Sympa (Système de Multipostage Automatique) Submission

Complete name   Sympa (Système de Multipostage Automatique)
Submitter's Info   David Verdin (RENATER) -
Project information  

Sympa is an open source mailing list manager. It provides advanced features with a rich and secure web interface.

Description of the project and its goals  

Original Sympa features :

- scalable for big mailings lists ( > 1.000.000 list members)
- list member provisioning using LDAP, SQL or other data sources
- various authentication method (SSO, LDAP, X509)
- web archive with access control, message removal etc
- virtual hosting for service providers.
- automatic bounce management
- easily customizable web interface
- SOAP interface for integration with other applications

Web site
Targeted audience  

At its core,  Sympa is used by anyone, because you just need to be able to read and send emails to use it. However, people dowloading and installing it must have good system administration skills, especially in web and email technologies.

Supporting team  

Sympa is actively developed since 1998. It was developed by the CRU (Comité Réseau des Universités) from 1998 to 2011. Then by RENATER ( from 2011 to 2016.
Since 2016, it is handled by a community of developers among the world with a strong suppot from RENATER.
The current main contributors are Marc Chantreux and David Verdin (GIP RENATER), Soji Ikeda (Conversion) and Stefan Hornburg (Linuxia).

Business model / Strategy  

Sympa is a free software distributed under the GPL v2 license.

User community  

Sympa is widely used in large organizations such as Universities and research centers. It is also used by ministries, large industry companies, and social change networks.
It can also be used by small structures such as associations.
Example of users:
- Texas A&M University,
- NASA Jet propulsion laboratory,
- Gendarmerie nationale (France),
- etc.

From a 2015 survey, we estimate that 3 500 servers run Sympa among the world, serving 5 millions individual users.
Most server (80%) are in education and research sector. 8% are associations, 4% private, 3% governmental and 2% are service providers.


Well translated in more than 12 languages.
40 translation projects.
Internationalization is community-driven on


The current objectives are:
- refresh the 20 year old code base,
- improve the web interface,
- implement new mail RFC (6729, 6783, ARC)
- implement a full REST interface.

We want to make Sympa more versatile. It is currently used by a very wide variety of users, from people trying to run it on a Raspberry pi to huge organizations handling multi-million addresses mailing lists.

The current code base evolution aims at making Sympa more modular and let people chose which options they really wan to use.


Current code base and projects are hosted on Github:

Your project and OW2  

Sympa aims at information system integration. It can easily be driven by several sources, including other applications. It can be part of multi-tools collaborative platforms.

OW2 projects  

Possible synergies with:

  • FusionDirectory
  • LemonLDAP::NG
OW2 initiatives  

Any tool likely to query a REST or SOAP interface can use Sympa, either as a group manager, or as bulk mailing tool.

Technologies and standards  
  • Perl
  • DKIM
  • SAML
  • CAS
  • LDAP
  • Web archives
  • SOAP
Contribution to the OW2 Community  

Sympa already contributes to the OW2 Community as OW2 is using Sympa for managing the Consortium mailing-lists. The future developments of Sympa will make it possible to increase the integration level of Sympa within the OW2 information system. In parallel, Sympa brings to the OW2 Community a robust and viable tool for any project needing to use mailing-lists. Sympa also has a wide recognition which is likely to benefit to the Consortium.

Motivations to join the consortium and its community  

The consortium is a good way to promote Sympa.

Other Information?   
License(s)   GNU General Public License v2.0 only
Interested Parties   
Terms and conditions acceptance  

I hereby certify the accuracy of the information provided above.

Submission date   09/01/2018