list server

Definition of list server in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is List Server?

A program that maintains an e-mail mailing list and allows messages to be distributed to its members. For example, a company or organization might set up a list server to run mailing lists for discussing marketing issues, asking and receiving answers from technical support, announcing new products and services, or disseminating tips and tricks for using software.

How it works

Common list server programs include Listserv and Majordomo. Listserv was originally developed for the BITNET/EARN network. Users must first subscribe to a mailing list using a special e-mail command, although many lists also have Web interfaces for subscribing, unsubscribing, posting messages, and receiving help. Once users subscribe to a list, they receive a copy of every message posted to the list, and every message they post is distributed to all members of the list.


Microsoft maintains a number of popular mailing lists relating to various Microsoft products and services. The URL for subscribing to these lists appears at the end of this entry.


Don’t subscribe to too many mailing lists at once, because the e-mail traffic might fill your mailbox!