What is mlm-command?

mlm-command is a Perl CGI script designed to make it easy to provide Web interaction with Mailing List Managers (MLMs). Although most (if not all) modern MLMs allow users to alter their subscription settings and perform various other actions by sending email commands to special email addresses, most users nowadays find this an awkward way of relating to the program. They'd prefer a Web page.

That's where mlm-command comes in. It provides a single CGI script that you can target with any HTML form. Simply by changing values in your form, you can allow users to target any list, including lists hosted on other servers. Users can subscribe, unsubscribe, and perform other actions such as changing their subscription settings, requesting reports of the members of a given list, requesting list information, and so forth.

How Do I Use mlm-command?

If you're a Web designer planning to use mlm-command as a back-end script for an HTML form, the complete mlm-command Command Reference shows you everything you need to know, inlcuding examples of how to perform the most common tasks with it. Additionally, the mlm-command DisplayFile Tokens Guide gives a listing of expansion tokens that you can use in DisplayFiles -- pages you can set up for mlm-command to display to the user after completing a given action, or in case of any error.

If you're just browsing the Web, you use mlm-command simply by entering the appropriate information in the form fields that someone's set up, and the rest happens completely automatically.

If you're a system administrator, see below, under "How Do I Install mlm-command?".

Where Do I Get mlm-command?

The current official mlm-command Web site is at From there, you can read the script source code (in Perl), download the basic mlm-command script alone, or download the entire package. The package includes a variety of Web pages that mlm-command can display for your users under various circumstances (called "DisplayFiles"), plus installation instructions for Unix sysadmins. (And the script itself, of course.)

How Do I Install mlm-command?

If you're a Unix system administrator, you can follow the instructions in the INSTALL file in the full package installation. If you've just got the script, you can place it in your cgi-bin directory, set the security variables according to the sysadmin documentation, and you're all set.

If you're a standard user with a Web hosting account somewhere, you can check out the user installation guide. This assumes that you have a basic level of familiarity with FTP programs and at least one Unix editor, and that you can follow a few simple step-by-step instructions. In-depth knowledge of Unix is neither assumed nor required.

What Else Should I Know About mlm-command?

mlm-command is free software (as in both "free speech" and "free beer"). You don't have to pay anything to use it, and it is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). mlm-command was written and is maintained by Kai MacTane (, and is currently in release 0.50.0. The mlm-command logo was designed and created by Mike Moss.

Command Reference  |  DisplayFile Tokens  |  Sysadmin Docs  |  User Installation