Re: Package-created usernames
So here's a straw man draft for a decision on package-created
1. We exercise our power in Constitution 6.1(1) to specify the
contents of Debian policy documents, and that in 6.1(5) to
offer our opinion.
2. Maintainers of policy documents should consult in their usual way
on the detailed wording(s) needed to give effect to our decision,
and must then make changes to policy accordingly.
3. Debian package maintainers should implement our decision
immediately where practical.
4. Debian hereby claims the portion of the username and groupname
namespaces which consist of names starting with a capital letter
D. Such names are `Debian user and group names'.
5. Debian names are allocated by Debian Developers. Everyone is
encouraged to use the Debian name consistently with the way it
is used in the Debian package(s) and the corresponding Debian
documentation (whether in official Debian policy or in individual
packages). Everyone is strongly discouraged from using Debian
names in any other waay.
6. Non-Debian Free Software developers who need a reserved username
for some purpose are invited to contact Debian (at the time of
writing, via the debian-policy mailing list).
7. It is best if usernames and groupnames (`names', henceforth) used
by packages are easy to change. Maintainers should bear this in
mind, and should consider make names configurable if this
does not cause other problems.
9. Individual names used by Debian packages should be Debian names,
documented appropriately if the usage is not obvious. The names
currently in base-files are an exception but none more should be
added. Packages where the username is hard to change, or where
it cannot be changed without rebuilding the package, must use a
9. Debian packages should not claim any other large sections of the
namespace. Conventions such as S at the start of SLIP account
names are useful but the user must be able to configure and
override these in case it conflicts with local policy.
10. All software in Debian should cope with names starting with
uppercase letters. Such users and groups should be treated as
system users and groups; for example, mail should not be accepted
for them by default.
11. Names are generally case-sensitive and their case should be
preserved. Where names occur in contexts defined as
case-insensitive by external standards (for example the DNS)
maintainers should consider whether system users should appear in
the external namespace at all. Simply case-smashing names is
always forbidden since a system may have names which differ only
in case but which are very different users or groups.