Requests to Join or Leave a List

A list may be “open” or “closed.” A “subscribe” request to an open list is automatically approved. Notification will be sent to the list owner and to the subscriber. A “subscribe” request to a closed list is forwarded to the list owner with a template for approval. In this case the list owner must authorize the subscription or inform the person requesting subscription that they may not subscribe to the list.

The list owner can unsubscribe users from his/her list. Also, users in a list can unsubscribe themselves if they wish to, without the intervention of the list owner.

Moderated Lists

In a moderated list, all mail is bounced to the list owner, with a template at the top of the message. To send the message to the list, the list owner must insert an approved header. The best way to do this is to forward the message to the target list, edit the message and insert Approved: PASSWORD (using the list’s actual password) as the first line (see Example 5). You may also use “reply” instead of “forward.” In this case, an additional copy of the message should be made for the target list

Please do not forget to replace “PASSWORD” with the actual list password. Also, notice that “Approved:” appears in the first line of the header.

Changing a list from unmoderated to moderated requires the intervention of the majordomo-owner (system files have to be changed/added). Send mail to if you’d like to do this.

Again, moderated lists can be very time consuming, and should only be used if absolutely necessary.


When Majordomo needs an approval for something (indicated by “APPROVE” in the “Subject:” line) it sends the list owner a message that includes a template of the approval message; replace “PASSWORD” in the template with the list password, and mail the template line back to Majordomo (see Example 5).

Approve can also be used by the list owner to approve any “subscribe” or “unsubscribe” request, regardless of whether Majordomo has requested this approval, with an “approve” command. Thus, you can subscribe or unsubscribe people from your list without them having to send anything to Majordomo; just mail an appropriate “approve PASSWORD subscribe LIST ADDRESS” or “approve PASSWORD unsubscribe LIST ADDRESS” command to Majordomo.