Frequently Asked Questions: Society Email Addresses

Can societies have email addresses

They certainly can. This can be useful for setting up 'Role' addresses for the society account, passing mail sent to to the correct user, for example.

This has the obvious benefit of allowing one email address to exist throughout the years, so when one president leaves, the email address remains the same, stopping users having to look up or find the latest crsid.

What are the default society email addresses?

If you have not specifically set up any mail processing for your society, the following addresses will be in operation:

IMPORTANT: Since important messages for society admins may be sent to one or other of the above addresses, which by default forward to the local SRCF email addresses of the society admins, please ensure that you either check your local SRCF inbox or arrange for your personal SRCF email account to forward to an account you do read — see the FAQ entry: How do I read my SRCF email? for more details.

How do I control what happens to society email?

There are two ways. One way is to set up one or more Mailman mailing lists — see the FAQ entry: How do I get a Mailman mailing list set up? for more details. These can have names of the form [socname] or [socname]-[anything], and will take priority over the .forward method described below. Mailing lists are appropriate if you wish to distribute mail to a large number of people or if you wish mailing list members to have the ability to (un)subscribe themselves.

The second method is to set up a .forward file in your society's directory (/societies/[socname]/.forward). This will be used to process all email sent to addresses of the form [socname] or [socname]-[anything], with the exception of [socname] which always has the behaviour described in the previous answer, and any names already used for your mailing lists.

I don't know the syntax of a .forward file, is there another way?

We have a new script to create basic .forward files from a simple-to-edit list of forwarding addresses. To use this, first create the file 'autoforward' in the society account's home directory, i.e. '/societies/[socname]/autoforward'. In that file, add lines in the format:


In a more specific example:,,

When the script srcf-autoforward is run the .forward file which will be generated will ensure that mail to is forwarded to the three users listed in the comma separated list following the colon. Add any subsequent forwarding addresses you wish to the file for processing.

Once the file is created, or when you have edited the autoforwards file, run:

srcf-autoforward socname

to process the autoforward file and create a correctly formatted set of forwarding rules for your society account.

Note that there is one difference to the usual operation of .forward files, which is that if no delivery is set up during the .forward file processing, then the email will be bounced (unlike your personal .forward file, where the mail would end up in your personal inbox).

What if I want to edit my .forward file directly?

Then you can do that directly, using the information below.

The syntax of .forward files is explained in detail in the exim documentation, specifically, here.

Note that if you use the “save” command, you must specify absolute file paths (e.g.“'/societies/mysoc/saved-emails”), and if you use the logfile command, you must not only use an absolute file path but also must specify a mode parameter of 0660, otherwise the logfile will not be readable or writable by you! e.g. “logfile /societies/mysoc/emaillog 0660”

To get you started, here is an example .forward file for the fictional society “mysoc”. It would be at /societies/mysoc/.forward. Lines beginning with # are comments, but note that the first line (“# Exim filter”) is special and must be left intact for the filter file to work.

# Exim filter

# should go to

if ($local_part_suffix is "-webmaster") then

# Publicity address. should go
# to abc12 and def34

if ($local_part_suffix is "-publicity") then

# forward anything else sent to mysoc-[anything]
# or to the committee mailing list:

if not delivered then