How to change username

It’s just nice to have, I could certainly bear without it. This inflexibility simply doesn’t sit well with the whole philosophy of Purism — whilst positioning PureOS as all-sorts-free Linux bla-bla-bla, it effectively forces the phone user to be a certain one, even renaming the username of which isn’t trivial.

Also, I don’t really get why would the username/ID be hardcoded anywhere in the system in the first place. Smells like bad design practice, blatant violation of the loose coupling principle.

Well, OK. You can do that too. But AFAIK there is no documentation (for either procedure) so you would be on your own dealing with the break / fix.

I imagine that this is a deliberate design decision - to give a user experience that is more similar to what people are used to on smartphones. I expect also that with even more effort you could reinstate the standard Linux desktop GUI login screen. That’s the real Linux philosophy, right? You’ve got the source. You own the system. Make it the way you want it.

Personally I don’t like it from a security perspective. It gives an attacker a known username to target. (Is that really a problem today for most users? Probably not because too few Librem 5 phones are in circulation, but we can hope that one day …)

In an ideal world, on first boot after install, it would ask for the desired “main” username, create it and configure to use it - so you would never have to rename the default username in order to get your desired username. (This is basically what happens with some desktop Linuxes.)




is this executed as a script? can this be done while being logged into the purism user account?

@guido.gunther, can “Change User Name” option be added to the Mobile Settings" application?

Also, “Get IP Address” would be helpful as well for ssh purposes.

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Via Terminal:
hostname -I will get you the host IP address

I did this over ssh when I hacked that up 2d ago, you can do it from the logged in system via screen but I’d rather not do that As long as you have ssh access you can easily recover.

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See also the apt install whatip.

If you are at home then it may be easier just to configure so that the phone always has the same LAN IP address.

If you are not at home then getting your IP address may not be very helpful as you may be behind CGNAT.

Got it, but change user name should definitely make it to the list.

Adding one update to this thread as I saw a comment from @joao.azevedo in another thread:

I haven’t played with the VM I mentioned in the older posts here.
Aside from the bm818-tools expecting username “purism” has anyone else found any side-effects from changing the default username?

I’d still really like to rename the hostname (seems safe) and the default username (seems mostly safe?) once I get my L5.

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That will be fixed with the next release via this merge request:

The issue was caused by this:


I’ve been using a non-default hostname without problems for a long time.

I also would like to be able to have a custom username, preferable no purism username at all, but I did not try changing the username yet.

Not quite.

I do all my system administration from a different user, separate from and independent of the user purism (which I do use as the GUI user). Let’s call the system administration user admin . Consequently when I installed bm818-tools, user admin was added to the dialout group. Consequently bm818-tool failed when actually used by user purism from the GUI.

bm818-tool gives the error: Failed to get Modem FW version

but does not gives obvious clues as to what the problem is.

I understand that this tool was probably intended to be a low-effort program to solve a specific problem so I wouldn’t expect the tool to make checks for things like whether it is running under a user that is a member of the dialout group and/or whether it has access to the appropriate /dev/ttyUSBx device, particularly given my relatively niche scenario.

I think this should be addressed in the installation script by telling the installer that it is adding admin (in my case) to the dialout group - so that I can then know that I will have to manually add purism to the dialout group.

I’ve seen some (other, unrelated) packages where the install does tell the installer when it adds groups and/or adds users and/or adds a user to a group. This is probably always a good idea anyway i.e. to keep the installer informed.

Anyways … with that troubleshooting, VoLTE is winning !