As an administrator or a member of an Exchange 2003 organisation, can I send a mail to every (real, human) recipient in the GAL, or do I need to create a distribution list of "All Users" first?


Actually you can create a query based distribution group.

One method I've used is to select all users within a particular OU. It works for me as I have one OU that contains all of the staff members.

Right click an OU>select new>Query-Based Distribution Group.

Away you go.

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  • I'm not going to get the chance to test this for a bit, but if it works (with Exchange 2003/Windows 2003 AD) it will do nicely. – nray May 25 '09 at 8:13

There might be a simple microsoft way of doing this. But if not you can find out what your GAL filter is by going to ‘Exchange System Manager’ and then ‘Recipients::All Global Address Lists::Default Global Address List::General Tab’. You can then run this query with something like ldapsearch in Linux to get the mail attribute. Something like this:

ldapsearch -w $PW -v -x -D "cn=Administrator,cn=Users,dc=MYDOMAIN,dc=com" "(& (mailnickname=*) (| (&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=user)(!(homeMDB=*))(!(msExchHomeServerName=*)))(&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=user)(|(homeMDB=*)(msExchHomeServerName=*)))(&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=contact))(objectCategory=group)(objectCategory=publicFolder)(objectCategory=msExchDynamicDistributionList) ))"  mail | grep mail | awk '{ print $2}' 

You can then modify this ldap query for an attribute that will give you your human only users.


Removing: (objectCategory=group)(objectCategory=publicFolder)(objectCategory=msExchDynamicDistributionList) from the query might get you only your human users.

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  • The Windows version of your query would be something like dsquery * "OU=Administrators,OU=Corp,DC=mydomain,DC=com" -filter "(LDAP_QUERY_GOES_HERE)" -attr mail Which could be piped to BLAT and used to mail all users. – nray May 20 '09 at 13:50

A simple solution might be to mail-enable your Domain Users group, or some other Security group that is shared by all the users and then email that group.

Dynamic Distribution Group are not an option in Exchange 2003

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Yes, you can send an email to all users in an Exchange environment. Simply do the following:

  • Open New email
  • Click To:
  • In the Global Address List, select the top entry, hold shift, select the bottom entry.
  • Click the BCC button to add those recipients to your email. BCC so that you don't have 20KB worth of names appearing in the email.
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  • Would this also include resources (meetinng rooms), mail-enabled contacts (outside the organisation) or groups/distribution lists? – nray May 21 '09 at 20:02
  • If they are mail enabled, then yes, it would. I suppose re-reading the question the specification "real, human" means this is not the ideal solution. – Jeff Miles May 21 '09 at 21:33

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