Syslog username length

donald.ritchey at donald.ritchey at
Thu Oct 23 19:21:30 EDT 2003

In many UNIX versions, the maximum length of a user name is limited to eight
characters.  This constant reflects that limit.  On many newer versions of
UNIX (Linux comes to mind) this limit is no longer in effect.  There may be
an operating system constant that holds the local limit, but I am not sure
that it is consistent across all versions.


Donald L. (Don) Ritchey
E-mail:  Donald.Ritchey at

-----Original Message-----
From: David Olbersen [mailto:DOlbersen at]
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2003 6:09 PM
To: sudo-users at
Subject: Syslog username length

While looking through the source for sudo-1.6.7p5 (from the FreeBSD ports) I
noticed that in logging.c lines 169-182 the maximum length of the username
field being output is 8 characters.

Is this some convention I don't know about, or an arbitrary number? Can I
change this via the configuration script? It doesn't look like it.

If it's not a big deal, I'll change my local copy. I am still curious why
8.8 was chosen though!

David Olbersen 
iGuard Engineer
St. Bernard Software
15015 Avenue of Sciences
San Diego, CA 92127 

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