Popular Lab Mailing Lists

Lists you’re automatically subscribed to

You are automatically subscribed to several mailing lists:

[1]: Mailing lists shown above with “[1]” after them are generated automatically from the CSAIL HR personnel database (“Peeps”); you can’t subscribe or unsubscribe from them yourself or change your email address on them. For those lists, you should email csailhrpartners@csail.mit.edu if you believe you should be subscribed but are not, want to unsubscribe, or want to change what email address is listed for you. (You’re subscribed under the email address HR has for you in the database, which may not be your CSAIL email address.) Read more about Peeps-managed mailing lists here.

If you wish to unsubscribe from one of the mailing lists shown without “[1]” above, follow the link to the mailman page for that mailing-list and then follow the directions at the bottom of the page.

[2]: You are automatically subscribed to the lists listed above with “[2]” after them under your @csail.mit.edu address when you get your CSAIL (login/Kerberos/INQUIR) account. But you can unsubscribe at will or change your email address.

[3]: These two lists are partly Peeps-managed opt-out mailing lists; you get added to them automatically when you’re added to the “Peeps” CSAIL HR database, but you can unsubscribe at any time. (You can’t change your own address, though; the new address will automatically get unsubscribed.)

Other lists you may want to join

There are several other mailing lists at the lab that you may find it helpful to subscribe to.

Searching the archives

Before you ask a question on one of the mailing lists, you may find it helpful to search the archive for previous discussion of the topic. Unfortunately, many of the archives are viewable by list members only, so they are not indexed by public web search engines, and Mailman does not provide a way to search them either. One way to search an archive (suggested by rmccutch, 2016-01-26):

  1. git clone https://github.com/philgyford/mailman-archive-scraper/
  2. Install dependencies:
    • Fedora: sudo dnf install python-BeautifulSoup python-clientform python-mechanize python-PyRSS2Gen
  3. Download MailmanArchiveScraper.cfg and fill in the name of the list you want to search and your member email address and password.
  4. python ./MailmanGzTextScraper.py && cat downloadtext/*.txt >all.mbox
  5. Search all.mbox using your favorite tool. Your usual desktop email application will likely work: create a local folder, import all.mbox, and search the folder. Alternatively, notmuch is supposed to scale well.

If you’d be interested in a centrally supported solution, please communicate that to TIG.

Examples of messages appropriate to each list


The csail-all list is generally used for official announcments by CSAIL HQ and TIG, such as


Attachments in proprietary formats will not be permitted, and plain text without attachments is strongly encouraged.


The csail-local mailing list is for the discussion of topics of broad interest to CSAIL members. Course announcements, calls for papers, calls for participation, and other unofficial announcements should not be sent to this list.

You are automatically subscribed to this list when you become a CSAIL member (specifically, when you’re added to the CSAIL HR database), and removed when you leave. However, you can unsubscribe if you like. (See here for more information about this kind of list; in particular, you need CSAIL HR’s help if you want to change the address you’re subscribed under.)

Examples of things you might see on this list:


csail-internal is an announcement list with the same membership as csail-all (i.e., it’s automatically generated from HQ’s list of current CSAIL members), but a somewhat wider scope. As with csail-all, you can’t unsubscribe, but you can turn off mail delivery (effectively unsubscribing), or select a daily digest rather than individual messages. You can do that at the bottom of its general list information page.