Q: How can I create a report of all lists and their owners on my server?

Sometimes the site manager of LISTSERV may be asked to come up with a report that shows all the lists on the server and who the owners are for each one. One way to do this would be to issue a LISTS DETAILED command by email or through the web interface, and this will send you a list of lists along with the configuration header data for each one. However, you still have to parse the results to pull the Owner keyword for each list and extract the addresses. On top of that, if a list is configured to hide header lines, then it may not show anything at all.

Thankfully, the LISTSERV web interface offers a much simpler option.

Setting It Up

Log into the LISTSERV web interface with a postmaster or server administrator account. This is important since a postmaster will be able to see all lists on the server, while a list owner will only be able to view their own lists. Use the main menu and navigate to List Management > List Dashboard. On this page, you'll see a table that displays all of the lists on the server, one per row, with various configuration keywords in each column.

Usually, a default view will have the Owner keyword as one of the visible columns. If it isn't, then you can easily add it by clicking on the Customize Report link just above the top of the table.

This opens a box displaying Available Columns that can be added to the report on the right-hand side, and Report Columns that are already visible on the left-hand side.

Just click and drag Owner from the right side to the left to make it appear in the report. You can go ahead and drag other keywords that you'd like to include in the report too.

Click the Save button to confirm your choice and reload the screen.

Changing the Display

Don't like the order the columns are displayed in? Simply click Customize Report again and drag the column names to rearrange their order of display. The ones at the top will appear on the left of the table and those at the bottom will be on the right. Dragging a column name from left to right will remove it from the report altogether.

Want to see more lists per page? Locate the Lines per Page box underneath the bottom of the table, where you'll see that the default value is 50 lists.

You can enter a number to increase or decrease this as you require. Then click the Update button to confirm your changes and reload. Be warned, though, that trying to display a very large number of lists on a single screen can lead to extended loading times for the page, and it may even time out, so experiment with small steps until you find the sweet spot for your site.

Changing Formats

Did you know that this report can be shown in a variety of different formats? Look for the Report Format dropdown box above the top of the table and open it up. Selecting any of the chart-style formats and clicking Update will display some simple statistics for the lists that are drawn from the changelogs. (These are not covered here, but if you'd like more details then please check out the help pages in the web interface or this handy Tech Tip.)

For our purposes here, however, the most useful option will be CSV Format.

Upon clicking the Update button, your browser will prompt to download and save a CSV (comma-separated value) file, which you can later open in any spreadsheet or reporting program. This will be a great way to view and share all the data offline so that you can use it for internal reporting purposes. You can even delete unnecessary columns directly on the spreadsheet if you want to focus solely on the owners of each list.

Contacting All List Owners

One of the common reasons cited for wanting to generate a report like this is so that all of the list owners can be contacted once their email addresses are known. If this is the case for you, then there's an even easier method using the ALL-REQUEST alias.

This is a special address that only postmasters have permission to send to and will be expanded to include all non-quiet list owners on the server. For more details on the ALL-REQUEST address, please see Section 25.3.2 of the LISTSERV Site Manager's Manual. If you need to contact quiet list owners as well, then using the CSV report will be your best option.


Now that you know how to create these reports, you'll be ready for the next time you're asked to extract this information from LISTSERV. Additionally, you also have a bonus tip for contacting all list owners through one easy email address should the need arise. Of course, if you still have questions, please contact L-Soft customer support or write to, and we'll be glad to help you.

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