How to allow two-char usernames?

(Henning) #1

Continuing the discussion from What are the rules for usernames?:

Is there a way to allow two-char usernames?

(Kane York) #2

Yes, set the site setting min username length to 2.

Do NOT raise that setting without first making sure you have no existing users that need it. You CANNOT lower the setting, make a new/rename an account, then raise it again. Doing that will make the user unusable until you lower the limit again.

(Stephanie) #3

If you allow 2 character usernames, you may want to change the minimum search term to 2 characters so those users are discoverable. I believe the default minimum is 3.

(Jeff Atwood) #4

To be clear, in general this is a bad idea and nobody should do it. Only if you run a small, private Discourse for you and your friends.


why is this a bad idea?

(Henning) #6

I’d also like to know what the negative sides would be.

Even on big forums.

In my case, I have a number of users that are wellknown by their initials, and I don’t see any issue on letting them use that.

(mountain) #7

The reason probably has to do with search functionality, especially when it comes to using @mentions. Someone named ‘Jo’ will also trigger anyone else who has a name that starts with ‘Jo’, like John, Joe, ect. When a term is more complex, it is easier to pinpoint. Easier = faster = less intensive on system resources. With this in mind it’s easier to understand why anything <3 (pun implied) would make a larger forum’s system resources sweat.


3-char limitation leads to littering nicknames with garbage like _ just to meet the minimal-length requirement. Such additions add nothing meaningful to the nickname.

2-chars (e.g. first / last name initials) should be enough.

(Mittineague) #9

But they extend the possible variations beyond a limit of 676 combinations


Looks like some of the’s is accidental. I am not sure what you mean and why that matters. Could you be more specific?

(Mittineague) #11

Yes, a typo, thanks.


  • Mark Trello
  • Michael Thompson
  • Mary Trask


They can’t all be “MT”


Nicknames are like domain names. A specific domain name can have an exactly one owner (who’s registered the name first, is its owner). That’s perfectly OK.

3-character nicknames are affected by this as well.