headers that it
thinks it generated itself, it bounces the message to the list owner. If
your mail client does this, please remember to delete such "included
header lines" from the body of your list replies.
Can you shed any light on the following error message? Please let me
know what you find as I have removed the e-mail address from the mailing
list in question and would like to restore service as soon as is
Aside to user: Should this note reach you (meaning that the mail delivery problems have been resolved), you can re-enable your mail service by sending mail to listserv@host with the command,
SET listname MAIL
I received the appended mail delivery report from your system and need
help isolating the e-mail address that is causing the error. That is,
there are multiple recipients from your system on the list but the
delivery error doesn't explicitly mention any of the users on the list.
I'm including a list of subscribers from your system. If any of them are
no longer valid, or aren't usable address for some other reason, please
let me know.
---- list of e-mail address on the indicated list follows:
I received a mail delivery error for your address and issued a
SET listname DIGEST
on your behalf to minimize the number of bounce messages. I also sent a
copy of the error I received to your postmaster (or the postmaster of
the mail gateway that generated the error), asking for help. And since
such delivery problems are often transient, I CC'd a copy of that note
to your address, and included instructions for turning your mail back
on. Apparently I didn't hear anything from your postmaster, or he/she
said not to turn your mail back on until the problem was resolved. If
they had responded and said the problem was resolved, I would have set
you back to MAIL..
The other possibility is that I received a mail message indicating that
there was some temporary problem with your account. In that case, for
example if you had exceeded your disk quota and couldn't receive any new
mail, I would not have bothered your postmaster. I have a different form
letter that I send when that happens. Again it explains what has
occurred and includes instructions for re-enabling your mailing list
subscription. But I only send that one to the address the list member.
Either way, whatever was wrong has been corrected, and you'd probably
like to start receiving mail again. So, here's how you can restore your
mail service. If you have any problems doing so, please let me know and
I'll help. But since I don't know which of the three mail service
options you had chosen before, I can't do it for you without guessing.
You can re-enable your mail service by sending mail to
listserv@host with one of the following commands
SET listname MAIL
SET listname DIGEST (if you want digest-format mail)
SET listname INDEX (if you want digest-index-format mail)
in the *body* of the mail message. Please note that these settings are
mutually exclusive, you can't choose more than one. :)
Mailing List Setup Confirmation
I have created the XXXXX-L list on LISTSERV.MYHOST.COM per your setup sheet.
If you are new to LISTSERV, you will probably want to download L-Soft’s Quick Start manual for list owners. Simply point your web browser to
and view online or choose the version appropriate for your word
processor or viewer.
Formal documentation of list owner commands and other list ownership
issues can be found in the List Owner's Manual, which is available at
Per your list service agreement, support for your list is handled
through a mailing list, LIST-SUPPORT@LISTSERV.MYHOST.COM. You have been
added to that list. Please direct all support questions to the
You may also be interested in subscribing to the LSTOWN-L mailing list
for LISTSERV list owners. To do so, send a mail message to
LISTSERV@LISTSERV.NET with the command
SUB LSTOWN-L Your Name
in the body (not the subject) of the message. There are a number of
extremely experienced LISTSERV list owners subscribed there who are more
than willing to share their expertise. Don't hesitate to ask for
You now need to instruct LISTSERV to add personal passwords for the list
owner account(s). These passwords are used to validate privileged
commands (such as the PUT command for storing your list "header" on the
server after making changes to it). This is done by sending mail from
each account to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.MYHOST.COM with the command
PW ADD password
(again, "password" is whatever you want it to be) in the body of the
message. LISTSERV will request confirmation of this operation; simply
reply to the confirmation request with the word "ok".
Adding these passwords will considerably lessen the chance that someone
will "spoof" mail from you to make changes on your list. It is very
unlikely that this will happen, but it never hurts to be cautious.
Go to the top of this document
List Owner's Manual for LISTSERV®
Appendix A: System Reference Library for LISTSERV®
Appendix B: List Keyword Reference for LISTSERV®
Appendix D: Related Documentation and Support
Appendix E: Acknowledgements