Leopard underscore user names

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Leopard underscore user names

Kieran Kelleher
What is the deal with the underscore prefix on some user names on OS X  
Leopard?


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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Ansgar Wiechers
On 2008-03-06 Kieran Kelleher wrote:
> What is the deal with the underscore prefix on some user names on OS X  
> Leopard?

It's a convention used to distinguish system accounts from "normal"
accounts.

Regards
Ansgar Wiechers
--
"Another option [for defragmentation] is to back up your important files,
erase the hard disk, then reinstall Mac OS X and your backed up files."
--http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=25668
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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Steven Kolins-2
In reply to this post by Kieran Kelleher



On 03 6 08 1:09 PM, "Kieran Kelleher" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> What is the deal with the underscore prefix on some user names on OS X
> Leopard?

Not for login - sharing only accounts or administrative accounts to run
daemons and things from.

--
'    '   '  ' ' ' ''"""""""""""'' ' '  '   '    '
Steven Kolins
Alamance-Burlington Schools, NC USA
LanTech/Mac Systems Tech
336-516-4082

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Re: Leopard underscore user names

William Siegrist
In reply to this post by Kieran Kelleher
They are the users used for running daemons. I believe the underscore  
was added to help separate the namespace from normal users.

-Bill


On Mar 6, 2008, at 10:09 AM, Kieran Kelleher wrote:

> What is the deal with the underscore prefix on some user names on OS  
> X Leopard?
>
>
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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Matt Rosenberg
In reply to this post by Kieran Kelleher
On 3/6/08 10:09 AM, "Kieran Kelleher" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> What is the deal with the underscore prefix on some user names on OS X
> Leopard?

The appears to be the convention to indicate a system or service-specific
user.

Matt


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Re: Leopard underscore user names

David Haines-2
In reply to this post by Kieran Kelleher

On Mar 6, 2008, at 1:09 PM, Kieran Kelleher wrote:

> What is the deal with the underscore prefix on some user names on OS  
> X Leopard?

Hi Kieran. A search of this list (for example) should have turned up  
the following - although Apple's list search seems fairly  
dysfunctional at the moment:


On Dec 22, 2007, at 9:58 AM, Josh Wisenbaker wrote:

>
> On Dec 22, 2007, at 4:10 AM, Jose Hales-Garcia wrote:
>
>>
>> In Leopard, Apple has started a new convention of adding an  
>> underscore before the name of accounts and groups that run  
>> daemons.  Here are some group names as examples... (the numbers are  
>> their gids)
>>
>> _amavisd           83
>> _appowner          87
>> _appserveradm      81
>> _appserverusr      79
>> _ard               67
>> _atsserver         97
>> _calendar          93
>> _clamav            82
>>
>> Has anyone seen documentation about this convention?  I'm creating  
>> a daemon account and group for PostgreSQL and don't mind using the  
>> convention, but I'm wondering if it's more than just a naming  
>> convention and if accounts with these names are treated any  
>> differently by the system.
>
>
> AFAIK it's just a naming convention for service accounts. It's a  
> fairly common one though and I'm glad Apple has adopted it.
>
> Josh
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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Kyle Sluder
In reply to this post by Kieran Kelleher
On Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 1:09 PM, Kieran Kelleher <[hidden email]> wrote:
> What is the deal with the underscore prefix on some user names on OS X
>  Leopard?

They're system accounts and Are Not To Be Touched(TM).

--Kyle Sluder
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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Slavin, Simon
In reply to this post by Kieran Kelleher

On 6 Mar 2008, at 6:09pm, Kieran Kelleher wrote:

> What is the deal with the underscore prefix on some user names on OS  
> X Leopard?

These names are names for accounts created for tools provided with the  
OS.  For instance, the web server has to log in to do its job, and the  
days of every application logging in as 'root' are long gone.  So  
Apple created an account 'World Wide Web Server' for the web server to  
use when it's running, and that account's shortname is '_www'.

The underscores are a quick way for /humans/ to check to see if an  
account belongs to one of their users (William Warwick-Wheaton) or a  
pretend user created to let the server provide one of its services.  
If it starts with an underscore, it's intended for use only by a  
particular service; if it doesn't, it's an account for a human.  
Technically, there's nothing to stop you from creating your own  
account starting with an underscore: the system doesn't treat them any  
differently to other accounts.

Simon
--
Simon Slavin                               Fylde Building Room C11
Computing Development Officer              01524 65201 x 93569
Psychology Department
University of Lancaster


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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Josh Wisenbaker

On Mar 7, 2008, at 5:27 AM, Simon Slavin wrote:

>
> On 6 Mar 2008, at 6:09pm, Kieran Kelleher wrote:
>
>> What is the deal with the underscore prefix on some user names on  
>> OS X Leopard?
>
> These names are names for accounts created for tools provided with  
> the OS.  For instance, the web server has to log in to do its job,  
> and the days of every application logging in as 'root' are long  
> gone.  So Apple created an account 'World Wide Web Server' for the  
> web server to use when it's running, and that account's shortname is  
> '_www'.
>
> The underscores are a quick way for /humans/ to check to see if an  
> account belongs to one of their users

But what if MY name begins with an underscore?!? ;-)

_josh

--
Josh Wisenbaker, ACSA
http://www.afp548.com
Changing the world one server at a time.


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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Slavin, Simon

On 11 Mar 2008, at 11:33am, Josh Wisenbaker wrote:

> On Mar 7, 2008, at 5:27 AM, Simon Slavin wrote:
>
>> On 6 Mar 2008, at 6:09pm, Kieran Kelleher wrote:
>>
>>> What is the deal with the underscore prefix on some user names on  
>>> OS X Leopard?
>>
>> The underscores are a quick way for /humans/ to check to see if an  
>> account belongs to one of their users
>
> But what if MY name begins with an underscore?!? ;-)

<http://xkcd.com/327/>

Safe for work.  No sound.

Simon
--
Simon Slavin                               Fylde Building Room C11
Computing Development Officer              01524 65201 x 93569
Psychology Department
University of Lancaster


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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Norman Ferguson
In reply to this post by Josh Wisenbaker
_Josh,

We've always known that you're just a poorly implemented AI sub-routine.


-- 
Norman Ferguson, Systems Administrator
Math Emporium / Va Tech <http://www.emporium.vt.edu/>
540-231-3563




On 3/11/08 7:33 AM, "Josh Wisenbaker" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> But what if MY name begins with an underscore?!? ;-)
>
> _josh
>
> --
> Josh Wisenbaker, ACSA
> http://www.afp548.com
> Changing the world one server at a time.

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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Sergio Trejo
In reply to this post by Josh Wisenbaker

On Tue, Mar 11, 2008 at 1:33 AM, Josh Wisenbaker <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Mar 7, 2008, at 5:27 AM, Simon Slavin wrote:


On 6 Mar 2008, at 6:09pm, Kieran Kelleher wrote:

What is the deal with the underscore prefix on some user names on OS X Leopard?

These names are names for accounts created for tools provided with the OS.  For instance, the web server has to log in to do its job, and the days of every application logging in as 'root' are long gone.  So Apple created an account 'World Wide Web Server' for the web server to use when it's running, and that account's shortname is '_www'.

The underscores are a quick way for /humans/ to check to see if an account belongs to one of their users

But what if MY name begins with an underscore?!? ;-)

_josh

{ _josh and josh} and { _simon and simon }

Though I'm late to the party, I see on Mac OS X Server 10.5.2 property lists such as this one which has a value which is an array of two human readable strings:

contents of --> /private/var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default/groups/_lpadmin.plist
<key>name</key>
        <array>
                <string>_lpadmin</string>
                <string>lpadmin</string>
        </array>

Unless my eyes deceive me, I see an array of two names, one name has the underscore and one without. So what gives? Why are there two array elements of names that are similar, the only diff in the namespace being the preceding underscore character?

[?]serg

 


--
Josh Wisenbaker, ACSA
http://www.afp548.com
Changing the world one server at a time.



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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Karl Kuehn-3
On Aug 21, 2008, at 9:04 AM, Sergio Trejo wrote:

Though I'm late to the party, I see on Mac OS X Server 10.5.2 property lists such as this one which has a value which is an array of two human readable strings:

contents of --> /private/var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default/groups/_lpadmin.plist
<key>name</key>
        <array>
                <string>_lpadmin</string>
                <string>lpadmin</string>
        </array>

Unless my eyes deceive me, I see an array of two names, one name has the underscore and one without. So what gives? Why are there two array elements of names that are similar, the only diff in the namespace being the preceding underscore character? 

That allows you to address the user as either of those two names. I believe that the first one is the one that is generally used when it needs to print. The underscore has become Apple's way of signaling daemon users.

--
Karl Kuehn




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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Ross Bogue

On Aug 21, 2008, at 11:14 AM, Karl Kuehn wrote:
>
> The underscore has become Apple's way of signaling daemon users.
>


I suspect it's also Apple's way of signaling us - the lowly admins -  
that they're migrating towards having reserved user names start with a  
reserved character ('_'), ensuring that they will never create a  
reserved name in the future that might conflict with one of your  
existing users.


Ross


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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Sergio Trejo


On Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 7:08 AM, Ross Bogue <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Aug 21, 2008, at 11:14 AM, Karl Kuehn wrote:

       The underscore has become Apple's way of signaling daemon users.



I suspect it's also Apple's way of signaling us - the lowly admins - that they're migrating towards having reserved user names start with a reserved character ('_'), ensuring that they will never create a reserved name in the future that might conflict with one of your existing users.


Ross, that's too self deprecating for my tastes to have self images of "lowly admins" hierarchically looking up to Apple. Apple is not the "King" and we admins (and customers of Xserves, Mac OS X Server, etc.) are not "peasants" or "sharecroppers"!

Rather than guessing at signaling, is there any way to obtain a definitive answer from Apple (or is there a document with policy) that can clear the air?

Serg
 



Ross



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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Jaime Magiera
In reply to this post by Ross Bogue
On Aug 21, 2008, at 1:08 PM, Ross Bogue wrote:
>
> I suspect it's also Apple's way of signaling us - the lowly admins -  
> that they're migrating towards having reserved user names start with  
> a reserved character ('_'), ensuring that they will never create a  
> reserved name in the future that might conflict with one of your  
> existing users.


Hi,

Yes, there seems to be a trend in that direction. I suspect you are  
correct.

Jaime Magiera

Sensory Research
http://www.sensoryresearch.net

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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Jaime Magiera
In reply to this post by Sergio Trejo

On Aug 21, 2008, at 1:40 PM, Sergio Trejo wrote:
>
> Ross, that's too self deprecating for my tastes to have self images  
> of "lowly admins" hierarchically looking up to Apple. Apple is not  
> the "King" and we admins (and customers of Xserves, Mac OS X Server,  
> etc.) are not "peasants" or "sharecroppers"!

"elp, elp, I'm bein' repressed!"

> Rather than guessing at signaling, is there any way to obtain a  
> definitive answer from Apple (or is there a document with policy)  
> that can clear the air?

Bug report will probably get you the most definitive answer. They'll  
likely mark it as "Works as expected" and provide you an explanation.

http://bugreport.apple.com

Jaime Magiera

Sensory Research
http://www.sensoryresearch.net

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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Chris L-2

On Aug 21, 2008, at 11:36 AM, Jaime Magiera wrote:
>
> Bug report will probably get you the most definitive answer. They'll  
> likely mark it as "Works as expected" and provide you an explanation.

If this statement is accurate, this is certainly a sad state of affairs.

My copy of the System Administration Reference Volume 1 (for 10.4)  
briefly discusses system accounts but is silent on the underscore  
prefix.

I don't know if the protection from conflict theory holds water  
because they also assign the non-underscore logname/RecordName as well.

/Local/Default/Users > read _www
AppleMetaNodeLocation: /Local/Default
NFSHomeDirectory: /Library/WebServer
Password: *
PrimaryGroupID: 70
RealName:
  World Wide Web Server
RecordName: _www www
RecordType: dsRecTypeStandard:Users
UniqueID: 70
UserShell: /usr/bin/false

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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Ross Bogue
In reply to this post by Jaime Magiera

On Aug 21, 2008, at 1:36 PM, Jaime Magiera wrote:
> Bug report will probably get you the most definitive answer. They'll  
> likely mark it as "Works as expected" and provide you an explanation.
>


Perhaps, but if the protection from conflict theory is correct then I  
wouldn't consider it a bug.  I'd call it a good idea.

Ross

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Re: Leopard underscore user names

Jaime Magiera
In reply to this post by Chris L-2

On Aug 21, 2008, at 3:22 PM, Chris wrote:
>
> If this statement is accurate, this is certainly a sad state of  
> affairs.

That's a bit dramatic don't you think? :)

> My copy of the System Administration Reference Volume 1 (for 10.4)  
> briefly discusses system accounts but is silent on the underscore  
> prefix.
>
> I don't know if the protection from conflict theory holds water  
> because they also assign the non-underscore logname/RecordName as  
> well.


Well, it seems that regardless, we need an official answer before  
jumping to conclusions.

Jaime Magiera

Sensory Research
http://www.sensoryresearch.net

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