Mailing lists

Sending to or receiving mails from a larger group of people

Preface

In general you have to differenciate between a mailinglist and a e-mail distribution list.
Our SYMPA mailinglist service, whose creation we will describe on this webpage, is hosted and administrated centrally on our server.
An simple e-mail distribution list is usually created manually in your mailclient and is not centrally administrated from our DESY IT service.

Function and types of mailinglists

Mailing lists are for sending e-mails to many recipients without having to address them seperately. Instead one send an e-mail to one address and the mailing list server accomplishes the sending itself. Examples are:

  • Newsletter: Sending information to many subscribers by the editors of a newsletter
  • Hotline or Contact Address: Possibility that many people send to very few, e.g. a support-line or an office, organising a conference
  • Wworking Group: A well defined set of people send e-mails to one another using a mailinglist

Access rights and parameters may be changed by the list owner, who is responsible for the mailing list.

By default, attachments sent via mailing list can have a maximum size of 5 MB. It is possible for the mailing list owner to request to increase or decrease that size.

Request of a new mailing list

Mailing lists may only be requested of persons with a DESY e-mail address or persons who are demonstrably in a relation with DESY.

Requests for new mailing lists are possible via the web-site https://lists.desy.de/sympa/.

  1. If you log in the first time to our SYMPA website you need to register for a seperat login. Otherwise you can continue with step 2.
    Clikc on 'First Login' on the left side register with your DESY e-mailaddresse. After you ahve clicked on 'Send me my password' you will get a seperat password to log in.
  2. Log in with your SYMPA credentials.
  3. In order to creat a new mailiglist go to the tab 'Create List'. Here you need to fill in the future name of the list and choose what kind of list machtes your requirements.
    Please notice following information concerning the listname:
    • It is not allowed to use a underscore ('_') in the name of the list
    • The suffix @desy.de will be generated automatically to your listname. It is not necessary to add it to the name of the list.

These information will be forwarded automatically to our mailmasterteam and they will take care of the creation. As soon as it is done and your list is ready to use you will be informed by mail as a requestor.
In future the list will be reachable via listname@desy.de.

If necessary, all configurations for the list can be modified afterwards.

In case you got any questions or problem please contact the UCO

Short overview of e-mail commands

In this section you will find a short overview of the most useful commands for managing SYMPA via e-mail. Please send the commands to sympa@desy.de. Most user commands have three-letter abbreviations (e.g. REV instead of REVIEW). These commands can be indiscriminately placed in the Subject: or in the body of the message.

Some administrative requests are only available to list owner(s). They are indispensable for all procedures in limited access mode, and to perform requests in place of users. These comands are:

E-mail commands for list owners

command

action taken

example

ADD

Add command similar to SUBSCRIBE. You can avoid user notification by using the QUIET prefix (ie : QUIET ADD).

ADD listname user@host firstname name
QUIET ADD listname user@host firstname name

DELETE

The delete command similar to SIGNOFF. You can avoid user notification by using the QUIET prefix (ie : QUIET DELETE).

DELETE listname user@host
QUIET DELETE listname user@host

E-mail commands for list subscribers

command

action taken

example

HELP

Provides instructions for the use of Sympa commands.

HELP

REVIEW

Provides the addresses of subscribers if the run mode authorizes it.

REVIEW listname

WHICH

Returns the list of lists to which one is subscribed, as well as the configuration of his or her subscription to each of the lists (DIGEST, NOMAIL, SUMMARY, CONCEAL).

WHICH

SUBSCRIBE

Requests sign-up to the specified list. The firstname and name are optional. If the list is parameterized with a restricted subscription, this command is sent to the list owner for approval.

SUBSCRIBE listname firstname name

SIGNOFF

Requests unsubscription from the specified list. SIGNOFF * means unsubscription from all lists.

SIGNOFF listname firstname.name@desy.de

SET listname CONCEAL

Puts the subscriber in conceal mode for the listname list. The subscriber will then become invisible during REVIEW on this list. Only owners will see the whole subscriber list.

 

SET listname NOCONCEAL

Puts the subscriber in noconceal mode (default) for listname list. The subscriber will then become visible during REVIEW of this list. The conceal mode is then cancelled.

 

QUIT

Ends acceptance of commands. This can prove useful when the message contains additional lines, as for example in the case where a signature is automatically added by the user’s mail program.

 

CONFIRM

If the send parameter of a list is set to privatekey, publickey or privateorpublickey, messages are only distributed in the list after an authentication phase by return mail, using a one-time password (numeric key). For this authentication, the sender of the message is requested to post the “CONFIRM key” command to Sympa. This is also true for PUBLIC lists, where e-mails are above the SPAM-level of 5 points.

CONFIRM key

QUIET

This command is used for silent (mute) processing : no performance report is returned for commands prefixed with QUIET.