Account Name FAQ

This page answers some commonly asked questions about the account name policy.

What is the account name policy?

The account name policy can be found at ../AccountNamePolicy.

Why is there an account name policy?

The existing policy aims to prevent specific problems that existed in the past, when there was no account name policy.

Why do some people have account names that do not confirm with the policy?

These people received their accounts back when there was no account name policy in place. Changing all past account names would be a difficult process, so they get to keep their existing account names.

Can I have numbers, dashes, or underscores in my account name?


Why can I not have more than 10 characters in my account name?

Your account name will be used for a lot of different services, and for interoperability reasons, we need to have restrictions on the account names. Ten characters seems to be a size that all known services can handle, both current ones and future ones. Very long account names are also more difficult to type.

Why is there a requirement for the account name to be "easily connectable to the full name"?

A maintainer must be able to be absolutely sure about who has been committing to his repository, and in order to make this feasible, there must be an immediate and very obvious connection between account names and people's full names. People's full names are usually what contributors are identified by on mailing lists and in ChangeLogs.

Can I have my nickname, "niceguy", as my account name? I use it everywhere else and have been using it for over fifteen years.

No. Sorry. There must be an immediately obvious connection to your full name.

Can I have my pseudonym, "billsmith", as my account name? I use it everywhere online and want to protect my real identity, "Alex Fisher".

No. Sorry. There must be an immediately obvious connection to your full, real name. The community is based on transparency and trust. Pseudonyms and hidden identities do not play well with that.

My name is "Nils Andersson". Can I have "nisse" as my account name? In Sweden, Nisse is a nickname for Nils.

No. Sorry. To most other international contributors and maintainers, that connection would not be obvious enough, since it requires special knowledge.

Why do I need both a part of my first name and a part of my last name in my account name?

We do require this in order to make the account name unique enough. We do not want a situation, neither now nor in the future, where another contributor would share the same name and make confusion about the accounts possible. So, basically, the only way you can have a first name only or last name only account name would be if that name is very unique in itself all over the world. You would be asked to prove this somehow.

My name is "Chris Anderson". I use the account name "chris" everywhere else where I have an account, such as home, my work, university, and so on. Can I have it at as well?

No. Sorry. See above.

Can I have multiple account names?

No. We are very strict about only allowing one account and one account name per individual. Accounts are granted on an individual basis, and allowing multiple account names would lead to confusion about the identity of the account and the individual using it.

My name is "Robert Doyle". I already have a account named "bobbie". However, I would like to have "robertd" as an e-mail alias. Can I have it?

Yes, but we would need to add a new account named "robertd", and disable your old "bobbie" account. In other words, you would no longer be able to use the "bobbie" account for any services, only the "robertd" account.

I only want an e-mail alias. Why do you have to be so strict about account names?

Should you later contribute to GNOME in some other way, and as a consequence need another type of account as well, we would add permissions to accomplish that to your existing account. Hence, the e-mail alias you request right now must also confirm to the account name policy.

If you are so strict about account names, why don't you just pick one for me?

We want to make sure that you are in at least some way comfortable with the account name, and that it does not cause unnecessary problems for you. After all, this will be your account name for quite some time. We would want to avoid a situation where you would get a "robertd" account, but use "rdoyle" everywhere else, or a situation where you would find the resulting account name offensive in some way. That is why you are the one who gets to choose.

Can I suggest multiple account names?

Yes, certainly. Please list them with the most preferred name first.

Who will have the final say about my account name choice?

The sysadmin or AccountsTeam member who resolves your account request.

Infrastructure/Archive/AccountNameFAQ (last edited 2022-09-16 09:57:03 by AndreaVeri)