Mailing Lists

Mailing lists are an important means of communication among users and developers of OpenBSD. With the exception of announce, the lists are not moderated. We deliberately restrict the number of different mailing lists. This helps reduce the amount of cross-posting and makes sure that the information gets distributed to a wide audience.


Be considerate of other subscribers on the mailing lists.

Plain text, 72 characters per line
Many subscribers and developers read their mail on text-based mailers (mail(1), emacs, Mutt) and they find HTML-formatted messages, or lines that stretch beyond 72 characters often unreadable. Most OpenBSD mailing lists strip messages of MIME content before sending them out to the rest of the list. If you don't use plain text your messages will be reformatted or, if they cannot be reformatted, summarily rejected. The only mailing list that allows attachments is the ports list, they will be removed from messages on the other mailing lists.
Do your homework before you post
If you have an installation question, make sure that you have read the relevant documents such as the INSTALL.* text files in the FTP installation directories, the FAQ and the relevant man pages (start with afterboot(8)), and check the mailing list archives. We want to help, but we wouldn't want to deprive you of a valuable learning experience, and no one wants to see the same question on the lists for the fifth time in a month.
Include a useful Subject line
Messages with an empty Subject will get bounced to the list manager and so they will take longer to show up. Including a relevant Subject in the message will ensure that more people actually read what you've written. Also, avoid Subject lines with excessive capitalization. "Help!" or "I can't get it to work!" are not useful subject lines. Do not change the subject line while on the same topic. YOU may know what it is regarding, the rest of us who get several hundred messages a day will have no idea.
Trim your signature
Keep the signature lines at the bottom of your mail to a reasonable length. PGP signatures, and those automatic address cards are merely annoying and are stripped out. Legal disclaimers and advisories are very annoying, and inappropriate to public mailing lists.
Stay on topic
Please keep the subject of the post relevant to users of OpenBSD.
Include important information
Don't waste everyone's time with a hopelessly incomplete question. No one other than you has the information needed to resolve your problem, it is better to provide more information than needed than one detail too little. Any question should include at least the version of OpenBSD (i.e., "3.2-stable", "3.3-current as of July 20, 2003"). Any hardware related questions should mention the platform (i.e., sparc, alpha, etc.), and provide a full dmesg(8). Hardware model numbers, unfortunately, don't indicate much about the actual content of a particular machine or accessory, and are useless to anyone who doesn't have that exact machine sitting where they can easily recognize it. The dmesg(8) tells us exactly what is IN your machine, not what stickers are on the outside.
Respect differences in opinion and philosophy
Intelligent people may look at the same set of facts and come to very different conclusions. Repeating the same points that didn't convince someone previously rarely changes their mind and irritates all the other readers.
Do not cross-post or repeat post
Posting the same message to multiple lists and/or multiple times does not increase the likelihood of getting a useful response, but is likely to irritate the people you want to help you. If you didn't get a satisfactory response the first time you posted to an appropriate list, it is usually because you provided insufficient or unclear information. Don't simply repost the same message.


The OpenBSD mailing lists use spamd(8) in greylisting mode as well as SpamAssassin to keep down the spam volume but things do sneak through--deal with it. In addition, the list server also has regex-based rules to reject based on some common spam and virus telltales. If you get spam through one of the OpenBSD mailing lists, you don't need to send a copy to the list owner--chances are he's already seen it. Also, please do not submit spam received through the mailing lists to spamcop as this will result in the list server being added to their RBL. Complaining about and commenting upon spam on the list proper is counter-productive as it generates more traffic than the spam itself.

Note that if you are sending mail from a dynamic IP address you will probably not be able to post to the mailing lists. In this case you should use a smart host sendmail configuration that utilizes your ISP's mail server. See the comments in /usr/share/sendmail/cf/openbsd-proto.mc for how to do this.

The Mailing Lists

General Interest Lists

These lists are of interest to most users of OpenBSD.
User questions and answers, general questions. This is the most active list. Please, read the FAQ and the installation documents, and see How to report a Problem before posting.
Promoting the use of OpenBSD. Non-technical discussions in misc often get shunted here.
Important announcements. This low volume list is excellent for people who just want occasional news about the project.
Discussions about using and contributing to the 'ports' source tree.

Developer's Lists

These lists are for technical discussions of aspects of OpenBSD. They are NOT for beginning or average users, they are not for problem reporting (unless you are including a good fix), and they are not for installation problems. If you have any question about if a message should be posted to any of these lists, almost invariably, it should not be. Use misc, above, instead. Please do not cross post to multiple lists.
Bug reports as sent in via sendbug(1) and follow-up discussions.
Discussion of technical topics for OpenBSD developers and advanced users. This is not a "tech support" forum, do not use it as such. OpenBSD developers will often make patches to implement new features and other important changes available for public testing through this list.

Platform Specific Lists

These lists are focused on user issues and development on individual platforms.
OpenBSD/alpha port
OpenBSD/zaurus port and other ARM porting efforts
OpenBSD/hppa port
OpenBSD/aviion, OpenBSD/luna88k and OpenBSD/mvme88k ports
OpenBSD/macppc and other PowerPC porting efforts
OpenBSD/sgi port
OpenBSD/sparc and OpenBSD/sparc64 ports
OpenBSD/vax port

CVS Changes Mailing Lists

Every time a developer commits a change to the OpenBSD CVS tree, a message is mailed out to all the subscribers of these lists, containing the commit comments.
Automated mail-out of CVS source tree changes in all the repositories other than ports.
Automated mail-out of ports-specific CVS source tree changes.

Mirror-related Mailing Lists

Announcements and discussion relating to mirrors of OpenBSD.
This is a moderated list used solely for important announcements to operators of OpenBSD mirrors.
Discussion relating to OpenBSD mirrors.

Managing Mailing List Membership via Majordomo

If you want to be sent a complete list with all mailing lists available at openbsd.org, send the command "lists" on the body of a message to majordomo@OpenBSD.org.

To subscribe to a given list, send mail to majordomo@OpenBSD.org with a message body of "subscribe mailing-list-name".

For further assistance, send a message body of "help" to majordomo@OpenBSD.org and you will receive a reply outlining all your options. Your domain MUST resolve properly or the mail will not go through!

Managing Mailing List Membership via Web

Your membership to the OpenBSD mailing lists can also be managed via a web interface at:

Mailing Lists Tricks

There are a number of very useful options that can be selected, either by the web interface or through Majordomo. You can change your email address without having to unsubscribe and resubscribe, you can temporarily disable your message delivery for a few days while you go on vacation, and much more. The user is invited to spend some time reading through the options, available by sending Majordomo a message containing "help" as the body text, or through the "Help" tab of the web interface.

As an example, if you were going on vacation for two weeks and didn't wish to come back to several thousand e-mails, you can disable message delivery by the mail server for the time of your vacation and have delivery automatically resume upon your scheduled return using the command:

     set ALL nomail-14d
This will suspend your subscription to all mail lists for 14 days (-14d). More details and options can be seen on the Majordomo overview page.


If you would prefer to see a "digest" (a consolidated listing of all the messages for a time period), rather than getting messages individually in "real-time" form, you can use the commands:
     set misc digest-daily
     set source-changes digest-weekly
for daily digests of the misc list, and weekly digests of the source-changes list. Yes, multiple commands can be placed in one Majordomo email.

Other Mailing Lists

The fine folks at squish.net run mailing lists with daily and weekly digests of the OpenBSD source-changes and ports-changes mailing list. This is handy for those who don't like the typically high volume of these lists.

The insomniac at benzedrine.cx maintains the pf list for people using the OpenBSD packet filter. To subscribe:
echo subscribe | mail pf-request@benzedrine.cx

Non-English Lists

Several non-English speaking mailing lists related to OpenBSD are available separately. Here is a list of the currently known mailing lists:

Dutch: openbsd@list.ii.nl
To subscribe, visit the URL at: http://list.ii.nl/listinfo/openbsd.

French: misc@openbsd-france.org
To subscribe, visit the URL at: http://www.openbsd-france.org/communaute.php.

Italian: sikurezza.org, an Italian language non-commercial security portal hosts openbsd@sikurezza.org.
To subscribe just send an empty message to openbsd-subscribe@sikurezza.org.

Japanese: openbsd-japan@googlegroups.com
To subscribe, please visit http://groups.google.com/group/openbsd-japan Portuguese: openbsd@neei.uevora.pt
To subscribe, visit the URL at: http://neei.uevora.pt/mailman/listinfo/openbsd/.

Slovenian: to subscribe please visit the URL at http://obsd.17slon.org/mailinglist.php

Spanish: OpenBSD-Mexico@googlegroups.com, run from Mexico.
To subscribe, please visit http://groups.google.com.mx/group/OpenBSD-Mexico

Ukrainian: openbsd@uaoug.org.ua
To subscribe, send mail to openbsd+subscribe@uaoug.org.ua

Mailing List Archives:

These mailing list archives are not managed by the OpenBSD project. Take the time to look at more than one -- each is a little different, and has different search abilities. If you don't find an answer in one, check another.

General search engines, such as Google also prove very effective at finding answers to OpenBSD questions.

RSS Feeds:

There are also some RSS feeds available. Most recent web browsers will support RSS feeds, but there are also a number of RSS readers available. The RSS feeds are not managed by the OpenBSD project.