What is LISTSERV?
LISTSERV is a software program that sends an email to all members of its mailing list. This mailing list software was developed by BITNET Corporation in 1984. However, a revised version of the LISTSERV software was developed by Eric Thomas under his organization L-soft, which added automated list management functions. It is now a commercial product sold by this company. The LISTSERV word is an acronym for list server.
LISTSERV is mailing list software that manages a database of subscribed mailing list members and automatically forwards every mail to all members. LISTSERV includes functions for managing e-mail lists, which enable the automated management of typical tasks. For example, a user can subscribe or unsubscribe to the list, or send a single email to all members. LISTSERV also offers automated back-end administration tasks. LISTSERV works independently and can be installed as a mailing list server on most operating systems such as Windows, Linux, UNIX, FreeBSD and more.
As one of the earliest and most popular list servers, the brand name LISTSERV became synonymous with mail servers in general (much like Kleenex is a brand name for tissue paper). Sometimes people use the term incorrectly because of this.