It is very wise to read the Majordomo documentation before you attempt to create a Majordomo e-mail list.

An Unmoderated List

Once you have read the documentation, connect to your Virtual Private Server via Telnet or SSH and do the following for each list you create.

  1. Create an empty file named for the list (my-list in the examples below) in your ~/usr/local/majordomo/Lists directory and make sure the file mode is 644.

    % touch ~/usr/local/majordomo/Lists/my-list
    % chmod 644 ~/usr/local/majordomo/Lists/my-list
  2. Create a file called my-list.passwd in your ~/usr/local/majordomo/Lists directory. This file will contain the list manager's approve password for the list (file mode 600). You can use an online file editor, like pico, or transfer the file to your PC in order to add the alias. Be sure to download and upload the file in ASCII mode. You can also use the cat file editor. Substitute an e-mail list administrator password for mypassword.

    % cat > ~/usr/local/majordomo/Lists/my-list.passwd
      ^D   (control-D)
    % chmod 600 ~/usr/local/majordomo/Lists/my-list.passwd
  3. Create a file called This file will contains the initial introductory info for the list. To create this file using cat again, do the following.

    % cat > ~/usr/local/majordomo/Lists/
      This list is for discussions about my list.
      ^D   (control-D)
  4. Create E-Mail Aliases like the following.

    # "my-list" list
    my-list: "|/usr/local/majordomo/wrapper resend -h MY-DOMAIN.NAME \
    -l my-list my-list-outgoing"
    my-list-outgoing: :include:/usr/local/majordomo/Lists/my-list
    owner-my-list: list_manager_e-mail_address_here
    my-list-request: "|/usr/local/majordomo/wrapper request-answer my-list"
    my-list-approval: list_manager_e-mail_address_here
  5. Now, give your new e-mail list a try by sending an e-mail to my-list@MY-DOMAIN.NAME.

A Moderated List

One of the powerful features of Majordomo is the ability to create moderated lists which are controlled by a central moderator. This control prevents abuse of your e-mail list by outside parties as well as allowing the moderator to restrict frivolous postings.

Before creating any moderated majordomo e-mail lists, you should consider the following security precautions.

  • You probably should disable two dangerous commands in the ~/usr/local/majordomo/majordomo Perl script, namely "who" and "which". You can do this by commenting out lines 210 and 211 of the script.

  • It is also wise to modify your Virtual Private Server's sendmail configuration file (~/etc/ so that outside parties cannot expand (EXPN) and verify (VRFY) e-mail aliases. Add the following line as the last entry in the Options section.


To create a moderated Majordomo e-mail list, connect to your Virtual Private Server via Telnet or SSH and do the following for each moderated list you create.

  1. The following three files represent what you will need for your moderated e-mail list (sample in the examples below). You will need to create these three files for each moderated list and store them in your "~/usr/local/Majordomo/Lists directory.

    • sample - contains the list e-mail addresses, one per line
    • sample.passwd - contains the moderator password
    • - contains the information for your e-mail list

  2. Create E-Mail Aliases like the following.

    # sample moderated mailing list
    owner-sample: me@MY-DOMAIN.NAME
    sample: "|/usr/local/majordomo/wrapper resend -A -R -l \
    sample -h me@MY-DOMAIN.NAME sample-hidden-list"
    sample-approval: owner-sample
    sample-hidden-list: :include:/usr/local/majordomo/Lists/sample
    owner-sample-outgoing: owner-sample
    sample-request: "|/usr/local/majordomo/wrapper request-answer sample"
    owner-sample-request: owner-sample

    In the example above the "hidden" mailing list is actually an alias sample-hidden-list. You will probably want to change the occurrences of sample-hidden-list to be something obscure (since this is the first thing people who want to break into your list will check for).

  3. Now that you have a moderated mailing list, you will need to know how to post to it. You must supply your password as a user defined mail header titled "Approved:". So if for example your password was mypass, you would need to add the following header to a message for it to be approved by Majordomo.

    Approved: mypass

Please note: the information on this page applies to ITS web hosting plans. It may or may not apply to other environments. If you are looking for a feature described here, or better support from your hosting provider, please consider hosting your site with ITS!

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