Default-Options= option1,option2,...

A "Default-Options" keyword is available to define initial personal options for new subscribers. The syntax is the same as for the SET command, except that options are separated by commas in the usual fashion.

Important: Setting or changing values in Default-Options= does not affect existing subscribers. If you want existing subscribers to have these settings, you must update them manually with a SET listname options FOR *@* command.

A typical Default-Options= setting might be:

* Default-Options=Mime,Repro,Noack

which would mean the list defaults to MIME digest format (if users choose to set themselves to the DIGEST option), subscribers get a copy of their posts, and no acknowledgement mssage is sent when the post is processed.

Tip: Typically, REPRO and NOACK are set together, as it is redundant to send both a copy of the message and an acknowledgement to the poster.  However, note that some ISPs (notably Gmail) may send LISTSERV's REPRO copies straight to the user's mail archives, and they never get seen.  Gmail claims this "reduces clutter."

We address this behavior in this FAQ, but the only real solution for Gmail users (and others whose ISPs treat REPRO mail similarly) is to set their subscriber options to NOREPRO ACK.

Note that if you have "Default-Options= NOPOST" for your list and you add an editor or a moderator as a subscriber, you will have to manually reset the editor to POST (with "SET listname POST FOR userid@host") before things will work properly. You will know that this is necessary if your editor or moderator can successfully approve postings but is then told that he or she cannot post to the list.

All default options are applied to non-subscribers, so it is possible to force even non-subscribers to post through a moderator by simply setting "Default-Options= REVIEW", or lock them out altogether by setting "Default-Options= NOPOST". This works even if your list is set "Send= Public", in which case there is a side benefit: the setting will prevent people whom you have set to REVIEW or NOPOST from signing off the list and then being able to post.

Two caveats regarding the use of this keyword:

      • Default-Options= REVIEW is overridden for addresses defined in Editor= or Moderator=.
      • Default-Options= NOPOST in conjunction with Send= Editor causes mail from non-subscribers to be forwarded to the appropriate Editor for approval rather than simply rejecting it with a "you are not allowed to post" message.

Available options for this keyword setting are:


Specify one of:

ACK - A mail message acknowledging the receipt and distribution of the user's posting is sent back to the user

NOACK - No posting acknowledgement is sent.  In general, this setting should only be used if users are also set to REPRO (see below) as it is desirable in most cases that some indication of whether or not the posting was received by LISTSERV be sent.

MSGack - (Obsolete) An interactive message is sent to acknowledge receipt and distribution.  Note that this works only if both the machine running LISTSERV and the user's machine have NJE connectivity (i.e., BITNET).  If NJE connectivity is not available on both ends, this option is effectively the same as NOACK.


Specify either of:

CONCEAL - Allows the user to be concealed from the REVIEW command.  Note that the list owner or LISTSERV maintainer can always get the complete list of subscribers, regardless of this setting.

NOCONCEAL - While this option may be set in Default-Options=, it has no actual effect as the LISTSERV default is already NOCONCEAL.  Also, someone who subscribes "WITH CONCEAL" will be subscribed with the CONCEAL option set, regardless whether Default-Options= includes NOCONCEAL.

Note: Setting either option here is irrelevant if the list is set to "Review= Owners" (or to any access-level that restricts the use of the REVIEW listname command to administrators), since no one other than the list owners and LISTSERV maintainers will be able to review the list of subscribers.  Note however that the default for Review= is "Private", i.e., any subscriber may obtain the list of subscribers, in which case you may wish to consider carefully whether to change that to a more restrictive level, or to simply set Default-Options to include CONCEAL.

DIGests | INDex | NODIGests | NOINDex

Only useful if digests are enabled (which also enables indexes).

Specify one option only.

These options change the format in which list mail is received by the subscriber. DIGEST turns on digest mode, in which the subscriber receives a digest of postings at set times dependent on how the "Digest=" keyword of the list is set. INDEX turns on index mode, in which the subscriber receives a daily listing of subjects posted to the list, from which he or she may order postings of interest. NODIGEST and NOINDEX toggle the mode back to individual postings sent as received by LISTSERV. Note that these options are interrelated; setting one will negate another.


Only useful if the list is moderated.

Specify one of:

EDITor - User may post without going through moderator

NOEDITor - User is subject to moderation, all posts go through a moderator for approval.

See note above regarding the NOPOST option as it applies to Editors.  Also see note below regarding the scope of the EDITOR option.

Files | NOFiles

(Obsolete) These options toggle the receipt of non-mail files from the list. Note that this is NJE-specific, and thus obsolete for systems without NJE connectivity, but retained for compatibility.  If your LISTSERV server is running on Unix or Windows, you will never have any reason to set these.


Only useful if digests are enabled (which also enables indexes).

Specify one of:

HTML - Turn on HTML digests and indexes

NOHTML - Turn off HTML digests and indexes, send only plain text digests and indexes


Specify one of:

Mail - Turn on receipt of mail from the list (regardless of format set by individual subscribers -- individual messages, digests, or indexes).  Unless the list is being used strictly to aggregate copies of mail, this is likely the setting you will want to use.  It is also the default.

NOMail - Turn off receipt of mail from the list.

Note that setting a user to NOMail does not turn off administrative email from LISTSERV.


Only useful if digests are enabled (which also enables indexes).

Specify one of:

MIME - Turn on MIME digests and indexes.  This option is automatically set at subscribe time for users who send their subscription command using a MIME-compliant agent, unless "Default-Options= NOMIME" is specified for the list.

NOMIME - Turn off MIME digests and indexes, send only plain text digests and indexes


Only useful if Renewal= is enabled.

Specify one of:

NORENEW - Waive subscription confirmation for this user

RENEW - Do not waive subscription confirmation for this user.


Specify one of:

NOPOST - Prevent user from posting to list

POST - Do not prevent user from posting to list, assuming user is otherwise allowed to post (depends on Send= setting).


REView | NOREView

Specify one of:

REView - Postings from user are moderated, even if user is otherwise allowed to post (depends on Send= setting).  However, this setting is ignored in at least two cases:

- The user is specified in the Editor= or Moderator= keyword settings as a list moderator; or

- The user is also set to the EDITor personal option.

NOREView - While this option may be set in Default-Options=, it has no actual effect as the LISTSERV default is already NOREView, and as noted above, setting any option in Default-Options= does not change the setting for existing subscribers.

Note: Setting a subscriber to the EDITor option does not confer any list moderation privileges to that subscriber.  This setting allows a trusted subscriber to bypass moderation, so that their posts go directly to the list without delay for review by a human moderator.  It has no other effect.

The only way to confer full list moderation privileges to a user is to add their address to the Editor= or Moderator= setting(s) in the list header.

REView/NOREView: Typically, setting REView in Default-Options= would be done on a non-moderated list (Send= Public or Send= Private) as a way to vet subscribers' early posts before manually setting them to NOREView and allowing them to post unrestrictedly.  This can help solve the problem of a spammer subscribing to a list, sending spam, and immediately unsubscribing.

On public lists (Send= Public), setting REView in Default-Options= has the salubrious effect of forcing all non-subscriber postings to go through a moderator, thereby allowing the moderator(s) to discard random spam sent from non-subscribers.  To make it even more difficult for non-subscribers to post to public lists, see the ",Confirm,Non-Member" arguments to the Send= list header keyword, which requires non-subscribers to confirm their own posts to public or moderated lists before they even get to a moderator.  (Since most spam is sent from non-existent addresses, the confirmation requests will never be answered, and the attempted spam postings will simply time out and be discarded.)

On a moderated list (Send= Editor), setting REView in Default-Options= has no effect, as those who are listed as editors and moderators are not subject to it, and all users other than those explicitly set to the EDITOR personal option (see above) are already being moderated.  REView would also be negated by EDITor if the latter were also set in Default-Options=.

On lists where only certain users, whose email addresses are explicitly specified in the Send= list header keyword, are allowed to send to the list, adding REView to Default-Options= has no effect.  (And neither does adding EDITor .)