Majordomo commands are sent via email to the automated Majordomo server and MUST be sent in plain text format. Any command must be included in the body, not the Subject line, of the message. Multiple commands can be included in a single message. If necessary, you will need to change the formatting on your outgoing message (usually within Tools-Options) in order to conform with plain text. Also note that no signature files can be included in the body of the message and there should be no attachments.

Majordomo help or service requests go directly to an IS&T staff person and should be sent to They can be sent in HTML format. Examples of this might include requests to change ownership, or to change list configuration. A response is returned by email.


General commands; most are available to both Subscribers and List Owners. Note: If the line is too long, use a “\” (no quotes) and go to the next line (using enter) to complete the entry. On a separate page you can see Examples of these commands.

subscribe list address
Add ‘address’ to ‘list’
unsubscribe list address
Remove ‘address’ from ‘list’
info list
Return general information for ‘list’
Return listing of public lists
Return a basic help file
who list
Return a listing of all subscribers on a named list

List Administration

Majordomo also has a suite of administrative commands for use by List Owners. These commands require the list password to be specified as well. They include:

passwd list old_passwd new_passwd
Change the password for the list. Note: Do not use your Kerberos, UNIX, or local system password as the password for any list.
newinfo list password
Replace the information file that is returned when an ‘info [list]’ or ‘subscribe [list]’ command is submitted. It reads everything below the ‘newinfo’ command to end-of-message or the word ‘EOF’ on a line by itself as the new info for the list.


List Owners may alter the list’s configuration file, changing all sorts of options, such as whether the ‘who’ command is restricted to members of the list, whether the list is confidential, etc.

These commands can be tricky to use, and can cause problems with the list if implemented improperly, so use caution.

config list password
retrieves a self-documenting configuration file for the list
Stop processing commands (recommended if your mailer adds a signature).
newconfig list password
Validates and installs a new configuration file. It reads everything below the “newconfig” command to end-of-message or the word “EOF” on a line by itself as the new info for the list. The config file is expected to be a complete config file as returned by “config”. Incremental changing of the config file is not yet supported. As soon as the config file is validated and installed its settings are available for use. This is useful to remember if you have multiple commands in your mail message since they will be subject to the settings of the new config file. If there is an error in the config file (incorrect value…), the config file will not be accepted and the error message identifying the problem line(s) will be returned to the sender. Note that only the error messages are returned to the sender not the entire config file, so it is a good idea to keep a copy of your outgoing email message.
writeconfig list password
Write a new config file in standard form. Writeconfig forces a rewrite of the config file with all comments and default values in place. It is useful to use after an upgrade of Majordomo since it will add the new keywords for people to change. It also updates the documentation in the file if that has changed.