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UW Groups can be synchronized with UW Mailman lists so that membership can be managed via the UW Groups service and emailed via UW Mailman service.

This page describes how to request, configure, and use this Group/Mailman synchronization capability.

Features / Objectives

  • Manage group membership via the UW Groups service to enable reuse.
  • Email group members using UW Mailman for effective email distribution.
  • Automate the synchronization of group memberships to UW Mailman lists.
  • Optional - allow individuals to manage their email delivery options in UW Mailman.

How to Request Group/Mailman Synchronization

To request synchronization between a UW Group and a UW Mailman list:

  1. Identify the UW Group you want to synchronize with your UW Mailman list. For example, the UW Group ID might be "uw_pottery_undergrads".

    You must be an administrator of the UW Group and be able to view its membership to be eligible to synchronize it with Mailman.

    You can use a UW Group that contains other groups as members, as long as you can view the effective membership of the group.

  2. Identify the UW Mailman list you want to synchronize with your UW Group. For example, "".

    You must be an administrator of the Mailman list to be eligible to synchronize it with your group.

  3. Email to request a new Group/Mailman synchronization. Specify the UW Group ID and UW Mailman list.

    Example Email Request

    Subject: New group/mailman sync
    Hi, please synchronize my "uw_pottery_undergrads" group with my "" list in UW Mailman.

    If you need to request a new UW Mailman list to synchronize with a group, you can add the synchronization request in the question/comment field in the Mailman List Request form.

  4. UW-IT will review and fulfill your Group/Mailman synchronization request.

How Synchronization Works / What Happens

  • On a nightly basis (at 4:00am), UW Mailman will reconcile your list subscribers from the effective membership of your group.
    • Duplicate subscriptions are avoided since each member is represented only once in the effective membership of your group.
    • Each group member will be converted to an appropriate email address, based on the type of group member identifier.
      • UW NetIDs are converted to "" email addresses.
        • All types of UW NetIDs are synchronized, even those without email forwarding. Use the bounce processing options of your UW Mailman list to limit adverse effects.
      • Federated IDs are copied directly as literal email addresses.
      • Other group members identified as DNS names, computer objects, etc. aren't added to your UW Mailman list.
    • UW Mailman must have permission to view and retrieve your group membership.
      • If your group restricts viewing, add "u_groups_mailman" to its membership viewer control to allow synchronization.
    • UW Mailman will err on the safe side and alert UW-IT if it detects that your group membership looks empty.

Best Practices / Usage Notes

  • Day-to-day management tasks
    • Use the UW Groups service to manage your group membership; add/remove members as needed; wait for the nightly synchronization to your list.
    • Use the UW Mailman service to manage email exceptions (e.g. "unsub", "nomail").
  • Update the description of your group to refer to your UW Mailman list (e.g. "This group is synchronized with the email list.")
  • Update the listinfo page of your UW Mailman list (under General Options > Details for info) to refer to your UW group (e.g. "This mailman list is synchronized from the uw_pottery_undergrads group.")
  • You can change the UW Group ID of your UW group without affecting synchronization, because it's based on the persistent RegID of your group.
  • Institutional groups can be synchronized by including them as members of your own groups; access control policies and appropriate use policies apply.
  • Considerations for UW Exchange and UW Google Apps
    • In general, Group/Mailman synchronization doesn't limit your ability to use your group in UW Exchange or UW Google Apps.
    • Choose an address for your UW Mailman list that differs from your UW Group ID (i.e. don't use "").
    • You can activate your group in UW Exchange or UW Google Apps as long as the UW Mailman list address doesn't match your UW Group ID.
  • If access to your group membership is restricted, use the "private_roster" configuration option in UW Mailman (under Privacy Options > Subscription rules) to control who can view the membership in UW Mailman; values are "anyone", "list members", and "list admin only". Choose "list admin only" to ensure private membership information isn't exposed via UW Mailman.