Mailing Lists

What is a mailing list?

A mailing list may contain any number of members' e-mail addresses. An email sent to the list is automatically forwarded to all its members. In the mailing list’s settings is defined who can send e-mails to recipients on the list. Thus, it can be configured to allow only subscribers to send e-mails to their list. It is possible as well to allow anyone to send an e-mail to a list, which, of course, will be distributed only to list members.

Which software is used for creating and maintaining the mailing lists?

Software for maintaining mailing lists is called ListServer. This name derives from the legendary BITNET-ListServer which administrated mailing lists in the so-called BITNET, the forerunner of today’s internet. Nowadays, there is a wide range of software products available for ListServers, e.g. Majordomo or Mailman.

The GWDG has been using Mailman since June 2007.

How can I sign up?

More information on Mailman, as well as an overview over all mailing lists on our Mailman server that are open to the public can be found at For each mailing list, a website is linked where you can register. Depending on the lists' settings, you are now either automatically signed up as a new list member, or will be signed up by an administrator.

After having signed up successfully, you can send emails to the mailing list's address, which is either or listenname@institutsdomain.

What are the special functions of mailing lists administrators?

Mailing list administrators have the right to add any email address to a list or to delete it respectively. They can set the parameters for their lists and create information and/or welcoming messages. If the administrator decides, an archive can be set up. All settings can be implemented at

How is a new mailing list created?

GWDG users can create or delete a mailing list in the self-service section via the GWDG’s customer helpdesk. Click on Collaboration, then Mailinglists to do so. If you wish the GWDG support team to create a new mailing list for you, please send an email to, which should include the following information:

  • Desired email address for the list (e.g. or example@institutsdomain)
  • Email address for the list’s future administrator

Please be aware that only GWDG registered fully qualified domain names (e.g. FQDN; z. B. oder can be used.

Where can documentation on administration of mailing lists be found?

As Mailman is one of the most widely-spread ListServer softwares, the internet is full of forums and guidebooks which offer advice.

Here is the official documentation:

docs.mailman - latest

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