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1. Creating a discussion list
2. Deleting Discussion List Mail Archive

Creating a discussion list
Discussion lists are a very valuable feature that DreamHost customers can add to their hosting accounts. By hosting a discussion list, people from across the world can communicate with each-other about topics of mutual interest. This not only provides your site's visitors with a way to communicate beyond the confines of your site itself, but provides you with another way to keep people interested in what you have to say and offer.

Discussion List 101

In short, a discussion list is a common email address (say, 'mycoollist@mydomain.com') that is shared with list subscribers. When a subscriber sends an email message to that address, it is forwarded on to everyone else subscribed to that list.

Basically, it's a form of two-way broadcast email.

Who Can Create Discussion Lists?

All DreamHost customers can create unlimited discussion lists, because we love you all so much!

How To Set One Up

Setting up a basic discussion list is pretty simple. First, go to the "Mail :: Discussion Lists" section of your web panel. As a short-cut, you can go to the following URL:


Once there, you'll be given a list of already created discussion lists (if any), as well as a link to create your own discussion list. To create one, click on the 'Create New Discussion List' link now.

On the screen that appears, you'll be asked for some basic information about your list:

List Name
Type in the name of your mailing list. For example, if your list is for German Shepherd dog owners, it could be named "German Shepherd Talk" or something similar.

Owner E-Mail Address
This is the email address belonging to the list owner. Usually, you'll want to put your own email address here.

Enter the password you wish to use when managing your list - preferably something reasonably secure (ie. containing no real words, as well as a mix of numbers and letters). Note that this password is completely unrelated to your password for the web panel or your FTP/Telnet account.

Confirm Password
The same as above. This is to make sure you typed it in correctly the first time.

Select the domain name you wish for the list to be hosted under. If you don't have one already, you can create a special sub-domain just for your list (ie. "lists.yourdomain.com"). This is where you would go in the future to manage the finer details of your mailing list.

You're also given the option to automatically create the email addresses associated with the discussion list. We suggest that you do so (leaving the checkbox checked).

Last but not least, you'll need to decide which plan to associate the discussion list with. As all plans include unlimited lists it really doesn't matter which you choose, but may make it easier for you to manage if you keep all related services under the same plans.

That's it! There's a lot more you can do to further tune your mailing list - our panel only helps in their creation and basic management, but additional options are available if you need them. These lists are powered by the Mailman discussion list software - if you're interested in learning more, you can read up on it here:


All of the additional list management options are a bit beyond the scope of this document, but you can read more about them at the URL above and change them at the URL you gave for your list (usually in the form 'lists.yourdomain.com').

Deleting / Managing Current Lists

From the main discussion list listing, you can manage or delete current lists.

To delete a list, simply click on the 'Destroy' link to its right (What can we say? Our developers have a flair for the dramatic!). You'll be asked to confirm the deletion, as well as any archived postings or email addresses associated with the list. Check which items you wish to delete, then click on the confirm button.

To manage a list instead, click on the 'Manage' link to its right (in the listing). You'll be brought to the list's management screen. Note that this screen is not a part of the web panel, but is rather provided by the Mailman mailing list software that powers our discussion list feature.

Last updated: Oct 02, 2002.

User Post (2004-05-13 12:19:21 by dallas)
The current version of Mailman is limited in that it does not allow multiple lists with the same name at different domain names. Since this is a shared mailman server, it is a requirement that all lists have a unique name. We sort of 'fake' this by appending your domain name with a - to the end of the list name. Unfortunately, the result is the long URLs and list email addresses. We automatically set up email aliases to allow you to use the short email addresses if you check the 'create convenience addresses' box. The next version of Mailman will support full virtual domain hosting but it will not be out for awhile yet, unfortunately.
User Post (2005-11-28 23:59:34 by mogawa)
In response to kikiorg's comment "I can't seem to change the actual intro message to the shorter address, only write some stuff that is prepended..."

You can edit the text file used for the Welcome email. By editing this you can hardcode the alias addresses in place of the replacement variables that insert the full addresses. Of course, you should make a copy of the default text in case you mangle things or simply want to revert back to the default. (There doesn't appear to be a "Revert to Default" option.)

* From the "Administration (General Options)" page:
> Click "Edit the public HTML pages and text files" under "Other Administrative Activities"
* On the "Merchants -- HTML Page Editing" page
> Click "Welcome email text file"
> Edit away and "Submit Changes"

BTW -- using the option to automatically create the email addresses associated with the discussion list (as mentioned above) will create twenty aliases that will provide you with the abbreviated addresses (i.e. omit the "list." from the domain).
User Post (2005-04-17 12:36:36 by chiliberto)
One more thing to remember with convenience addresses: If you create a new address for people to post messages to your discussion list, then you have to add it to the list of acceptable Alias Names in Recipient Filters under Privacy Options. Otherwise, your messages will get held due to an "Implicit Destination".
User Post (2005-03-16 07:32:47 by jcoppens)
Re: User Post (2005-01-27 04:52:01 by wfm777)
About half the servers at Dreamhost have mailman 2.0.13 or so (without rejection of unsubscribed messages), and the others have the 2.1.x mailman, which _does_ silently reject (hurrah!). Send a message to tech support to have your account updated.
User Post (2005-01-27 04:52:01 by wfm777)
I have been using the Dreamhost email list feature for a couple years now. Mailman works fine but spam is difficult to manage. When spammers post to the list, the list admin (me) gets a message indicating that a message is awaiting approval. Then I have to use a web browser to navigate to the list admin page, login, then discard the spam. Wish there was a way to just reply via email with the word "discard" in the email, like majordomo supports.
User Post (2004-08-27 17:29:32 by newdemmaj)
There doesn't seem to be functionality for resetting passwords for discussion lists or sending password reminder emails the way you can for user accounts. Does anyone know how to do this without calling on DH tech support?
User Post (2004-02-19 15:14:58 by kikiorg)
There's some odd things about the naming of the list. Let's say my new discussion list is called discussion@mydomain.com. The address to post to is discussion@lists.mydomain.com ["lists" is the default for a new subdomain, which is recommended on the page, and which I did.] But I wanted it to be my old mailing list name, so I set up an address for discussion@mydomain.com and forwarded it to the "lists." version, and that fixed it.

However, the intro message says that the address to post to is discussion-mydomain.com@lists.mydomain.com -- quite excessive! But discussion@lists.mydomain.com does, actually work. Then plus the forward above, it's all settled and good now. [I can't seem to change the actual intro message to the shorter address, only write some stuff that is prepended...]

Just keep it in mind. it might be a little confusing.
User Post (2003-08-19 21:51:49 by gbdk)
Don't create announcement lists or discussion lists on the temporary domain name you get upon registering. Wait until your final domain name is in place, and THEN create all the lists you want.
User Post (2003-07-31 10:59:39 by jackiet)
Note that lists are not immediately available upon successful creation. For the initial list a subdomain is set up by DreamHost and the list cannot be managed until this is completed (an email will be sent once this is done). Even once the subdomain is established and you add a list, some time elapses before it is possible ot manage the list.