| Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 21:38:43 +0100
| From: Robert Synnott <r.synnott at oceanfree.net>
|[ ... ] Tools like 'useradd' etc. say that usernames starting
| in numbers are invalid, as are unsernames containing appostrophies.
| However, when added to /etc/passwd manually, these seem to work fine,
| as long as the home directory, which is just a mount point anyway in
| this case, is a valid name. Can doing this cause any problems?
possibly. utilities which accept usernames as arguments/input
also usually accept UIDs as well. a username which starts with
digits "looks like" a number, i.e., a UID, to at least some of
those utilities (at least historically), and hence use what is
quite probably the wrong value, and do the wrong thing.¹
I've no idea what the issue is with an apostrophe? whilst it's
a shell meta-character (a quoting convention), that doesn't seem
(to me) a sufficiently strong justification to dis-recommending
it's use .... OTOH, the quality of some shell scripts is so
poor that maybe it is a sufficient rationale?
¹ people should really learn to use strtol(3) and friends, and
learn to use them _properly_, so this sort of problem is less
like to happen. (read: "avoid atoi(3) &tc") grrr.....
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