why must gnupg user-id "real names" be at least 5 characters long?

David Shaw dshaw@jabberwocky.com
Mon Feb 10 03:07:03 2003

On Mon, Feb 10, 2003 at 12:19:08AM +0000, tav wrote:
> rehi all,
> when generating a new key, gnupg insists on the "Real name" aspect of
> the user-id to be at least 5 characters long:
> 	Real name: tav
> 	Name must be at least 5 characters long
> why is this?
> can i just comment out:
>     else if( strlen(aname) < 5 )
>         tty_printf(_("Name must be at least 5 characters long\n"));
> or, is there some need for the "Real name" string to be that long?
> in the past, i have overcome this by providing "tav -" as my name, then
> the user-id becomes "tav - tav@espians.com", but i would like to create
> a key with just "tav" now...

Use --allow-freeform-uid to remove any restrictions on the user ID.

> also, this leads onto the question of what the user-id is used for?
> could someone give me a brief summary please? (apologies for not reading
> the openpgp spec to find out. the 70 odd pages is a bit much for me.)

It is used to identify the owner of the key.  When someone signs your
key, they are actually signing the user ID plus the key data.


   David Shaw  |  dshaw@jabberwocky.com  |  WWW http://www.jabberwocky.com/
   "There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
      We don't believe this to be a coincidence." - Jeremy S. Anderson