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Lucis
Lucis

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How I got the Github username of my dreams

TL;DR: If the user with the username you want is inactive, report it to Github on his profile. It's part of their name squatting policy, and you'll probably receive feedback.

It's been a long time since I've wanted to change my Github username, and I had the perfect candidate: 5 letters, exactly my nickname, and easy to say it (well, at least in portuguese...). But, unfortunately, it was already taken.

After reading about Github policies, I found this one telling that my long-desired username might be possible to get, since the user that had it previously was not active and his displayed e-mail address didn't exist (as I tried to contact him).

So, with a bit of hope, I've reported him explaining that the user was not active (didn't have any repositories nor activity in the last 5 years). One day later, I received this:

Github Support responded positive to my solicitation

Instantly I've made the switch! I was already aware of the downsides (gists and mentions to you are not updated), but I've decided that it was worth it.

And, now, you can reach me on @lucis

Discussion (25)

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nirui profile image
R+ • Edited

Just login to say thank you! I also got the account name that I wished for a long time after sending a Name Squatting Notice to GitHub according your advice.

It also works for GitLab.com, though the wait time is a bit longer.

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belkin profile image
Belkin

Congrats and thank you for the awesome idea. I've tried it and got my dream nickname. It was one week talking to support and to the old owner but apparently he had more than one account so he agreed to transfer it to me. :)

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dkbarn profile image
dkbarn • Edited

As of August 2021, I'm not sure if this is still possible using Github's automated forms. Here's what I tried:

  • From user's profile, click "Block or Report", then "Report abuse".
  • Choose "I want to report abusive content or behavior."
  • Choose "I want to report false or misleading information, impersonation or username squatting."
  • Choose "Someone is using a username I want."

You just get a message saying "GitHub account names are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and are intended for immediate and active use. To learn more please visit our Username Policy."

There is no option to send in a request to support.

Am I missing something? Is there another way to do this?

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emma profile image
Emma Goto πŸ™

How long did it take the support team to get back to you?

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lucis profile image
Lucis Author

Only one day, Emma!

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emma profile image
Emma Goto πŸ™ • Edited

They just replied for me - looks like emma isn't available :(

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lucis profile image
Lucis Author

Yeah, sorry about that. Seems @emma is an organization, so their policy might differ...

Thread Thread
emma profile image
Emma Goto πŸ™

I think it had some private activity, so that's why :)

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jorjtyron profile image
Costin Giorgian

don't forget to update your profile with the new github account

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lucis profile image
Lucis Author

Yeah, I will probably have to login again, because Dev.To failed to update it (it's not an input field).

Thanks for the heads up ;)

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frouo profile image
FR

Just tried. Here is the answer:

Thank you for your request. It appears that you are asking about releasing a dormant or inactive username. We no longer review requests to release dormant or inactive usernames. You can view our Username Policy here:

docs.github.com/en/github/site-pol...

If you hold a trademark to this name and believe there is a clear case of confusion between the account and your trademark, please review our Trademark Policy:

docs.github.com/en/github/site-pol...

Thank you,
The GitHub Team

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yo profile image
Yogi

Nice I got one too! github.com/yg

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ckpro profile image
Sanjay • Edited

There has been an update in username policy. Github is now prohibiting to claim taken username.

docs.github.com/en/github/site-pol...

I think its a dumb move. We are going to see a lot of usernames being blocked by inactive members.

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dlw profile image
Darren White

Sounds great.

Would anybody who was successful be able to share what they initially emailed? I'd like to give it a go and get the wording right to give me the best possible chance.

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jinglescode profile image
Jingles (Hong Jing)

Congrats! I wanted a username too, I found it to be inactive, but it contain a repo. So they didn't released it for me

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lucis profile image
Lucis Author

Try again later!

I think mine used to have a forked repo years ago...

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artu_hnrq profile image
Arthur Henrique

Nice sharing, @lucis

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beautifooldevil profile image
Abhishek

Where exactly can I report this ? Can someone help me?

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ckpro profile image
Sanjay • Edited

Visit: support.github.com and create a new ticket.
The wait time has been increase drastically. You might have to wait 2-4 weeks for a initial response.

Btw, as of now Github is prohibiting users to claim taken usernames
docs.github.com/en/github/site-pol...

good luck

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beautifooldevil profile image
Abhishek

But here Name Squatting Policy shows you can report inactive user which is considered as future use.

Thread Thread
smailove profile image
Smail Liams

It says it's prohibited

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Nice

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nikka profile image
Nika • Edited

sadly this topic is not relevant anymore
GitHub no longer accepts requests to release dormant usernames.

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reclaimable profile image
reclaimable

Which option do I report it for?