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I run a technical mailman list with a lot of subscribers on it. One company, whose presence on the list is highly desirable, has many of its readers subscribed by an internal "exploder" list; that is, a single address which is itself an internal mailing list is subscribed to my list.

The problem is that people who want to get off the exploder keep accidentally unsubscribing the exploder from the main list, instead of unsubscribing themselves from the exploder.

I have a good working relationship with the tech guys at that company, and they're asking me if there's a way to lock a single subscriber (ie, the exploder) to a mailman list, and prevent just that subscriber unsubscribing without administrative oversight.


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The easiest way would be to filter out the unsubscribe mails for that recipient. But I guess you already thought about that... – mailq Oct 2 '11 at 20:23
... like this:… – mailq Oct 2 '11 at 20:24
Nice idea, procmail filtering, but at least some of the unsubscribes have been done by the web interface. – MadHatter Oct 2 '11 at 20:49
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I am unsure what version of mailman you are running, but according to the documentation for v2

Note: Mailman does not currently let the list manager block persons from leaving the list.

You could set "Should administrator get notices of subscribes/unsubscribes?" and have a filter on the administrator account that automatically re-subscribes them if they leave.

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I'm running v2.1.9, so I guess I'm screwed; thanks for a definitive link. I'm already getting sub/unsub notifications, but I get a lot of them and don't always notice the exploder leaving. I'll leave this open for a bit in the hope that someone has a Good Idea; otherwise, I'll accept your answer, since it has doco. Thanks. – MadHatter Oct 2 '11 at 21:19
@MadHatter, You could write a filter that does notice that unsub notification for the user you don't want to unsubscribe either send you a special email or automatically re-subscribe. Perhaps you could add another administrator address that lives on the mailman server and can have a filter to watch for the unsubscribe? – AFresh1 Oct 2 '11 at 21:33

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