f



Illegal characters in computer name

Hi,

Which characters are not allowed in a Macintosh computer name?

Thanks in advance,
Vincent

0
5/11/2005 9:25:30 AM
comp.sys.mac.system 33446 articles. 2 followers. jfmezei.spamnot (9455) is leader. Post Follow

13 Replies
832 Views

Similar Articles

[PageSpeed] 59

In article <1115803529.978106.150150@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
 vincentnuijten@gmail.com wrote:

> Hi,
> 
> Which characters are not allowed in a Macintosh computer name?

I don't think anything's illegal except colon. I just changed the name 
on mine to include several UTF-8 characters without complaint.

-- 
There's nothing quite like the joy of first hearing an Alvin & the Chipmunks
cover of Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut." "Not Now John" is especially sublime.
0
uce3 (3721)
5/11/2005 10:39:55 AM
If you use a period at the beginning, the file wil become invisible.

If use slashes in the finder, terminal converts them to colons.

If you want to be compatible with WinDoze don't use
/\:*?"<>|



Gregory Weston wrote:

> In article <1115803529.978106.150150@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
>  vincentnuijten@gmail.com wrote:
> 
> 
>>Hi,
>>
>>Which characters are not allowed in a Macintosh computer name?
> 
> 
> I don't think anything's illegal except colon. I just changed the name 
> on mine to include several UTF-8 characters without complaint.
> 
0
bogus503 (45)
5/11/2005 11:47:16 AM
Gregory Weston (uce@splook.com) wrote:
: In article <1115803529.978106.150150@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
:  vincentnuijten@gmail.com wrote:
: > 
: > Which characters are not allowed in a Macintosh computer name?

: I don't think anything's illegal except colon. I just changed the name 
: on mine to include several UTF-8 characters without complaint.

Vincent, although you asked about the computer name, let me add a comment
about the user password. Apple specifically recommends _against_ using any
'optioned' characters, such as a bullet, option-8 (which are all UTF-8)
especially if your language is other than US English. Your language
selection is not recognized until you have actually logged in. Up until
that time the system uses ASCII. There is a chance that the optioned
character you have selected when you set up the password maps to something
else in ASCII. If so, you will type what you think is the correct
password, but the system will think you are entering an incorrect one and
not allow you access

--Fred
0
fmoore (1430)
5/11/2005 4:28:06 PM
In article <346dc$4281f0b8$4528bfab$31765@ALLTEL.NET>,
 bogus <bogus@nowhere.com> wrote:

> Gregory Weston wrote:
> 
> > In article <1115803529.978106.150150@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> >  vincentnuijten@gmail.com wrote:
> > 
> > > Which characters are not allowed in a Macintosh computer name?
> > 
> > I don't think anything's illegal except colon. I just changed the name 
> > on mine to include several UTF-8 characters without complaint.

> If you use a period at the beginning, the file wil become invisible.
> 
> If use slashes in the finder, terminal converts them to colons.
> 
> If you want to be compatible with WinDoze don't use
> /\:*?"<>|

The OP wasn't asking about file names, he wants to know about the computer 
name, which can be set in System Preferences -> Sharing.

As far as I can tell, Mac OS X doesn't set any restrictions on what 
characters can be used in the Computer Name.

For networking on a LAN (including Rendezvous/Bonjour), a different name is 
used, which is displayed in the same pref pane under the Computer Name.  
It's restricted to upper- & lower-case letters, numbers, and hyphen ('-').  
You can change this name by clicking on the Edit button.
0
wayne.morris (951)
5/11/2005 5:37:30 PM
Today's MacFixIt has some related info:

"We previously reported that shortening the Computer Name (to less than 
6 characters) in the Sharing pane of System Preferences can resolve 
issues with D-Link routers, as well as with AirPort access."

"it appears that Tiger issues the DHCP request with a host name, which 
Panther did not. Appears that most implementations of DHCP have a limit 
on the number of characters (or words - not sure which) in the host 
name."
0
nospam122 (57)
5/11/2005 7:32:38 PM
On 11/05/2005 3:32 PM, Matti Haveri wrote:
> Today's MacFixIt has some related info:
> 
> "We previously reported that shortening the Computer Name (to less than 
> 6 characters) in the Sharing pane of System Preferences can resolve 
> issues with D-Link routers, as well as with AirPort access."
> 
> "it appears that Tiger issues the DHCP request with a host name, which 
> Panther did not. Appears that most implementations of DHCP have a limit 
> on the number of characters (or words - not sure which) in the host 
> name."

Moral of this story: name all your hosts using a common theme, and keep
the names short and simple.  No spaces, funny characters or punctuation.

Since computer names/hostnames are intended to be typed in by Real Men
on Real Computers at Real Interfaces like POSIX shells, it's plain good
sense to keep them to 6 characters (ASCII) or less.  Don't use names of
famous computer scientists, names from science fiction or Simpsons
characters; that's been done to death.

For the humour impaired: ;)
0
5/11/2005 8:11:47 PM
In article 
<wayne.morris-827BA8.12372711052005@shawnews.wp.shawcable.net>,
 "Wayne C. Morris" <wayne.morris@this.is.invalid> wrote:

> > > > Which characters are not allowed in a Macintosh computer name?
> > > 
> > > I don't think anything's illegal except colon. I just changed the name 
> > > on mine to include several UTF-8 characters without complaint.
> 
> > If you use a period at the beginning, the file wil become invisible.
> > 
> > If use slashes in the finder, terminal converts them to colons.
> > 
> > If you want to be compatible with WinDoze don't use
> > /\:*?"<>|
> 
> The OP wasn't asking about file names, he wants to know about the computer 
> name, which can be set in System Preferences -> Sharing.
> 
> As far as I can tell, Mac OS X doesn't set any restrictions on what 
> characters can be used in the Computer Name.

Except colon (which is also the only illegal character for filenames). 
Or at least it wouldn't let me here when I posted my response earlier.

G

-- 
There's nothing quite like the joy of first hearing an Alvin & the Chipmunks
cover of Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut." "Not Now John" is especially sublime.
0
uce3 (3721)
5/11/2005 9:41:48 PM
In article <nospam-DAD9E7.22323711052005@plaza.suomi.net>, Matti Haveri
<nospam@here.invalid> wrote:

> Today's MacFixIt has some related info:
> 
> "We previously reported that shortening the Computer Name (to less than 
> 6 characters) in the Sharing pane of System Preferences can resolve 
> issues with D-Link routers, as well as with AirPort access."
> 
> "it appears that Tiger issues the DHCP request with a host name, which 
> Panther did not. Appears that most implementations of DHCP have a limit 
> on the number of characters (or words - not sure which) in the host 
> name."

I hope this isn't going to be a perminant problem/solution. A typical
name for a computer at my work is "TC206-N164W" which imparts the need
to know information when viewing the monitoring software from the DHCP
server. TC = building (Tech Center), 206 = room number, N = telecom
closet (North), 164 =  jack number, W = jack color (White). Computers
that act as servers have names that are more easily remembered, i.e.
macAdmin, macAdmissions, macPlasma (damn, still more than 6).
0
reply_to (383)
5/11/2005 10:40:42 PM
clvrmnky wrote:
> Moral of this story: name all your hosts using a common theme, and keep
> the names short and simple.  No spaces, funny characters or punctuation.

Unfortunately, I created my first account
with the name "Ze Admin" (to make it appear
last in the alphabetic user list).  Twice
I have changed the computer name to "iMac"
but OS X has within a few days changed it
back to "Ze-Admins-Computer"  What would
it have been if I had accepted the user name
that the "wizard" suggested for me, which was
"Wesley & Monica Groleau" (apparently copied
from the registration widget).

-- 
Wes Groleau

It seems a pity that psychology should have
destroyed all our knowledge of human nature.
                     -- G. K. Chesterton
0
news31 (6772)
5/12/2005 4:28:23 AM
In article <110520051740422546%reply_to@newsgroup.INVALID>, Chris Moore
<reply_to@newsgroup.INVALID> wrote:

> In article <nospam-DAD9E7.22323711052005@plaza.suomi.net>, Matti Haveri
> <nospam@here.invalid> wrote:
> 
> > Today's MacFixIt has some related info:
> > 
> > "We previously reported that shortening the Computer Name (to less than 
> > 6 characters) in the Sharing pane of System Preferences can resolve 
> > issues with D-Link routers, as well as with AirPort access."
> > 
> > "it appears that Tiger issues the DHCP request with a host name, which 
> > Panther did not. Appears that most implementations of DHCP have a limit 
> > on the number of characters (or words - not sure which) in the host 
> > name."
> 
> I hope this isn't going to be a perminant problem/solution. A typical
> name for a computer at my work is "TC206-N164W" which imparts the need
> to know information when viewing the monitoring software from the DHCP
> server. TC = building (Tech Center), 206 = room number, N = telecom
> closet (North), 164 =  jack number, W = jack color (White). Computers
> that act as servers have names that are more easily remembered, i.e.
> macAdmin, macAdmissions, macPlasma (damn, still more than 6).

Actually that should be something like TC20624-N134W. Forgot the
computer number in the room. 13 characters in all. Now and then we'll
get someone who changes their computer name. You haven't lived till you
try to find "The Matrix" in a pool of 800+ computers.
0
reply_to (383)
5/12/2005 12:40:13 PM
In article <120520050740138514%reply_to@newsgroup.INVALID>, Chris Moore
<reply_to@newsgroup.INVALID> wrote:

> Actually that should be something like TC20624-N134W. Forgot the
> computer number in the room. 13 characters in all. Now and then we'll
> get someone who changes their computer name. You haven't lived till you
> try to find "The Matrix" in a pool of 800+ computers.

Chris-

Can you remotely determine the Mac address of "The Matrix"?  It might be a
lot of work all at once, but over time you could build a table of
location-to-Mac addresses.

Fred
0
fmmck (557)
5/12/2005 3:50:13 PM
In article <fmmck-1205051150130001@ac9b9ed8.ipt.aol.com>, Fred McKenzie
<fmmck@aol.com> wrote:

> In article <120520050740138514%reply_to@newsgroup.INVALID>, Chris Moore
> <reply_to@newsgroup.INVALID> wrote:
> 
> > Actually that should be something like TC20624-N134W. Forgot the
> > computer number in the room. 13 characters in all. Now and then we'll
> > get someone who changes their computer name. You haven't lived till you
> > try to find "The Matrix" in a pool of 800+ computers.
> 
> Chris-
> 
> Can you remotely determine the Mac address of "The Matrix"?  It might be a
> lot of work all at once, but over time you could build a table of
> location-to-Mac addresses.

Yes. That's usually where it all starts. The network monitors display
unusual activity, we discover such and such MAC address is responsible
(virus, fuxored NIC card, etc), look up the MAC address in the DHCP
server which also lists the computer name. Go to said computer with
nice descriptive name and begin troubleshooting. 

We do in part use a list of MAC addresses. Our wireless network is
permission based, that is, only computers that are designated to be
allowed have access. The designation system being the laptops wireless
NIC MAC address. When we find "The Matrix" causing problems our first
impulse is it's a students laptop. We look up the address and block
access. When they come to us wondering why they can't get on we address
the computer problems. 

If we can't find a registered MAC address in the wireless access list
our second impulse is a student unplugged a school machine and plugged
in their laptop. A violation of school policy. We then break out the
dogs and the AK47's to gently remind them that that's a no-no. 

Failing that is only when it seems to occur to us that a faculty member
may have renamed his machine. A bitch of a process to find. A list of
all MAC addresses would be a good idea, and it has occurred to me
before, but Microsoft defeated me. Mostly because I wanted more than
just the MAC address at the time.

With Macintoshes, I can go to the System Profiler, print page one and
get all the computers most relevant information. Name, MAC address,
RAM, hard drive size, IP address (worthless in most cases but some have
static IP's), processor, etc. There's just no real handy way to bring
up all that information and print it out on a PC.

Second thing that encourages my procrastination is I've sat down and
typed a bunch of MAC addresses down. Using Machine Renamer
(http://www.mmlc.northwestern.edu/mmlc-software/machinerenamer/) I've
edited a list with about 60 computer names and addresses. I'm not
particularly looking forward to doing it again with hundreds of PC's.
Though maybe one day I'll find myself so inclined.

Finally there's keeping the list up to date. We probably add 150 to 200
computers a year and retire an equivalent amount. Once started it will
be my job for life. Much easier just to beat offenders senseless =)
0
reply_to (383)
5/12/2005 5:54:02 PM
In article <fmmck-1205051150130001@ac9b9ed8.ipt.aol.com>,
Fred McKenzie <fmmck@aol.com> wrote:
>In article <120520050740138514%reply_to@newsgroup.INVALID>, Chris Moore
><reply_to@newsgroup.INVALID> wrote:
>
>> Actually that should be something like TC20624-N134W. Forgot the
>> computer number in the room. 13 characters in all. Now and then we'll
>> get someone who changes their computer name. You haven't lived till you
>> try to find "The Matrix" in a pool of 800+ computers.
>
>Chris-
>
>Can you remotely determine the Mac address of "The Matrix"?  It might be a
>lot of work all at once, but over time you could build a table of
>location-to-Mac addresses.

The DHCP server will know it.  So assuming you've got an SNMP-capable
switch, you could find the hardware address and from that find the
switch port that hardware address is associated with.  Assuming you
know which switch port goes with a given jack, you've found your
machine.
-- 
  There's no such thing as a free lunch, but certain accounting practices can
  result in a fully-depreciated one.
0
russotto (1801)
5/12/2005 8:11:55 PM
Reply: