LISTSERV: Troubleshooting Tips


LISTSERV Troubleshooting Tips

1. The password is required only to send privileged commands in the body of a mail message addressed to LISTSERV. In most cases, no password is required.

2. Postings to the list which generate errors will be forwarded to the primary listowner by default. Examples of when you might get forwarded errors:

a. The computer system to which LISTSERV is trying to deliver a message is down. The listowner will receive notification that this has happened. No action is required. 

b. The recipient account is no longer valid (for example, the account has been deleted).

If the account is on a system that uses LISTSERV, PMDF or MX as its software, this rejection notice will be in a form that the LISTSERV will understand. The local LISTSERV will then automatically delete the user account from the list.
If the error notice is not from software that generates a form letter that LSU's LISTSERV understands, the listowner will have to delete the user from the list with the DEL command.

3. All list characteristics are controlled by listheader keyword values which can be read with a REVIEW command. LISTSERVs have the characteristics listowners choose, along with some options that the computer center finds essential to run a secure list. A listowner has the authority to change some of these keyword values. However, we ask that listowners DO NOT make any changes to the keyword headers, but consult with us on desired changes.

4. A listowner can either choose to add users to the list with the ADD command or can ask users to subscribe themselves with the SUBSCRIBE command.

To use ADD or QUIET ADD to add users:

The "you have been added" notification letter that is mailed to a newly subscribed user has information on how to post to and unsubscribe from your list. If a listowner uses ADD, both the listowner and the user will get a copy of this notification. This means the listowner will get a copy of the notification for each and every user that is ADDed to the list. If a listowner uses QUIET ADD, no one gets the notification letter. We suggest the following:

a. If the listowner have direct contact with the members of the list (eg professor has set up a list for his class), then the listowner can personally teach the users the fundamentals of LISTSERV. In this case, use QUIET ADD.

b. If the listowner does not have direct contact with the subscribers, he should use ADD and simply delete the carbon copies of the notification letters.

5. To add a large number of members to a list at once, use the following "BULK ADD" method.
Send a message addressed to with the following lines in the body of the letter:

QUIET ADD name_of_list DD=USERS IMPORT PW=your_password
User1@host1.domain FirstName LastName
User2@host1.domain FirstName LastName

a. Replace name_of_list with the name of the list.

b. Replace your_password with the password for the list.

c. Between the '//USERS DD *' and the '/*' lines, list the person's e-mail address and name.

d. Use a separate line for each person added user.

//USERS DD * Joe Smith Jane Doe

6. If a list is set to Subscription_By_Owner, then a user who wants to subscribe himself will have his subscription request forwarded to the listowner.

a. The listowner must edit the request by replacing the X's in the PW=XXXXXX with the password for the list, then FORWARD a copy of the request to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.LSU.EDU.  

(NOTE: Some PC email software (ex. Eudora) do not FORWARD email according to the Internet standards. As a result, LISTSERV will not realize that the request has been forwarded back to it. Circumvent this problem by creating a new request message using the ADD command to subscribe the user. Refer to the ADD command in this document for details.)

b. When LISTSERV receives the forwarded request with the ADD command, it will send the listowner another message to confirm the subscription request. This is a security measure to verify that it was indeed the listowner that forwarded the subscription request.

c. REPLY to this confirmation and type OK as the only line in the reply.

d. The user who made the subscription request will be informed that his request has been forwarded to the listowner for action.


For more information about LISTSERV, e-mail LISTSERV the command, INFO OWN - LISTSERV will send a file called LISTOWNR MEMO which documents listowner commands.
11/20/2023 3:54:44 PM