SUMMARY: bulk e-mail outgoing.

From: Frank Pardo (
Date: Fri Feb 28 1997 - 10:30:44 CST


Many thanks to everyone who replied. The list of packages has grown to
half a dozen; plus some good ideas on how to use sendmail aliases to get
the job done.



I've been searching the net and this list's archives for software that
handles outgoing bulk e-mail. So far I've turned up the 4 listed below.
If anyone knows of others, or can comment on these, or both, I'd
certainly appreciate the info.



1. Internet sites to visit.


Almanac is described as a document distribution system that uses e-mail
to distribute the documents.

Bulk_mailer is a C program; TLB is a Perl rewrite of bulk_mailer.

The ListProcessor from BU.EDU is freeware; CREN's ListProcessor is a
commercial product based on the free package.

Majordomo seems to be familiar to everyone; written in Perl.

SmartList+Procmail: The FTP site seems to have gone out of business. The
R.W.T.H. does have a web site, http://WWW.RWTH-AACHEN.DE, but my German
is so poor that I couldn't track down the mail software from that
starting point.

2. Use sendmail aliases.

Reto Lichtensteiger and Michael Kohne both suggested using plain old
sendmail, with suitable tweaking of the alias file(s). Special thanks to
Reto L. for spelling out the details so clearly.

3. Me too.

Celeste Stokely is also compiling information on this topic. Her results
will be available at


Below are the responses, with unnecessary matter deleted and a few typos

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 10:38:45 -0800
From: "erin o'neill" <>

I've currently setup one of our websites with bulk_mailer. It's simple
enough to set up & implement. The reason we didn't use Majordomo was
that only the sender (our web server) was sending out email. The
recipients are NOT sending out any email. Actually bulk_mailer &
majordomo work together.

I haven't heard of the others, but I'm interested in hearing what others
have to say about them.

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 13:44:42 -0500
From: Jim Reisert <>


Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 14:05:58 -0500 (EST)
From: Reto Lichtensteiger <>

I've used both MajorDomo and ListProcessor; I prefer the former for its

In fact, unless you want to give individual list owners control over
subscribing and other config items you don't really need to use any
special software to do bulk mailings. Using sendmail and the aliases
file you can do the same thing. Actually, in the final analysis
MajorDomo and ListProcessor call sendmail to do the transport anyway ...

Here's what you do:

Create a file (lets call it "list1") that contains all the addresses you
are interested in mailing to.

Edit /etc/aliases on your mail system to include the following lines:

  list1: "|sendmail -fowner-list1 real1"
  real1: ":include:/path/to/list1"

The "|sendmail -fowner-list1 real1" syntax sets the "From " line to
"owner-list1", so any bounced mail gets sent back to the owner alias,
"", rather than to the person who sent
the message. It then uses "real1" as the address to send to, which is
expanded in the next line to be every address in the file you set up.
People can be added and deleted from the list without having to edit the
aliases file (i.e., without "root" permissions).

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 11:42:40 -0800
From: (Celeste Stokely)

This is great! Just what I was about to research! I'll add these to
later today and even give you credit.

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 14:57:37 -0500 (EST)

Maybe you should hold off until I submit a summary?

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 12:43:56 -0800
From: (Celeste Stokely)

Oops! I jumped the gun. When you publish the summary, I'll add those in.
(I just was so excited at having a starting point for something besides
majordomo. :-)

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 18:14:00 -0600 (CST)
From: Jose Enrique Diaz Jolly <>

        SmartList +
        Procmail ftp:

This package is build up of 2 parts, procmail which is a mail filter and
smartlist for mailing list management. I have tried to implement an easy
to install and manage list system and after trying all those listed above,
i decided in favour to SmartList and Procmail. With a major advantage that
Procmail as a filter could be used as a compleetary tool for mail
management, and complies with a few complementary tools fully with MIME
and file distibution via e-mail.

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 21:16:46 -0500
From: Michael Kohne <>

At 05:31 PM 2/27/97 -0500, Frank Pardo wrote:
>Since it's not even my project, I don't know a lot of the details. The
>client is a company that does consumer surveys (NOT unsolicited). They
>want to supplement their snailmail and telephone surveys with e-mail
>surveys. Presumably each survey would go to a different selection of
>their panelists. I believe the total number of panelists is in the tens
>of thousands, but the number of panelists per survey would be lower.

What about just using aliases? Since your colleges will be completely
controlling the list of recipients, just have the system aliases file do
an include on a file that is readable/writable by the survey master.
That way, the survey master can modify the aliases as he/she sees fit,
and you don't have to invest any time or energy in other software.

I'd say that listserv software is WAY overkill for this task, given that
listserve software is generally more geared to lists that change slowly
over time, while you seem to have a project that has sudden
discontinuities in the recipient lists.

Since you need to be pretty well connected for any reasonable size of
lists to work anyway, the overhead of sendmail shouldn't be too bad.

Alternately, something like a .forward (or .procmailrc depending on your
configuration) would also give lots of control of the lists to

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 08:25:00 +0100

Me, I'm rather happy with Majordomo. It's easy to set up and maintain,
runs multiplatform (yeah, I know this is a Sun manager's list, but we
all have the odd system nobody wants anymore that can be put to good
use.. PCs come to mind...) since it's written in perl and from my
personal expericence it doesn't take more than a Classic to serve up to
100 messages to 'round 500 recipients. I'd say that covers most
application that do not involve the words "make money fast"...

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 11:26:22 -0800
From: Jason Coombs <>

I assume that you're only interested in UNIX software for managing
electronic mailing lists, etc. ?

I use CREN's ListProcessor and think it to be the best software of its
kind. Majordomo and Listserv don't work nearly as well. FYI the home
page is:

There are also a number of electronic mailing list server programs
available for Windows and Macintosh. A few of them even seem to be
better optimized for handling large lists without placing as much load
on the system's CPU. You can find a list of such software at:

I'm studying the issues involved in setting up an Internet site,
including software availability for all platforms, and would like to see
a summary of the responses you receive.


  Frank Pardo  <>
  Transaction Information Systems
  New York City

The scholar's ink outlasts the martyr's blood. -- Irish proverb

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