Email list help

War Resisters' International's email lists are running on a server at The software we use is called sympa, which is the same that is used by the popular activist server riseup, although it might look quite differently.

This page explains how to use the web interface of sympa to manage your subscription options.

Subscribing to a list

There are generally two ways to subscribe to an email list:

Sympa: subscribing to a list via the web interfaceSympa: subscribing to a list via the web interface

  • go to the web interface for subscribing to a list at, where listname again is the name of the list you want to subscribe to. A form will open that will ask you for your email address. Type you email address and press the submit button.

Upon subscription to a list, an account is created on the mailing list server (if this is the first list you subscribe to), based on your email address. You will need to log in to this account if you want to change your subscription settings.

Getting your password

To get your password (which you can change), click on "First login" under the login form in the left column of the list page.
Sympa: getting your password (step 1)Sympa: getting your password (step 1)

On the next form, you will be asked for your subscription email address.

Sympa: getting your password (step 2)Sympa: getting your password (step 2)

Enter your email address, and click on Send me my password. Then check your email for a mail send by sympa.

Sympa: getting your password (step 3)Sympa: getting your password (step 3)

The email will be from sympa with the subject line War Resisters' International Mailing List Service / your environment. It looks like the image above, and includes:

- your email address
- your initial password
- a link to change your password

Click on the link, or copy and paste it into your browser.

Sympa: getting your password (step 4)Sympa: getting your password (step 4)

Please type your password of choice twice, and click on Submit. You have now changed your password to something which you will hopefully be able to remember.

If you forget your password, you can always ask sympa to send you a password reminder.

Please note: the password for the list system (sympa and for the WRI website are independent of each other. They are created separately, and you can change them separately.

Sympa: account optionsSympa: account options

Once you entered your password, you will be redirected to your preferences settings page, where you can add your name, choose a language for the interface (and emails from the system), or change your password or email address. You can use this if you change your email address to change all your subscription addresses at once.

Managing your subscription options

Sympa: managing your subscription optionsSympa: managing your subscription options
When you are logged in, you see in the left column the lists you are subscribed to (including their descriptions), and in the main window the lists that you can subscribe to.

Click on one of the lists you are already subscribed to, and you will see several options in the left column:

  • Subscriber options
  • Unsubscribe
  • Info
  • Archive
  • Post (if you are allowed to post to the list)


  • RSS

The important one here is (for now) Subscriber options.

Sympa: managing your subscription optionsSympa: managing your subscription options

When you click on Subscriber options, you see some settings you are able to change. The most important one is Receiving mode, which is a drop-down menu, where you can choose from:

  • html only mode
  • standard reception
  • no mail (useful for vacations)
  • text only mode

The two most important ones are standard reception (you receive every email exactly as it was sent by the original poster) and no mail (which means you do not receive any emails, but are still able to send messages to the list, and access the archives and other options).

Under Visibility, you can choose to hide the fact that you are subscribed to the list from other subscribers, or be visible.

Once you are done with settings your options, click on Update.

You can always come back and change your subscriber options.