LISTSERV commands


This article goes over the various commands for LISTSERV. You can use these commands by sending an email to


  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Staff


Find a list to join (LIST)

LISTSERV will send a message with all the public lists at K-State that anyone may join, as well as any private lists to which you're already subscribed. 

Send message to:
Command: LIST

Subscribe to a list (SUB)

You can subscribe to any open list on your own. LISTSERV will generally return a message asking you to confirm your subscription request, and will then send a notification/welcome message when you've been added to the list. If you try to subscribe to a closed list or to one that has limited subscription, LISTSERV will send a notice with further information.

Send a message to:
Command: SUB listname Your Name  (Where listname is the list's ID and Your Name is your real name.)
Example: SUB HIST251B Willie Wildcat

Send a message to the list you've joined

Address an email to the list using this format: (Where listname is the list's ID.)

Unsubscribe from a list (UNSUB)

When you unsubscribe from a list, LISTSERV will send a notification message that you've been removed from the list. 

Send a message to:
Command: UNSUB listname (Where listname is the list's ID.)
Example: UNSUB HIST251B

Change your name on a list (REGISTER)

LISTSERV may ask for confirmation that you really want to change your name, and then will make the changes. It will make the change on all the mailing list you subscribe to as well as your other incoming email. You can also contact the IT Help Desk with your request. 

Send a message to:
Command: REGISTER yourname (Where yourname is the name you want associated with your email address.)

Change email address on the list

To change your email address you have to unsubscribe from the list using your old email address and then subscribe to the list again using your new address.

  1. Using your old email address, send a message to with the command UNSUB listname 
  2. Using your new email address, send a message to with the command SUB listname 

In both cases, listname is the list's ID.

If you can't sign into your old email address and send mail from it, you will have to notify the list owner to remove you from the list. If you don't remember the owner or owner's email address, see Contact a LISTSERV mailing list owner.

Check your mail delivery settings (QUERY)

Send a message to: using either of the following command formats: 

QUERY listname (Where listname is the list's ID.)

Example: QUERY HIST251B

The first command checks your email settings on a specific list. The latter checks all the lists to which you belong.

Set your email delivery options (SET)

Send a message to: using any of the following command formats: 

SET listname NOMAIL
SET listname DIGEST
SET listname CONCEAL
SET listname REPRO
SET listname TOPICS: topics

In all cases, listname is the list's ID.


Standard options available include MAIL/NOMAIL, DIGEST/NODIGEST, ACK/NOACK, CONCEAL/NOCONCEAL, REPRO/NOREPRO. For a complete list of options, see the LISTSERV List Subscriber's Manual.

Contact list owner

Send a message to: (Where listname is the list's ID.)

Get a month's log of correspondence (GET)

Send a message to:
Command: GET listname LOGyymm (Where listname is the list's ID and yymm is the 4-digit number for the year and month.)
Example: GET HIST251B LOG1503


Article ID: 269
Fri 6/3/22 2:51 PM
Tue 11/21/23 8:00 AM

Related Articles (5)

Adding Owners to a LISTSERV.
How to get a list of the public listservs at K-State.
Basics for listserv subscribers.
Manage LISTSERV mailing list subscriptions.
How to send listserv commands in webmail.