ARCHIVED: At IU, for Majordomo, what is the usage policy?

UITS has retired the Majordomo list server at Indiana University Bloomington. If you were the primary owner of an IUB Majordomo list, you can no longer use it to send mail. If you'd like to create a new mailing list, anyone with an IU Network ID username and passphrase can request a LISTSERV list. For instructions, see ARCHIVED: At IU, how do I request a new LISTSERV list? Also, for a collection of documents with general LISTSERV information, and information about owning and subscribing to LISTSERV lists at IU, see the Knowledge Base menu ARCHIVED: LISTSERV, distribution lists, and mass mailing.

Majordomo is mailing list software that resides on its own computer. It's meant to take the load of a mass distribution list off of workstations and central systems and place that load on a dedicated mail platform. Anyone with an Indiana University email address may create a Majordomo list. This allows the owner, as well as users abroad, to mail to the list as if the list were an IU user's email address (e.g., Because of this behavior, it is necessary to place some restrictions on the naming and usage of the lists:

  • In most cases, list members must consent to being on your list.
  • List administrators must immediately comply with removal requests from subscribers. However, class instructors or IU offices using Majordomo lists of students in a class, students of a particular major, staff in a particular department, etc., need not honor removal requests.
  • Lists may not attempt to address the entire IU community, nor any large group of individuals for which you are not administratively responsible. No large unsolicited mailings are allowed.

For more information, see the Knowledge Base document What is IU's policy concerning mass mailing via email? Violations are subject to the sanctions mentioned in Computer Users' Privileges and Responsibilities.

To enforce responsible ownership of Majordomo lists, they must directly belong to one individual, and are all named beginning with the username of the creator (e.g., username_listname). This allows each user to maintain as many lists, pertaining to as many topics, as the user sees fit, without conflicting with the lists of another user.

If you are IU faculty or appointed staff, you may request the removal of your username from the beginning of the listname (e.g., just listname instead of username_listname). This may be desirable when the list will exist for an extended period of time, or when the list will be heavily advertised, particularly outside the IU community. Lists with the username prefix removed are deemed "global" lists. Requests for global lists must meet the following requirements:

  • The owner of the list must be an IU faculty or appointed staff member. Without exception, students wishing to have such a list must request that a faculty member or appointed staff member sponsor the list. The sponsoring IU faculty or staff member must send the request to with the name of the list and mention the desire to sponsor the list. The request must be approved by the list owner before action is taken.
  • The list must be used only for academic or institutional uses.
  • List owners must work with the IU Majordomo administrators to ensure that the list name will not conflict with any existing lists, nor with any list requests that may come up in the future. For example, staff would not be an allowable name, but coas-staff would. The Majordomo administrators reserve the right to make the final decision on the list name. For more information concerning the renaming of mailing lists, see the Knowledge Base document ARCHIVED: At IUB, can I rename my Majordomo mailing list?
  • You must send your requests to (the central address for assistance from UITS), and the Majordomo administrators will determine if the name is acceptable.

While it is possible to use Majordomo for small, personal lists (e.g., 10 or fewer addresses), Majordomo is not appropriate if such a list will be used only by the owner to mail to list members. Many mail applications (e.g., Pine, Microsoft Outlook) have built-in facilities for maintaining small lists, and are often much easier to use than Majordomo. However, for those who use multiple mail systems (e.g., both Exchange and the Shakespeare systems), Majordomo provides consistency across platforms.

Because many people often forget about old lists or fail to remove them when they leave IU, it is necessary to reconcile the lists that the Majordomo server houses, and ensure that resources are wisely utilized. Each November, Majordomo list owners will receive a renewal notice via email. To renew a list, owners must reply to this message by the date specified, or the list will be removed from the system.

This is document babw in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2010-08-30 00:00:00.

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