Distribution List E-mail Commands Guide

E-mail-based commands can be used by those who prefer to manage their distribution lists using e-mail instead of using the web interface at the SF State Gateway.


List of E-mail Commands

A limited set of commands in a e-mail can be used to manage a distribution list. The e-mail should be sent to: listname-request@lists.sfsu.edu (where listname is replaced with the distribution list name). All commands are typed in the body of the e-mail message.

  • confirm <CONFIRMATION-STRING> Confirm an action. The confirmation-string is required and should be supplied within a mailback confirmation notice. Note: This is a command that may be provided to you, not one you create.
  • end Stop processing commands. Use this if your mail program automatically adds a signature file. Type it in the line above any text you want to have ignored.
  • help Receive a copy of the help message.
  • info Get information about this mailing list.
  • lists See a list of the public mailing lists on the server.
  • set ... Set or view your membership options.
    • Use set help to get a more detailed list of the options you can change.
    • Use set show (without the quotes) to view your current option settings.
  • subscribe Subscribe to this mailing list.
  • subscribe digest or nodigest If you wish to receive one message per day with all list postings, specify digest.
  • subscribe digest address=e-mail@domain.com If you wish to subscribe an address other than the address you sent this request from.
  • unsubscribe Unsubscribe from the mailing list. A confirmation e-mail will be sent to the unsubscribing address. If you wish to unsubscribe an address other than the address you sent this request from, you may specify address=e-mail@domain.com

E-mail Addresses for Submitting Requests

Each distribution list uses additional e-mail accounts for contacting the list manager(s) and processing requests. The table below lists the e-mail addresses and their purpose. Include the e-mail domain @lists.sfsu.edu to deliver a message/request.


Send to E-mail Prefix Delivers to: Purpose To Do:



listname@ All list members Post message to the distribution list Participate in distribution list discussion.
listname-request@ Distribution list server Submit requests for list information (see commands) Auto responds with data to the senders e-mail account based on the command submitted.
listname-join@ listname-request@ & List Manager(s) (Join a list from e-mail account you want to use. Confirmation e-mail will be delivered to your e-mail account.
listname-leave@ listname-bounces & auto responds (Remove your subscription to a distribution list. Confirmation done via message to your e-mail account.
listname-owner@ List Manager(s) / Moderator(s) Communicate directly to the Manager(s) / Moderator (s) Wait for reply.

E-mail Commands Reference

For reference, see the GNU Mailman - List Member Manual: http://www.list.org/mailman-member/node10.html