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Problem processing mail file from "user@somedomain".

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Listserv will not allow a user to post to a list. An error occurred while processing file "123456789" from "Mail has been received for delivery to the "somelist" list from a user that had been served out".


The usual cause is previously sending a command to listserv that included text Listserv could not understand. For example, if the user tries to subscribe to a list, and sends the following command to Listserv:

sub somelist
Jean Q. User, Director of Operations
Phone 315-999-9999

Their email client does its job by including a signature, which unfortunately will look to Listserv like part of the command. Listserv cannot understand it, and if Listserv encounters 10 or more "commands" it cannot understand, it assumes there is a problem with the email address sending the command. Listserv consequently "serves out" that user (refuses to process anything from that user). The list owner can resolve the problem by sending the following command to

serve [user's email]              
Example:  serve

Avoiding the problem

  • delete the signature
  • don't put any text other than the Listserv command in the email message


  • actually, anyone other than the email address served out can send the command.
  • each line in the email is counts as a separate command.
  • Signatures shorter than 10 lines won't cause a user to be served out, but they will cause error messages.
  • a blank line after the command usually precludes a problem.
  • The subject line does not cause problems- Listserv ignores it.