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Re: adding user starting with caps letter fails on linux

On Tue, Jan 11, 2005 at 07:09:21AM -0600, inode0 wrote:
> On Mon, 10 Jan 2005 11:27:04 -0600, Jay Berryman <jay berryman sitel com> wrote:
> > I had the same issue and Fedora Core 1.  This is a bug in RedHat.  This is
> > how I resolved it.  Add the user using all lower-case letters first.  Then
> > edit the user and group names to how you want them in the /etc/passwd,
> > /etc/group, and /etc/shadow files.
> >From the manpage for the passwd file on RHEL 3 it clearly states that
> the account field in a passwd entry should *not* contain capital
> letters.
> I'm not sure it is fair to characterize this as a bug.  While other
> flavors of UNIX-like operating systems do allow this, 

Earlier releases of Red Hat Linux also allow this.  It's not a bug since
it's clearly documented, but it is a new restriction.

> I'm not aware of
> anyone who actually uses mixed-case usernames.  

We do :-(.  We have accounts like RedHat where each word of the company
name is capitalized.  I didn't like and I'm personally glad that Red Hat
added the restriction so our account management folks don't do that to
me again.

> If you have one user
> named foo and another named Foo and a third named FOO where do you
> suppose mail to any of these will be delivered?  You may avoid
> problems like this using mixed-case usernames if you keep them unique
> ignoring case, but this seems like it is asking for problems to me.

We don't use mail and they're all unique (I really hope!) but you're
right - they are a pain the butt.  I'll get phonecalls asking for help
with account "redhat" and I have to first grep the passwd file trying to
figure out which account they're talking about.

> I'm curious about what is motivating people to want to use mixed-case
> usernames in the first place?

Darn customers :-)

The same motivation that likes HTML for e-mail and daylight savings
time.  Both things that piss techies off.

Ed Wilts, RHCE
Mounds View, MN, USA
mailto:ewilts ewilts org
Member #1, Red Hat Community Ambassador Program

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