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We have a corporate standard in which we were limiting user profiles to 8 characters. The reason we were doing this was based on the IBM statement: "Some communications methods limit the user ID to eight characters." found at: https://www.ibm.com/docs/en/i/7.5?topic=fields-user-profile-name
Well, we're not using SNA nor talking to mainframes so those were no big deal to us.
However SSH was and it was affected.
I opened an "ideal" on this to have it rejected. Apparently they had already came up with a resolution for SSH and didn't want to touch the others.

To resolve it for SSH:
There is an environment variable WRKENVVAR LEVEL(*SYS) called PASE_USRGRP_LIMITED. If you set it to 'Y' it is limited to 8 characters. Starting at 7.4 this is shipped with a value of 'N'.
Ok, the devils advocate in me is wondering why there is such an environment variable. Like, why would you want to limit it to 8 characters? Why didn't they just change it wide open? Does using a larger user id blow some buffers or some such thing to older devices, etc?
At one of the links below I found this: "while traditionally AIX defaults to limiting user and group names to 8 characters."

https://www.ibm.com/docs/en/i/7.4?topic=system-pase-environment-variable-change

Description of PASE_USRGRP_LIMITED and other such environment variables are found below
https://www.ibm.com/docs/en/i/7.5?topic=ssw_ibm_i_75/apis/pase_environ.htm

IBM has software products on other platforms they notify you to change the PASE_USRGRP_LIMITED environment variable to allow more than 8 characters:
https://www.ibm.com/docs/en/workload-automation/9.1.0?topic=systems-installing-agents-i

This environment variable goes back to at least 7.1
https://www.ibm.com/docs/en/i/7.1?topic=ssw_ibm_i_71/apis/pase_environ.htm
Just prior to 7.4 it was defaulted to limit it to 8 characters.

We've stopped creating WRKDIRE entries for users long ago and the entries which are there are for more long term employees. We do not use any folders in QDLS. We do not use WRKDIRE to supply entries for email. I know you can point an 8 character entry in this to a 10 character user id but what eight character entries would you use for these users: ABCDEFGHI2, ABCDEFGHI3, ABCDEFGHI4?

If we're not using SNA,
and we're not using WRKDIRE entries,
and we have the environment variable PASE_USRGRP_LIMITED set to N to not limit it,
is there any reason to not start using 9 & 10 character user names?

We do have some lpars of 7.2.0.0 AIX but the number of users on them can be counted with fingers.

Rob Berendt

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