Table of Contents Previous Next Index

Preface - About This Manual

Preface - About This Manual
This Introductory Manual is intended for new list owners with little or no experience using LISTSERV software and who are administrating one email list. The goal of this document is to give a broad overview of the main functions of LISTSERV software and some basic instructions on how to set up and administer a list. This document will concentrate on demonstrating interaction with LISTSERV using the Web interface.
Every effort has been made to ensure that this document is an accurate representation of the functionality of LISTSERV®. As with every software application, development continues after the documentation has gone to press so small inconsistencies may occur. We would appreciate any feedback on this manual. Send comments via email to: MANUALS@LSOFT.COM
The following documentation conventions have been used in this manual:
Menus, options, icons, fields, and text boxes on the screen will be bold
(e.g. the Help icon).
Clickable buttons will be bold and within brackets (e.g. the [OK] button).
Clickable links will be bold and underlined (e.g. the Edit link).
Directory names, commands, and examples of editing program files will appear in Courier New font.
Some screen captures have been cropped and/or edited for emphasis or descriptive purposes.
Many of the screen shots presented here will appear differently if you own multiple lists or are the LISTSERV maintainer.
Editorial Notes
New Version Numbering
With this release, L-Soft is aligning LISTSERV’s version numbering with the rest of the email industry. There have been 51 released versions of LISTSERV since 1986 – 15 major upgrades and 36 minor releases. Version 1.8e in the “traditional” numbering system corresponds to 14.0. The present update is version 15.5.
Because the old nomenclature is more familiar to our users, in this version of the documentation we will continue to refer to versions of LISTSERV inferior to version 14.4 by the old version system.
For New List Owners
If you are a new LISTSERV list owner, we recommend that you read through this entire document to get a good foundation on the main features of LISTSERV. However, if you are in a hurry to get started, you can get an even quicker launch by following the steps in Section 2 Getting Started. Remember to come back later and read through the rest of the document, so that you get a better understanding of what is available to you as a list owner.
For New List Moderators
If you are a new LISTSERV list moderator, you can get a quick start by reading Section 3 Communicating with LISTSERV and then jumping directly to Section 5.8.4 Moderating a List.
LISTSERV Command Syntax Conventions
Generally, parameters used in this document can consist of 1 to 8 characters from the following set:
A-Z 0-9 $#@+-_:
Deviations from this include:
fformatNetdata, Card, Disk, Punch, LPunch, UUencode, XXencode, VMSdump, MIME/text, MIME/Appl, Mail.
full_namefirst_name [middle_initial] surname (not your email address). Must consist of at least two space-separated words, e.g., "John Doe".
listname – name of an existing list
node – Either the fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) of an Internet host or the BITNET nodeid or Internet hostname of a BITNET machine which has taken care of supplying an ':internet' tag in its BITEARN NODES entry.
host – Generally the same as node, but normally refers specifically to the fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) of an Internet host rather than to a BITNET nodeid.
pw – a password containing characters from the set: A-Z 0-9 $#@_-?!|%
userid – Any valid RFC822 network address not longer than 80 characters; if omitted, the 'hostname' part defaults to that of the command originator.
internet_address – Similar to userid, but specifically refers to a complete RFC822 network address in userid@fqdn format. When we use this nomenclature a fully-qualified hostname is required.
Other deviations from the standard set will be noted along with the affected commands.
Also, the following conventions represent variable or optional parameters:
italic type – Always indicates required parameter names that must be replaced by appropriate data when sending commands to LISTSERV.
< > – Angle brackets may sometimes enclose required parameter names that must be replaced by appropriate data when sending commands to LISTSERV. Sometimes used for clarity when italic type is inappropriate.
[ ] – Square brackets enclose optional parameters which, if used, must be replaced by appropriate data when sending commands to LISTSERV.
Contacting L-Soft
L-Soft international recognizes that the information in this manual and the FAQ questions on our web site ( or are not going to solve every problem you may face. We are always willing to help diagnose and correct problems you may be having with your licensed LISTSERV server.
L-Soft strongly recommends that, for support purposes, it is best to use the technical support "lifebuoy" link from the Server Administration Dashboard to initiate a support ticket. This will help you create an email message to the support group that contains all the necessary information about the site configuration, license and so forth without requiring you to find the individual files or issue information commands.
If LISTSERV is not running, of course, this will not be possible. In that case, please try to use the following procedure:
Make the subject line of your report indicative of the problem. L-Soft receives a great deal of mail with the subject "Help!", which is not very helpful when we receive them.
Include any appropriate log entries. LISTSERV keeps logs of everything it does, and without the log trace back, it is often impossible to determine what caused a given error.
If you're running a Unix server and LISTSERV dumps core, please run the debugger on the core file, produce a trace back, and include the results.
Always send a copy of your site configuration files (with the passwords x'ed out). See the Site Manager’s Operations Manual for LISTSERV for the locations and names of the two site configuration files.
Send along anything else that you think might be helpful in diagnosing the problem.
If the supporting documents (for instance, log files) are extremely large, please contact support first before sending everything through. The support group has alternative methods of handling large files that they will be happy to share with you.
If you are not currently an L-Soft customer and are running an evaluation version of our software, please send your trouble reports to the evaluation users' list, LSTSERV@PEACH.EASE.LSOFT.COM.
If you are running LISTSERV Lite, please send your trouble reports to the LISTSERV Lite support mailing list, LISTSERV-LITE@PEACH.EASE.LSOFT.COM. This includes users of the paid version of the software unless you have also purchased paid support.
If your LISTSERV Classic/Classic HPO server for VM, VMS, unix, or Windows has paid-up maintenance, you may send problems to SUPPORT@LSOFT.COM for a quick reply.
To reach our worldwide sales group, simply write to SALES@LSOFT.COM. You may also call 1-800-399-5449 (in the US and Canada) or +1 301-731-0440 (outside the US and Canada) to speak to our sales representatives.