Last modified 2002 JAN 31 23:40:34 GMT
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Archive-name-to-be: mail/procmail-unsubscribe-faq-pointer
Last-modified:      Thu, 31 Jan 2002 23:40:25 GMT
Posting-frequency:  Every 12.34 days, or whenever someone insists on
                    demonstratring that they are without a clue.

There are no official mirror sites for this document at this time.

If you would like to receive the FAQ by electronic mail, you can cut and paste this WWW document and mail it to yourself.

Procmail has its own website, at, which contains a link to the archives (where you can search for all the posts to the procmail list asking for people to UNSUBSCRIBE them - be sure to search for "REMOVE ME FROM THIS LIST" which seems to be a popular way of issuing an UNSUBSCRIBE request to the wrong address). At the procmail website, you will also find a link to the regular Procmail FAQ. If you are looking for information on how to use procmail or where to get it, go there. For the record, UNSUBSCRIBE instructions are included there, but seeing as so many people can't be bothered with reading the regular FAQ, this special FAQ has been created to address their problems.

If you're presently SUBSCRIBEd to the Procmail mailing list, and didn't bother to save the welcome message from when you SUBSCRIBEd, or can't figure out the quite standard UNSUBSCRIBE procedure for yourself, this FAQ was written with YOU in mind!

This FAQ exists because you're SPECIAL.

Simply put, the UNSUBSCRIBE process is virtually identical to the SUBSCRIBE process, except the single action word is spelled differently. It has a prefix of UN. As in UNSUBSCRIBE.

When sending your UNSUBSCRIBE request, DO NOT send it to the regular list address. If you send the UNSUBSCRIBE request to the list address, what you do is annoy the kind and helpful people who expect that they're in the company of people with IQs at least twice that of a carrot. Keep in mind that the members on the list are just procmail users - they are not the administrators of the procmail list, so you shouldn't expect that any of them have some magical ability to UNSUBSCRIBE you that you yourself don't have access to.

Instead, mail the UNSUBSCRIBE request to the proper address, which coincidentally is the SAME address you would have mailed your original SUBSCRIBE request to. If you've forgotten that, you can find it by running 'procmail -v'. It is called the REQUEST address. Interestingly, this address is the SAME as the one used for the mailing list, but the listname is sufffixed with "-request" for some obscure reason, like so: Amazing, isn't it?

When mailing the UNSUBSCRIBE command, try to remember that a computer is handling your UNSUBSCRIBE request, and that it doesn't know what to make of you if you can't spell UNSUBSCRIBE correctly (UNSUBCRIBE doesn't work for instance). If you choose to abbreviate it, or whip out your thesaurus and use fancy variations on a theme such as "REMOVE" "WITHDRAW" "QUIT" "EXIT" "LEAVE" "BYE" "EXTRACT" "EXPUNGE" "ERASE", etc., you will not successfully UNSUBSCRIBE yourself. In fact, the list processor isn't keen on chatty people, so don't even bother with "please UNSUBSCRIBE me". Instead, be direct and firm, just as you would be with a dog: just say UNSUBSCRIBE.

Similarily, you can send the command HELP (as the SUBJECT), and the list processor will reply with some helpful text, which includes info on the various commands that it understands.

Again, remember that it isn't a human at the other end, so you cannot carry on a conversation. You'll have to adhere to the commandset that the HELP document will lay out for you.

It is important to note that the subscription processor doesn't know you from Adam, and as such, when you tell it you want to UNSUBSCRIBE, you've got to do it FROM THE ADDRESS YOU SUBSCRIBED TO THE LIST WITH. If you don't know what address that is, a good possibility is that it is the address you're receiving the messages at. If you open the message and view the headers (since this process varies with different mail clients, you're on your own here - go pester your system administrator, IS department, or ISP technical support department). In the headers, one of the Received: headers may appear SIMILAR to the following:

Received: from (nets5.rz.RWTH-Aachen.DE [])
	by (8.9.3) with ESMTP id FAA04802
	for <your_email_address@host.domain.tld>; Sun, 14 Nov 1999 05:26:31 -0800

Details will vary, but the bit that is emphasised here is the part you'll be looking for. The catch is that YOUR MESSAGE WILL BE DIFFERENT. In fact, depending on your ISP or corporate mail service, you might not even have the 'for' field. If that is the case, you'll have to use your brain and figure it out. This is not the Land of Oz, so there's no Wizard handing out brains.

So, once you have established a clue as to what address you originally SUBSCRIBEd to the procmail list with, send an email message FROM that address, TO, with a SUBJECT of UNSUBSCRIBE. Nothing in the message body.

In your mailer program, you'd see something vaguely like so:

From:     your_email_address@host.domain.tld

Choose the option to SEND your message and kick back and wait for a reply. You should get a reply shortly indicating that you've been removed. If instead you get a message saying "You have not been removed, I couldn't find your name on the list. What I did find were the following approximate matches:", then you mailed the UNSUBSCRIBE request from the wrong address. Check the list and see if an old address of yours appears there.

If it does, you can send the message like so:

From:     your_current_email_address@host.domain.tld
Subject:  UNSUBSCRIBE your_old_email_address@host.domain.tld

For posterity, here is a copy of the sort of message you would have received from the list processor when you first SUBSCRIBEd to the procmail list:

Date:     Tue, 16 Nov 1999 02:28:02 +0100 (MET)
To:       your_email_address@host.domain.tld
Subject:  Re: SUBSCRIBE

You have added to the subscriber list of:

the following mail address:


By default, copies of your own submissions will be returned.

This is an automated subscription mechanism.  For your verification, a
transcript of the original subscription request is included below.

If the wrong address has been subscribed and you seem to be unable to
fix it yourself, reply to this message now (quoting it entirely (for
diagnostic purposes), and of course adding any comments you see fit).

This list is available in digested form as well.  To receive it, send
your subscription request to procmail-d-request instead.

This list is archived.  The archive currently only holds the last 128
submissions.  A subject based archive is in the works.
Send a mail to procmail-request with "Subject: archive help" to find
out more.

[snip - original message would have been reply quoted here with headers]

Since the list changed to new digs around the middle of 2000, if you have a web browser (which I'm guessing you might since you're reading this web document - but I realize that there are exceptions) you can visit the list administration page.

There, you would enter your email address and change your SUBSCRIPTION options - provided you have your password. If you don't have your password, there is a link to have the server email it to you (which of course will work for you only if you still have access to the mailbox which you are looking to change the options on).

If you should choose to view the HEADERS of your procmail list email messages, there you would discover a plethora of useful URLs - see the List- headers. Of particular note are the List-SUBSCRIBE and List-UNSUBSCRIBE headers:

List-Subscribe: <http://MailMan.RWTH-Aachen.DE/mailman/listinfo/procmail>,
List-Unsubscribe: <http://MailMan.RWTH-Aachen.DE/mailman/listinfo/procmail>,