Mailman and Multiple Addresses

“Your message to the list requires moderator approval”, replies Mailman when you try to post to your mailing list.

“But I’m on the list!” you complain, then waste a few minutes of your day finding the administrative password and releasing your message.

If you’re like me, you probably have several email addresses all forwarding into a single inbox.

When a Mailman list is set to permit only members to post to it, your message will only get through if it happens to be sent from the address with which you’re subscribed. Gmail, however, isn’t quite smart enough to default to sending to a list from the same address at which you usually recieve that list’s mail.

There’s an easy workaround if you’re a list administrator, which is only slightly less convenient if you don’t have admin permissions. The fix is to subscribe the address from which you prefer to send mail to the list, then change its subscription settings so that it’s never sent any mail (otherwise you’d end up with multiple copies of each message!).

If you’re a list administrator, it takes 4 steps to add all of your alternate addresses. If you’re not using admin privileges, it takes 3 steps for each alternate address you want to subscribe.

List Administrator Technique

1) Navigate to the list’s administrative interface and log in. If the list is listname@domain.tld, the Mailman interface probably lives at lists.domain.tld/mailman/admin/listname.

2) Go to the “Mass Subscription” tab under “Membership Management” in the Configuration Categories menu. Or just build the URL of the form lists.domain.tld/mailman/admin/listname/members/add.

3) Set the radio buttons to choose Subscribe, No welcome message, and No notification of new subscription (to avoid spamming other list owners). Then enter the other addresses that you’d like to send mail from, one per line, in the box. Submit the changes.

4) Now navigate to the “Membership List” link, or build the URL lists.domain.tld/mailman/admin/listname/members/list. Find each of your alternate addresses, and check the box in the “nomail [reason]” column on their rows. Remember to leave one of your addresses’ nomail box un-checked, or you won’t get any mail from the list at all! Use the Submit your Changes button to save the configuration.

Non-Admin Technique

1) On the list’s info page (lists.domain.tld/mailman/listinfo/listname), subscribe your alternate address to the list. (There’s also a link in the footer of every email sent to the list.)

2) On the list info page, enter your alternate address in the “Unsubscribe or Edit Options” box down at the bottom, then enter your list password when prompted.

3) Scroll down to the “Mail delivery” setting, and switch the radio button to Disabled. If you choose “Set globally”, delivery to your alternate address will be disabled for every subscription that you have in that Mailman instance.