Mailing-List migration and double opt-in

esc1729 asked:

I’m in the process of migrating a Mailman mailing-list of about 500 subscriber addresses from one server to another. The list-owner is an NGO and I’m not sure about the carefulness by which the addresses were collected. So as the first thing after migration I want to confirm the opt-in status of every subscriber.

I intend to send a first newsletter telling everybody who wants to remain on the list to re-confirm the subscription by clicking on a confirmation link.

Can this be done with Mailman? If yes, how do I create those links, how do I check the confirmation and/or what is the preferred way to go?

I answered:

GNU Mailman already does double opt-in, and keeps its own log entries when a user is subscribed or unsubscribed. So you can tell when they were subscribed and by what method.

On my system where I’m using it, these logs are stored in the /var/log/mailman directory in a log file named subscribe. These logs may be rotated with logrotate or other tools, so you may have to pull out old backups to check everyone’s subscription method.

An example subscription looks like this:

Dec 06 00:59:25 2012 (550) listname: pending Real Name <>
Dec 06 01:06:22 2012 (577) listname: new Real Name <>, via web confirmation

The ones to watch out for are those which say they were administratively added. These were manually added by the mailing list owner in Mailman’s web interface and may not have been confirmed.

View the full question and answer on Server Fault.

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