Mailing lists: Reply, Reply All, something else?

I want to engage more with mailing lists, but I use them so sporadically I forget which I should be using every time, and I think every time I just make a wild guess. I subscribe to many, but almost never reply because of this.

This also seems to depend on the mailing list, the email client, and on whether there’s a Reply-To header apparently. I see some conflicting information about whether to use one or another, too.

So: what’s the right/safest way to reply to mailing list emails, specifically those used by KDE? Reply to the mailing list only? Reply All? Some other options in the email client? Something else I should pay attention to?

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As you say, it depends on the mailing list.

Most that I’m subscribed to when you hit Reply it replies to the list only, which is what I consider correct.

Unless it’s a public mailing list (ino subscription needed to post) so usually reply-to-all is more correct, as the poster might not be subscribed to the list.
But this is a very rare case, I only know about the linux kernel mailing list.

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If you use KMail it has mailing list functionality built-in. If configured correctly for a folder, it will show a “reply to mailing list” option :slight_smile: I dump each of my KDE mailing lists into folders (using Sieve) and then each one is configured via the “Detect Automatically” button.

You should be able to use the option even if the mailing list is not configured, but I don’t trust myself to do that :stuck_out_tongue:


In general, use “Reply list”.

If you are replying to someone who you know is not subscribed to the mailing list, use “Reply all” so that they receive the reply.

If in doubt, use “Reply all”.