Mailing List Design – List Servers

Mailing List Design – List Servers

A mailing list server reads your messages and copies them to everyone subscribed to the list.

Mailing lists are run by computer programs called list servers. Each list server is connected to the email system, and can send and receive email just like a person can, except a lot faster.

Each list server manages two email addresses associated with each mailing list:

  • Server address. The server address is used to process administrative commands, such as list subscriptions and unsubscriptions.
  • List address. The list address is used for the list itself. When the server receives an email sent to the list address, it automatically copies it to everyone currently subscribed to the list.

There are three main brands of mailing list servers in common use, described in later sections.

  • Listserv. One of the most widely used list servers on the Internet, with a commercial version used by many large organizations.
  • Majordomo. Widely used in its freeware version by community and small organizations.
  • Listproc. Widely used primarily as a commercial product.