If Debian ever hopes to have a policy beyond "all remaining uids and
gids are reserved for local use",
I, for one, don't want too much of a policy beyond that. Debian should
not be in the business of "staking claim" on uid's. We need a minimal
number to bootstrap the system, but beyond that we should have no more
than *defaults* that can easily and painlessly changed to meet local
it's important to stake our claim *before* 32-bit ids are universally
supported -- that is, before they're in widespread use at sites, and
site admins have already deployed schemas that conflict with any
default we might choose.
Too late. 32 bit uid's have been supported on other systems for years
(linux is actually way behind on this) so you're going to find a lot of
them in use. It doesn't take a very large organization to blow through
16 bits if you're doing sparse allocation (which is a generally good
idea). I do look forward to the day when it is no longer necessary to
support systems with a 16 bit uid restriction.