[Mailman-Users] 3rd party email unsubscribe request fails

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Sat Mar 13 04:28:38 CET 2010

Michael Belanger wrote:

>I have recently set up Mailman version 2.1.13.  Everything works as
>expected except for the email form I use on my website to unsubscribe
>It takes and email address submission and composes an email to 
>listname-request at listserv.mydomain.org   with body of:
>unsubscribe address=submitted at email.adr
>apache gets an email response from mailman as follows:
>The results of your email command are provided below. Attached is your
>original message.
>- Results:
>    Usage:
>    unsubscribe [password] [address=<address>]
>        Unsubscribe from the mailing list.  If given, your password must
>        your current password.  If omitted, a confirmation email will be
>        to the unsubscribing address. If you wish to unsubscribe an
>        other than the address you sent this request from, you may
>        `address=<address>' (no brackets around the email address, and
>        quotes!)
>- Unprocessed:
>    unsubscribe address=example at yahoo.com
>    end

This was solved on the #mailman irc channel after the post was
submitted, but before it was approved.

The "unsubscribe address=example at yahoo.com" command in the message body
was unprocessed because there was an invalid command in the subject.

The subject was "Remove from my email List" and remove is a synonym for
unsubscribe, so the subject looked like an unsubscribe command with
syntax errors and produced the Usage: message for 'unsubscribe'.

Emails to the -request address can contain commands in the Subject:
header. UnVERPed confirmations in particular work this way. Thus, if
the Subject is not intended to be a command, it must not begin with
any of the following email command words:


or it will be interpreted as a command and if it contains an error,
will abort processing of the actual command(s).

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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