Belonging to a Listar Mailing List

Listar is an electronic mailing list program that distributes electronic mail to everyone on a list. The mailing list is owned and managed by one person, but users can normally make many changes on their own. Listar distributes e-mail, handles routine subscription requests, and provides basic information about the list on request.

This article contains instructions for users who want to subscribe to an existing list or for users who already belong to a list and want to send a message to the list or carry out some administrative task. If you are interested in creating and managing a list, please refer to the article, Administering a Listar Mailing List.

Subscribing to and Unsubscribing from a List

To subscribe to a list, note the list name and compose an email message to

(replacing listname with the actual name of the list you want to subscribe to). In the subject line type subscribe, leave the body blank, and send it.

You will then be sent a message acknowledging your request. For open lists, you will be subscribed immediately. For closed lists, the list owner must first approve your subscription request before you will be added to the list. For lists set to "confirm" you'll get an email asking you to confirm that you wanted to subscribe to the list.

If later you want to unsubscribe from the list, send another email to with unsubscribe as the subject line.

Sending Mail to be Distributed to a List

If you are a member of a list and wish to send mail to be distributed through the mailing list, simply send the mail you want to be distributed to, substituting the actual name of the list for listname. By default, SSCC Listar mailing lists are set up so that any member of the list may "post" to it. Mail sent to the list will be redistributed automatically to the list of subscribers. Some list owners have reconfigured their lists so that they must authorize messages sent to the list before they get posted.

Listar Commands

There are a number of other commands that you can give Listar. It is important that all commands to Listar be phrased and spelled exactly the way they are given here. Because Listar is a computer program, it is very literal-minded and can only understand commands which exactly match the ones it was taught.

Following is a list of the things you can tell Listar to do:

which – asks Listar to send you a message containing all the lists you are subscribed to

who listname – asks Listar to send you a message containing who the members are for the specified list.

help – requests the help file. Listar will reply with a copy of the help file.

lists – asks Listar to send you a message containing all the lists available on the server.

commands – requests a list of all Listar's commands. Listar will send a list of available commands, along with a brief explanation and correct syntax.

vacation listname duration – asks Listar to put you on "vacation" status for the list name specified. You will remain a list member, but will not receive list mail for the number of days you specify.

setaddy emailaddress – asks Listar to change your email address for the list to the one specified in the command. Note that your list owner may have set up the list so that he or she has to approve the change before it takes place.

You send Listar these commands by sending mail to, leaving the subject line blank, and including the following text in each message:


(Replace command with the particular command you wish to run.) Note that you can include more than one command in a single message. Each command should go on a separate line and the message must begin with //job and end with //eoj.

Not all of these commands are necessarily usable for any given list; the list owner can turn these commands off. For example, Listar can be told not to give out information about the list without approval from the list owner, or not to send out mail to the list without the owner's approval. If Listar can understand a request but has been told not to obey it without approval from the list owner, Listar will forward the request to the list owner; the owner can then approve or deny the request.

Last Revised: 10/31/2008