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From the Majordomo FAQ maintained by David Barr:

majordomo - n: a person who speaks, makes arrangements, or takes charge for another. From latin "major domus" - "master of the house".

Majordomo is a program which automates the management of Internet mailing lists. Commands are sent to Majordomo via electronic mail to handle all aspects of list maintenance. Once a list is set up, virtually all operations can be performed remotely by email, requiring no intervention upon the postmaster of the list site. (For a web-based interface to Majordomo, see the MajorCool add-on package).

Majordomo controls a list of addresses for some mail transport system (like sendmail or smail) to handle. Majordomo itself performs no mail delivery (though it has scripts to format and archive messages).

Here's a short list of some of the features of Majordomo:

  • Supports various types of lists, including moderated
  • All list management activities are handled by email, so list owners don't need access to Majordomo server machine
  • Supports archival and remote retrieval of messages
  • Supports digests
  • Modular design - use only the features you need
  • Written in Perl - easily customizable and expandable
  • Includes support for FTPMAIL
  • Supports confirmation of subscriptions, to protect against forged subscription requests
  • List filters, based on header or body regular expressions



Majordomo is community-supported free software. Great Circle Associates is the home for Majordomo releases and mailing lists, but does not offer any technical support for Majordomo. If you are having problems with Majordomo, we suggest the following steps:
  • Read the README file carefully.
  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions document carefully.
  • Check the Majordomo-Users archives.
  • Read the chapters on Majordomo in Managing Mailing Lists by Alan Schwartz (published by O'Reilly & Associates, 1998)
  • Finally, if all else fails, post your question to the Majordomo-Users mailing list, to see if anybody there can help you. In addition to describing your problem in as much detail as possible, make sure you state
    • What version of Majordomo you are using
    • What version of Perl you are using
    • What operating system and version you are using
    • What mailer (Sendmail, SMail, qmail, etc.) and version you are using
Managing Mailing Lists by Alan Schwartz (published by O'Reilly & Associates, 1998) is a good introduction to mailing lists in general, and to managing Majordomo in particular, from both a site owner's and a list owner's perspective. It is available at a discount from Amazon.COM

Bug reports should be sent to the Majordomo-Workers mailing list.

If you'd like to hire a consultant or contractor who is familiar with Majordomo, you should post a message to the Majordomo-Jobs mailing list, describing your job or project, and asking for direct responses from qualified and interested parties. These postings will be reviewed to ensure that they are consistent with the guidelines outlined in this document (i.e., to ensure that they aren't spam), and then distributed to the list within a few days of posting. (If you are a consultant or contractor who is interested in such jobs, you should subscribe to the Majordomo-Jobs list; see the Majordomo-Jobs web page.)


Majordomo is written in Perl. It will work with Perl 4.036 or Perl 5.002 or greater. It will not work with Perl 5.001!!!. You should use the latest released version of Perl that you can get, which can be found at You must upgrade to Majordomo version 1.94.3 or later in order for it to work with Perl 5.004, due to changes in regular expressions. While Majordomo is still compatible with Perl 4.036, future versions will likely be Perl 5 only.

Majordomo was developed under UNIX based systems, but will probably work on others. If you can get Perl to compile and run cleanly on your system, and can send Internet mail by piping or calling an external program (and that external program reads its list of recipients from a plain text file), you can probably get Majordomo to work on a wide variety of UNIX-based and non-UNIX based systems.


Majordomo is a "groupware" project. It has evolved from the initial code base done by Brent Chapman <>, with further maintenance done by John Rouillard <> and <>. The current Majordomo release coordinator is Dan Liston <>.

Along the way, it has picked up many features and additions from various authors. Because of this, and due to the initial design of Majordomo, certain features (archiving, digesting, and moderated lists) are currently done in a "non-optimum" fashion. In short, configuring Majordomo to do some of the advanced features can be confusing. This is a known problem and is being worked on.

The FAQ was compiled by Vincent D. Skahan and is currently being maintained by David Barr.

In addition to those above, the following people deserve special recognition for their contributions in shaping Majordomo:

  • Andrew Boyd
  • Paul Close
  • R. Gary Cutbill
  • Hamilton Gilbert
  • Jennifer Joy
  • Alan Millar
  • John C. Orthoefer
  • Jerry Peek
  • Paul Pomes
  • Jason L Tibbitts III
  • Dave Wolfe
To anybody we left off the attributions list, our apologies. Let Dan know that we left you off, and we will make sure that you get mention in a future release.

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Please Note: Great Circle Associates does not offer technical support for Majordomo.

We're proud to have been involved with Majordomo's development, to distribute the software, and to host the various Majordomo-related mailing lists listed above. However, we're not in a position to provide technical support for Majordomo.

Please do not call or email us with questions about Majordomo; if we answer at all, we'll simply refer you right back to this web page.