why I don't use SUSE: account creation not allow 1 char username

Last few times I tried installing SUSE, it went well, until account creation. I like the simplest, shortest usernames possible. But the installer will not let me create a user “u”. Has to be 2+ characters. This can be worked around by creating user accounts with command line tools. But it’s annoying that SUSE’s graphical installer has this completely unnecessary restriction.

Another account creation that was seriously annoying was for these forums. It wants name, email address, full street address, and telephone number. And, the account creator has to opt out of marketing emails. Stinks of corporate control.

Firstly, are you talking about SUSE or about openSUSE? Those are not the same. You should try to be clearer.

I’ve never tried a 1-char account during install. But then the first account that I usually create is a support account. I then use that to create the account that I will actually use. The support account is a backup account in case I make a mess with my regular account.

As for the forum account? It is actually an account at microfocus, so it is more than a forum account. Requiring some such information probably helps to slow down the spammers.

Depending on how bothersome the name length restriction might be, you can submit as a bug or feature request at

Personally, I can’t think of a reason to not support single character names if the password is strong enough. Maybe there is an issue in the library or code used to create the UI or maybe an issue once may have existed but is no more.

In any case, I’d guess that this might not take long for someone to quickly investigate whether a problem current exists and could be modified.

Agree with nrickert about online authentication, when I set up an account with any other Internet authentication service, I can’t think of a single one that doesn’t require at least the fields mentioned… and usually a lot more. Since an Internet authentication service can be leveraged across many properties (eg different websites, possibly applications, perhaps special access to some assets like Downloads), granting access isn’t trivial.


Thanks for the replies. Maybe I will submit a bug report. First, OpenSUSE is what I’ve tried.

What makes this restriction troublesome is that I often switch Linux distros, while keeping my user accounts the same. If I create a user account during installation and give it a 2 character name (“u1”), that account gets user ID 1000, and now all the files I have in /home/u/ belong to u1. I can’t just create user “u” after installation, as it will have a different ID. Have to remove user u1, carefully, so that u’s files aren’t removed along with u1, then create user u. And, may have to force assignment of ID 1000 to user u, else the tools may just increment to the next ID that has never been used, and make u 1001 anyway.

It’s interesting that such a small restriction causes a fair bit of unnecessary sysadm work. On all other distros, it’s create user u, and done. User u has ID 1000. In OpenSUSE, I could go with chown -r to change the ID of every file in the home directory, but then I’d have to change that all back or do some other gymnastics the next time I switch distros. This limitation has been around for a long time. Has bothered me since OpenSUSE 10.

On the forum account, while keeping spam out is a worthy goal, I see no reason why I should be opted in to marketing emails, aka spam. Keep out spam from Internet trolls, while corporate spam gets not only a free pass, but shoved down our throats?

There’s an install option, to import users from a previous linux installation. I normally use that. You might give it a try. I’m guessing that there’s a chance it will happily import 1-char users.

The option is a bit hidden for Leap 42.1 and earlier versions. On the screen where you setup the first user, there’s a button that is named “Change” (or similar). It has to do with changing the algorithm used for password encoding. If you click that, the CHANGE screen has the option to import users.

My normal practice is to uncheck the “automatic login” box, and then click CHANGE. (After importing, you can no longer uncheck “automatic login”).

For Tumbleweed installs and 42.2 Alpha installs, the import selection is easier to find. It is right there on the page where you create the first user.

On Mon, 29 Aug 2016 22:46:01 +0000, simpleeqbest wrote:

> On the forum account, while keeping spam out is a worthy goal, I see no
> reason why I should be opted in to marketing emails, aka spam. Keep out
> spam from Internet trolls, while corporate spam gets not only a free
> pass,
> but shoved down our throats?

It’s easy enough to opt out, so opt out if you don’t want marketing
emails. Nobody’s forcing you to opt-in with no option of ever opting out.

The forum admins don’t have control over that. What we gain in terms of
keeping spammers out as well as overall security is worth the trade-off.
Perhaps you heard of the breeches on the Ubuntu forums? We use the same
forum software, but with a different security system, enabled by the
Micro Focus login.

Seems like a fair trade-off for having to check a “don’t send me
marketing e-mails” tickbox. :slight_smile:


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

BTW since you’re not a fan of marketing the proper marketing name of the brand is openSUSE. No offence meant :slight_smile:

I think it was a very recent TW install…
I noticed a new option to install <without setting up any User>.
I didn’t investigate, of course I assume that would mean that root would still be set up but the system would begin without any normal User account.