[arch-general] User/group name restrictions

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at archlinux.org
Fri May 24 17:09:43 UTC 2019

On 5/24/19 4:03 AM, Andy Pieters wrote:
> On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 12:08 AM Eli Schwartz via arch-general <
> arch-general at archlinux.org> wrote:
>> Given that your initial post does specifically state that you are
>> patching the package in order to allow it, I will assume that nothing I
>> just said about upstream's intentions is remotely surprising to you --
>> you would have to know that it's enforced in libmisc/chkname.c in order
>> to patch it, soooo... may I ask why you posted to the list asking why it
>> is not allowed "in Arch Linux", rather than "in the upstream,
>> distribution-agnostic shadow-maint software"?
>  What is obvious to me now is that I formed the wrong opinion years ago
> when I had just started to use Arch (coming from a distro that did allow
> uppercase user names) and now when I finally decided to go and ask the
> question I didn't revisit that opinion and I should have because if I had
> bothered to go over things again I would have come to the same conclusion.
> This wasn't a trick question or a deliberate intent to mislead just my own
> failing in this matter

Okay, but the point I'm trying to make here is that if you have "for a
very long time" patched the sources to allow it, you know where the
check comes from. I'm not saying you were being deliberately misleading,
but it was still confusing nonetheless -- and personally, I eventually
found where it was being enforced by checking Debian's shadow package to
see which new features they patched in downstream.


BTW I'm serious about using the GECOS field for the display name, you
could for example use the following in your .profile:

REALNAME=$(getent passwd "$USER" | cut -d: -f5 | cut -d, -f1 )

And then embed that in your prompt string.

Eli Schwartz
Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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