Usernames > 16 characters

Julian Elischer julian at
Fri Aug 15 18:22:45 PDT 2003

Matthew Dillon wrote:
:Any chance Dragonfly will handle usernames > 16 characters?  Or is this 
:something that many people feel should be done with something like PAM?

    Well, you have to ask yourself "larger then 16 characters for what
    purpose" ?  If for email purposes then the appropriate avenue is to
    create mail aliases, for example.  An account name as an operating 
    system tracked entity should not have an unbounded size, otherwise 
    it becomes too ungainly to administer and report on (in logs and so 

    That said, it is obvious that 8 was too small and so it was bumped up
    to 16.  The question is would it be reasonable to bump it up to, say,
    32?  I can't imagine making it larger then 32 but I can see some valid
    arguments to going from 16 to 32 and perhaps bumping up the hostname
    field in utmp.h at the same time.
the Whistle interjet (FreeBSD 2.x, 3.x and 4.x)
used 32 byte usernames so that they could be the same as Windows and MacOS.
(I forget the limits they had but 16 was too small)
We only used a small subset of UNIX bet we had no problems in th parts we used..

    Some recent names sitting in my inbox:

              1         2         3
    Matthew_Dillon  |		    |
    Eric_J_Chet     |		    |
    Julian_Elischer |		    |
    Kent_Ibbetson   |		    |
    Jeroen_Ruigrok_van_der_Werven   |
    Sander_Vesik    |		    |
    Hiten_Pandya    |		    |
    Garance_A_Drosihn		    |
    M_Warner_Losh   |		    |
    So there's a good argument for going to 32.

					Matthew Dillon 
					<dillon at xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

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