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UVa Mailing List Service

Frequently-Asked Questions about Sympa Mailing Lists

FAQs about Sympa

Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions

For List Owners/Administrators

How do I create a mailing list?
Go to http://lists.virginia.edu and log in through NetBadge. Then click Create List.
How do I decide what type of mailing list I need?
See Creating a List: Mailing List Types.
It didn’t like the list name I requested. Why not?
See Mailing List Name Requirements in Sympa.
How do I delete a mailing list?
Go to http://lists.virginia.edu and log in through NetBadge. Then in left column, click Admin, then click Remove List. See also Deleting/Closing a List for more information on cooldowns, quarantines, etc.
How can I change the name of a mailing list?
At this time, mailing list names cannot be changed. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss options for transitioning a list from an old list name to a new list name, please contact the UVa Help Desk.
How do I authorize others to moderate my list?
Go to http://lists.virginia.edu and log in through NetBadge. Then locate the list in left menu. Click the Admin button for list; click Edit List Config; then click List definition. Scroll down and update the section under Moderators. When updates are complete, scroll down and click Update. You can also contact postmaster@virginia.edu to request this change/addition.
How do I change list owners?
Go to http://lists.virginia.edu and log in through NetBadge. Then locate the list in left menu. Click the Admin button for list; click Edit List Config; then click List definition. Scroll down and update the section under Owners. When updates are complete, scroll down and click Update. This option is only available to list owners; if you are a subscriber or moderator but want to be added as a list owner, click Contact List Owners and request the change.
The subject line of messages to my list have all kinds of weird stuff in them. How can I fix that?
Go to http://lists.virginia.edu and log in. To administer your Sympa list, select Edit List Config, then Sending/reception, then Subject tagging. Remove anything unwanted from the box and press the Update button at the bottom of the screen.
How can I increase the size of the message allowed for delivery to my list?
Send email to postmaster@virginia.edu, include the list name and a requested maximum size. Note that many external mail servers have maximum message sizes in the 2-10 Megabyte range. The largest message size accepted by the ITS mail servers is 50 Megabytes.
How do I create a footer/header for mailing list messages?
To create a footer for your posts such as...
==============
To unsubscribe from this list,
send email to:

listname-unsubscribe@virginia.edu
==============
where "listname" is the name of your list follow these steps to set up the footer:
  1. Login to your Sympa account.
  2. Under Your Lists click Admin > Customizing.
  3. In the right-hand pane, click the pulldown-arrow to the left of the Edit button.
    1. select message footer,
    2. press the Edit button,
    3. cut/paste or type in the text you want in the Footer Text box,
    4. click Save.

Per default, your mailing list setting for a footer type is set to 'append', which appends the footer as plain text. If you compose messages to your list mainly in HTML or Rich-Text format, this might not be the right setting for you. The message entails so-called MIME parts with different format versions (plain-text and HTML in that case). Most email clients display only the HTML version and therefore not the appended plain-text footer. Changing the attachment type fixes this.

Email format / Sympa setting append mime
HTML no visible footer visible footer + attachment
Rich-Text no visible footer visible footer + attachment
Plain-Text visible footer visible footer

To fix this please follow these steps to set up the footer attachment type:

  1. Login to your Sympa account.
  2. Under Your Lists click Admin > Edit List Config > Sending/reception.
  3. In the right-hand pane, near the bottom, change the "Attachment type " by clicking the pulldown-arrow and selecting mime.
  4. Click the Update button at the end of the page.
Who are all these extra people on my list? I didn’t subscribe them and they shouldn’t be getting email from my list!
Sympa calls these “allowed senders.” They are members who are configured with “nomail” which means they do not receive list messages but have permission to send to the list, making the list seem to have more “members.” (This was a side effect of the Mailman transition process.)
How do I subscribe people to my list?
  1. Access Sympa (https://lists.virginia.edu).
  2. Log in.
    • If you are affiliated with UVa, click on the NetBadge button under “UVa Affiliates” and log in through NetBadge (if necessary).
    • If you are logging in with a non-UVa email account, log in with your email address and password in the boxes below and press the Login button. Your authentication will be processed.
  3. From the left-hand Your Lists menu, click the Admin button adjacent to the list to which you would like to make changes.
  4. Click Manage Subscribers under the Admin choices.
  5. Add your user or users:
    • Add a single user by entering the email address of the user in the yellow text box next to the Add button (the box and button will be just below the orange bar).
      1. If you do not wish for the user to receive a notification, check the quiet box.
      2. Click Add.
    • Add multiple users by clicking the gray Multiple add button.
      1. Enter the email addresses of the users you wish to add in the large yellow text box. Enter only one email address per line. (You may cut-and-paste from a file.)

        Note: You may include someone’s name, by using the format: mst3k@virginia.edu <mailto:mst3k@virginia.edu> Mike Theatre.

      2. If you do not wish for the user to receive a notification, check the quiet box.
      3. Click Add subscribers.
What if I don’t use my list that often — will it be automatically deleted at some point?
Yes, perhaps; see Deleting Lists for more information.

For List Members

How do I subscribe to a list?
There are 4 different ways you can subscribe to a UVa mailing list, and instructions for each of the 4 ways is provided below. You may:

Option 1: Send an Email to the List Owners. To do this:

  1. Send an email to the list owner(s), requesting to subscribe.
  2. For the To: address, use listname-request@virginia.edu, but replace the word listname with the actual name of the list you are requesting to join.

Option 2: Send an Email Command to Sympa. To do this:

  1. Compose an email message. For the To: address, use sympa@virginia.edu.
  2. In the email Subject line, type subscribe listname firstname lastname, where listname is the name of the list to wish to join, and firstname lastname is your actual first and last names.
  3. Leave the body of the message blank, including any signature lines.
  4. Send your email. You will receive a confirmation email on any actions taken on your request.

Option 3: Search for a List and Subscribe to It on the Sympa Website. To do this:

  1. Access Sympa at https://lists.virginia.edu.
  2. Find your list.
    • From the Home Tab, under Mailing list categories, select the category you are interested in.
    • Or, type the name/keyword of the list you are looking for in the text-box in the upper-right corner and click Search Lists.
      1. A list of lists will appear.
      2. Select the list you are interested in.
      3. Click Subscribe.
      4. Click OK for the pop-up, “Do you really want to subscribe to list listname?”, where listname is the actual name of the list.
  3. Subscribe to the list:
    • If you are signed into Sympa:
      • At the top of the Sympa page, you will see a message similar to “subscribe: action completed” or “Your request has been forwarded to the list owner”, if this is a moderated membership list. You may also receive an email confirmation, depending on how the list is configured.
    • If you are not signed into Sympa:
      1. Sympa will ask for your email address.
      2. Enter your primary email address, similar to mst3k@virginia.edu into the Your email address text box.
      3. Click Submit.
      4. To confirm your identity and prevent someone else from subscribing you, you will receive a confirmation email. The confirmation email was sent to the address provided.
        1. Go to your email, and open the email. It will be from SYMPA (sympa@virginia.edu).
        2. Find the password included in the email.
        3. Copy the password.
        4. Go back to the Sympa website.
        5. Paste your password into the password textbox.
        6. Click Subscribe.
        7. At the top of the Sympa page you will see a message similar to “subscribe: action completed” or “Your request has been forwarded to the list owner”, if this is a moderated membership list. You may also receive an email confirmation, depending on how the list is configured.

Option 4: Subscribe Using the Listname URL. To do this:

  1. If you know the listname you wish to subscribe to, enter the URL https://lists.virginia.edu/sympa/subscribe/listname in your Web browser, where listname is the actual name of the list.
  2. Click Subscribe.
  3. Click OK when you see the pop-up, “Do you really want to subscribe to list listname?”, where listname is the actual name of the list.
  4. Subscribe:
    • If you are signed into Sympa:
      • At the top of the Sympa page, you will see a message similar to “subscribe: action completed” or “Your request has been forwarded to the list owner”, if this is a moderated membership list. You may also receive an email confirmation, depending on how the list is configured.
    • If you are not signed into Sympa:
      1. Sympa will ask for your email address.
      2. Enter your primary email address, similar to mst3k@virginia.edu into the Your email address text box.
      3. Click Submit.
      4. To confirm your identity and prevent someone else from subscribing you, you will receive a confirmation email. The confirmation email was sent to the address provided.
        1. Go to your email, and open the email. It will be from SYMPA (sympa@virginia.edu).
        2. Find the password included in the email.
        3. Copy the password.
        4. Go back to the Sympa website.
        5. Paste your password into the password textbox.
        6. Click Subscribe.
        7. At the top of the Sympa page you will see a message similar to “subscribe: action completed” or “Your request has been forwarded to the list owner”, if this is a moderated membership list. You may also receive an email confirmation, depending on how the list is configured.
How do I unsubscribe from a list?
Follow the instructions outlined above to subscribe to a list, but substitute the word unsubscribe anywhere you see the word subscribe in the instructions. There are 4 different ways you can unsubscribe to a UVa mailing list:

General Questions

How do I log into Sympa? What is my username and password?
See how to log into Sympa.
I forgot my password; how can I retrieve it?

How you retrieve your password depends upon what email address you have used to join or manage mailing lists in Sympa:

  • If you own or are subscribed to mailing lists using the email address your UVa computing ID@virginia.edu (e.g., mst3k@virginia.edu)—this is the case for most people—then you use NetBadge to log into Sympa, so you should use the Lost Password Recovery Wizard to quickly determine how to go about retrieving or changing the password you use for NetBadge.
  • If you own or are subscribed to mailing lists using any other email address, including:
    • other forms or domains of your UVa email address (e.g., mst3k@eservices.virginia.edu); or
    • a UVa email alias (e.g., mike@virginia.edu or mike@email.virginia.edu); or
    • a non-UVa email address (e.g., mike@gmail.com); or
    • another UVa mailing list that functions as the owner of this mailing list;

    —then use the Lost Password link on the Sympa login screen to have your password emailed to you.

I do not understand all the terms that Sympa uses. Help?
We’ve put together a chart of terms and definitions used by Sympa to help you.

  Page Updated: Monday 2015-03-30 16:39:42 EDT