User logins greater than 8 characters

1. Login names greater than 8 characters at 3.2

  At Colorado State we have an electronic telephone directory service that
can be used to obtain phone numbers of faculty, staff and students.  At
3.1.7 you could telnet into this service and login as "directory". The login
name of "directory" is 9 characters.   It seems that at 3.1.7 the login
process would truncate the name to 8 characters since this is the maximum and
login as "director" which is the account that has this service. This worked
fine under 3.1.7.  At 3.2 the login process was changed.  When you enter
"directory" for the login name the process asks for "directory's" password
even though the system should know that a 9 character account cannot exist.
Commands like "last directory" still truncate the user name to 8 characters.

  I called IBM support and after they checked with the kernal group they
informed me that changes to speed up the login process at 3.2 were made and
this was one of them.  I questioned just how much "not truncating to 8
characters" could affect the login process.  The bottom line was that they
were not willing to change the way the login process handles extra
characters.

  I appreciate any thoughts on this subject.  We have thought about changing
the name of the service to a name that is shorter.  Our biggest problem is
informing our users of the change.  Our other concern is that other
Universities in Colorado such as the University of Colorado and the
University of Denver have agreed to use this same login name to access there
directories in order to be consistent.

  Is there a standard way "Unix" should be handling login names greater than
8 characters?   CU at Boulder seems to be running their directory service on
Ultrix without this problem.  Speeding up the login process on Aix is needed
but arbitrary changes to the login process without considering the
consequences is counter productive.

Ric Miller
Academic Computing and Networking Services
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

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