Who can post messages to the list?

When making a new list, the creator of the list can choose whether posts on the list can only be made by the members or anyone in the world. The owner or administrator of the list may change that later.

How to join an already existing list?

To join an existing list, an e-mail must be sent to the following address:

Only one line must be entered in the e-mail:
subscribe listname

(where listname is the name of the list you wish to join)

(NB! The e-mail address that sends the e-mail will be added to the list)

First of all, confirmation is required that the given e-mail address is functioning, and the owner wishes to join the list (the confirmation e-mail’s subject line will contain the text: “Confirmation for subscribe list name”). After receiving the confirmation letter, the included instructions must be followed and the line containing the password from the confirmation e-mail must be send back to:


Then another e-mail will be sent to confirm that the e-mail address has been added to the list. If it is a closed list and cannot be joined, a corresponding notification will be sent.

You can also remove yourself from the list by sending an e-mail to:
The following line must be written in the e-mail:
unsubscribe listname
(listname is the name of the list you wish to be removed from)
(NB! The e-mail must be sent from the address which is on the list)

How do I communicate with an existing mailing list?

Communication with an existing mailing list is possible by using list server. A list server is a program that organises the work of mailing lists. At Tallinn University, this programme is Majordomo. To communicate with the list server, an e-mail must be sent to the following address:


The line that is typed in the message gives the server the corresponding command. One e-mail may also contain several commands at once, but then the commands must be all written on different lines.

NB! A command written in the Subject field will not work! Also writing your name or anything else that is not a command is not allowed, because the mailing list software might take it as a command by mistake! When communicating with the list server via e-mail, make sure to use plain text mode. 

Send a message to a mailing list using the address format listname@lists.tlu.ee, for instance: asjaajaja@lists.tlu.ee.

Here are some commands and their explanations that can be used to communicate with the list server:

  •  help – information about all the commands that can be sent to the list server
  •  info listname – more detailed information about a specific list
  •  intro listname – sends an e-mail to all new users with some information about joining and unsubscribing from the list and so on
  • lists – catalogue of lists and their descriptions
  • subscribe listname – to join a list
  • unsubscribe listname – to remove an e-mail address from a list
  • which e-mail address – shows all the lists which a user is subscribed to
  • who listname – shows who is subscribed to a certain list

 Why don’t my messages reach the list?

Every specific case may have more than one reason for the error. One reason might be for example the restriction referred to above – you are not a member of the list, but the given list only accepts incoming messages from members.

Another reason might be the length of the message. NB! All attachments add to the length of the message. By default, the length limit for messages posted to lists on the University’s list server is 4,000,000 characters. This can also be changed by the list’s administrator.

If the message does not meet certain conditions – too long, contains list server commands in the first lines of the letter or has been sent from an address from which automatic mail forwarding to the list is not allowed, the message will be sent to the list’s administrator for a decision. If the decision is positive, the message will be forwarded to the list, otherwise not. The message sent to the list administrator for a decision is not sent to the original sender, because it is not known what decision the administrator will make – whether the message reaches the list or not. If, in the event of a negative decision, the administrator considers it necessary to inform the author of the letter, he or she shall do so. More so, if it is indeed spam, the automatic generation of warnings or errors would simply generate more spam.

Why don’t the messages sent by the list reach me?

Now and then users notice that some members of the list receive messages, and some do not. Upon examining the matter more closely, it turns out that a common feature of the members who do not receive messages is that their user account to which they expect to receive e-mail is located on the server of a specific service provider.
The reason lies with the specific service provider. Unable to fight spam with tools that can differentiate between real e-mail and spam, these companies have set their own rules for filtering e-mail. For example, a message addressed to a group of users will not be forwarded if at least one of the recipient’s address is invalid or non-existent. In a more severe case, sending the same message to multiple users will not be accepted at all, and so on. Such techniques do not meet any standards and cannot be controlled or modified by the server administrator who sent the message.
It has been confirmed that some e-mail service providers have always informed new users of such restrictions (e.g. the fact that the receipt of e-mails sent to the user is not guaranteed) on the grounds that it is a free service without any guarantee that it will work.

How do I communicate with the list administrator?

To communicate with the list administrator, it is not necessary to know the name or personal e-mail address, the administrator’s standard e-mail format is list_name-owner@lists.tlu.ee. For example, if you take the list test@lists.tlu.ee, the administrator’s address will be test-owner@lists.tlu.ee.

For additional information, also read the Procedure for Using the Computer Network of Tallinn University.

If something remained unclear or does not work as it should, contact the user administrator by phone: 640 9193 or write to Henni-Maria Johanson, henni-maria.johanson@tlu.ee.