unsubscribing from majordomo mailinglists

If you are like me subscribed to a variety of mailing lists, it can be quite an annoyance when unsubscription information is neither contained in the mail headers nor can be found on the web page you originally subscribed on (or exactly this page is broken).

Fortunately this does not happen too often, but if it happens, I always have forgotten how it worked last time, so here’s a little cheat sheet about how to unsubscribe from majordomo mailing lists w/o using a webpage:

Say you have subscribed to very.important.list@example.com and know that it is controlled by a majordomo [1] installation, you have a few “hidden” features that a typically configured majordomo server supports.

In the example above, it is very likely that the majordomo server is reachable by the majordomo@example.com or majordomo-owner@example.com email adresses.

Reachable means that you can send commands to it using an ordinary plain text email. So if you send an email containing the lines below without any (digital) signatures in plain text to the majordomo server, you can do the following:

  • show information about the list you subscribed:
    INFO very.important.list
  • list all accessible mailing lists:
    LISTS
  • subscribe to one of those mailing lists:
    SUBSCRIBE very.important.list your.email.adress@example.com
  • unsubscribe from a mailing list:
    UNSUBSCRIBE very.important.list
    some majordomo installations might also require you to add your email address:
    UNSUBSCRIBE very.important.list your.email.adress@example.com
  • unsubscribe from all mailing lists hosted on the same majordomo server:
    UNSUBSCRIBE *
    some majordomo installations might also require you to add your email address:
    UNSUBSCRIBE * your.email.adress@example.com
  • get some help:
    HELP

Depending on the majordomo version and settings, plain text is mandatory.

And finally, it is important of course that you use exactly the same email address for unsubscription that you used for subscription 🙂

[1] http://www.greatcircle.com/majordomo/

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