Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

4.26. How do I subscribe to or unsubscribe from a mailing list?

Answered by Arno Wouters ( in his FAQ, "How to (un)subscribe to a mailing list."

There are two types of mailing lists: manually maintained lists and automated lists.

In its manual form, the list of subscribers is maintained by a person: the list's administrator. To subscribe to such a list, one should ask the list administrator to add your name to the list. Typically the administrator can be reached at listname-request@host.domain.

An automated list is maintained by a program (called a mailserver) that handles subscriptions and mail redistribution. To subscribe to an automated list, one should send a message to the mailserver.

To subscribe, send the command SUB listname Yourfirstname Yourlastname to the designated mailserver. Obviously you should use your own name in the subscription request. To stop receiving information from a mailing list, send SIGNOFF listname to the mailserver.

A mailserver is a program that interprets the lines in a message as a series of commands to act on; for example to mail a file or to add a person to a mailing list. To learn how to handle a mailserver, you should send a one-line message containing the command help to the mailserver's address. (In some rare cases, the mailserver needs an empty message with help in the subject header).

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