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Mathieu Baudier 11-13-2010 12:25 PM

Best practices for the maximal length of user names
 
Hello,

are there any best practices for the length of user names?

I tend to limit them to 8 characters and to follow the pattern 'first
letter of the first name'+'first 7 letters of the last name' (e.g.
mbaudier).

But people are sometimes frustrated with having their last name
truncated and I wonder if limiting the user name to 8 characters is
not a kind of superstition coming from some old times...

I would be very interested to hear opinions / experience about this.
(I'm using CentOS 5.5)

Thanks in advance!

Mathieu
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Lucian 11-13-2010 05:24 PM

Best practices for the maximal length of user names
 
On Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 1:25 PM, Mathieu Baudier <mbaudier@argeo.org> wrote:
> Hello,
>
> are there any best practices for the length of user names?
>
> I tend to limit them to 8 characters and to follow the pattern 'first
> letter of the first name'+'first 7 letters of the last name' (e.g.
> mbaudier).
>
> But people are sometimes frustrated with having their last name
> truncated and I wonder if limiting the user name to 8 characters is
> not a kind of superstition coming from some old times...
>
> I would be very interested to hear opinions / experience about this.
> (I'm using CentOS 5.5)
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> Mathieu
> _______________________________________________
> CentOS mailing list
> CentOS@centos.org
> http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
>

Never had problems with username lengths. Haven't really made any
measurements but I had quite long names i.e.
username@some-long-mail-domain.com without any problems.
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Benjamin Franz 11-14-2010 02:54 PM

Best practices for the maximal length of user names
 
On 11/13/2010 05:25 AM, Mathieu Baudier wrote:
> But people are sometimes frustrated with having their last name
> truncated and I wonder if limiting the user name to 8 characters is
> not a kind of superstition coming from some old times...


CentOS5 supports 31 characters for user names (I tested it). 8 character
limits for user names was a holdover from some truly ancient Unix
systems and has been pretty much irrelevant to Linux for more than ten
years.

There is no reason I can think of to limit user names in Linux to 8
characters now unless you need to inter-operate account logins with an
old Unix box that still has that limit.

--
Benjamin Franz
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Stephen Harris 11-14-2010 03:13 PM

Best practices for the maximal length of user names
 
On Sun, Nov 14, 2010 at 07:54:10AM -0800, Benjamin Franz wrote:
> CentOS5 supports 31 characters for user names (I tested it). 8 character
> limits for user names was a holdover from some truly ancient Unix
> systems and has been pretty much irrelevant to Linux for more than ten
> years.

There are some minor side effects.

For example, from "man ps"
If the length of the username is greater than the length of the display
column, the numeric user ID is displayed instead.

On my 5.5 machine I have:
haldaemon:x:68:68:HAL daemon:/:/sbin/nologin
and yet
% ps aux | grep -w hald | grep -v root
68 4389 0.0 0.1 6680 4640 ? Ss Oct24 0:06 hald
68 4397 0.0 0.0 2108 828 ? S Oct24 0:00 hald-addon-acpi: listening on acpid socket /var/run/acpid.socket
68 4401 0.0 0.0 2108 828 ? S Oct24 0:00 hald-addon-keyboard: listening on /dev/input/event0

Excluding minor artifacts like this, long user names work just fine.

--

rgds
Stephen
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