Zimbra Tips : How to Restrict Sending to Distribution list

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By default, Distribution list in Zimbra can be sent from anywhere (internal domain and external domain). if you want to restrict from some users or internal domain only, please try this guidance

# Enable Milter

You must enable milter. Login to Zimbra Admin | Configure | Global Settings | MTA. Please checklist on Enable milter server. Next, restart milter services from CLI

su - zimbra
zmmilterctl restart
zmmilterctl status

# Give the owner to distribution list

Please create/select existing distribution list that want to configure restrict. Edit and give the owner. The following is example iman@imanudin.net as the owner against allusers@imanudin.net distribution list


# Configure restrict

– Please login to webmail the owner of distribution list (iman@imanudin.net)
– Go to Contacts menu | Distribution Lists
Right click on Distribution list and select Edit Distribution List
– Go to Distribution List Properties menu and configure who users can send to DL

The following is example that user iman@imanudin.net and admin@imanudin.net can be send to DL

restrict sent to dl

Please try to send email to distribution list (from allow users and deny users) to ensure restriction have worked.

Good luck and hopefully useful 😀


  1. i tried the option suggested here but still the mails are being received on all ID’s not just the ones specified in the sendto list users.

    is there something else we can do?

    1. Iman, I am from BD. Thanks for your usefull and very helpfull website. Hope future post will also helps for OSE.

  2. mas iman ada caranya gak untuk user yang tidak bisa kirim ke distribution list ketika dia mencoba kirim ada email balasan kalau dia tidak bisa kirim ke dl yang di restrict

  3. Hi.
    I have a DL. The Dl has 120 members. When i Expand DL and Scroll, the Dl email address showing into loop for several.
    But when number of member <=100, there is not problem.
    Can you help me?
    Is the showing Bug?

      1. My users dislike shell :-(((((.
        I solved my problem. I edited js/ContactsCore_all.js.zgz and changed DL_PAGE_SIZE variable. The default value of DL_PAGE_SIZE is 100.

  4. [zimbra@kopano ~]$ zmmilterctl restart
    Stopping milter server…done.
    Starting milter server…done.
    [zimbra@kopano ~]$ zmmilterctl status
    Milter server is running.

    Only added a single user to the owner and the same user to be able to send to the distribution List. But anyone can send emails.

  5. Hi everybody!

    I made the distribution list restriction, it is working fine, thank you!
    I have only one more question: How can I change this replay message?
    „571 571 Sender is not allowed to email this distribution list: xxxxx@xxxx.xx

    I have to translate it, for our users.

    Thanking in advance!

  6. Dear iman brother.
    Nice read.
    I have done it …. but in our case we have split domain into 2 servers . So we we shared external gal… into our primary server. But the solution is working OK with ONLY accounts of primary server . Bit external user not being restricted…they are freely able to send mail to distributions list without even have not any access send rights.

    Please i would really oblige for any good workaround for our problem.

  7. I used multiserver Zimbra OSE, and i’ve done configure the milter as your tutorial (server on global configuration|mta.) I’ve done restart the milter service through zmmilterctl restart but all user on my distribution list still can send email to the d.l.
    Any clue?

    Thanks for your share and tutorial.

  8. Hi iman,

    Is there a way to see list of which mail addresses restrict to send mails any distribution list ?

    Thanks for your share. It was really helpfull

    1. Hi Cihan,

      By default, DL can sent from any email. If you configure like this post, DL only can sent from some emails that have been defined

  9. thanks for your share,

    i want to restrict external users send email to all distribute list.

    can i do that ?

    i can, how can i do that ?


  10. Hi there,

    I have a dl with few user allowed to send mail to it, now i want to allow another domain user as gmail to allow sending mail to dl. I added my gmail id and tried to send mail but it gets bounce back saying “571 Sender is not allowed to email this distribution list” but when i check in CLI using ” zmprov ckr dl” it gives me allowed.
    Please suggest what I have to do.

      1. Hello Iman,
        Thank you for your reply.
        I have already tried restarting milter service and got the same bounce back mail.

  11. Hi Iman,
    Hope you are doing well.
    I would like to restrict users to send a distribution list like below.
    a. All internal user can send to the DL.
    b. Some of the external users e.g. gmail.com can send.
    I am looking for merging these two rules on a single rule.
    Please advise.

  12. Hi Iman,
    first thank you very much for you article.
    i want to ask you about the possibility to personilase the error message under zimbra, like when you don’t have right to send mail to DL, iwant apparte my message?
    thank you for your help.

  13. Hello Iman,
    I have a VPS and a Dedicated server with ZCS 8.8 OSE (same version of OS too, CentOS7). The DL restriction works fine on the VPS but not on the Dedicated server. What could be wrong? I have tried all the possible steps as explained by you and also referred other Forums too. But no luck. The settings on both servers for Zimbra is also same. Both are production servers and can’t afford to test cbpolicyd.

    Help me!!

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