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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

Top comments (30)

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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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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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zoltankundi profile image
Zoltan Kundi

I also tried it and got the exact same reply just yesterday.

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lazydeveloper profile image
Shiva • 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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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

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

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

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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

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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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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eriknyk profile image
Erik Amaru Ortiz

Currently at june 2022, it is not possible anymore :(


GitHub no longer accepts requests to release dormant usernames .

It appears that you are looking to contact us regarding releasing a dormant or inactive username. We no longer review individual requests to release dormant or inactive usernames.
If you would like to contact us regarding a different account or billing issue, please select a different option from "What do you need help with?"

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beautifooldevil profile image
Abhishek

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

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lazydeveloper profile image
Shiva • 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.

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smailove profile image
Smail Liams

It says it's prohibited

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saadmaqsood profile image
khan saad

GitHub prohibits account name squatting (Not Reporting them), and account names may not be reserved or inactively held for future use. Accounts violating this name squatting policy may be removed or renamed without notice. Attempts to sell, buy, or solicit other forms of payment in exchange for account names are prohibited and may result in permanent account suspension.

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yo profile image
Yogi

Nice I got one too! github.com/yg

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saadmaqsood profile image
khan saad

It's dead. 404

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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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zoltankundi profile image
Zoltan Kundi • Edited

Did the policy change? Can you please quote the reply you got?

Edit: in the meantime I got my own reply. Here it is:
"Hi there,

GitHub’s Username Policy has recently been updated and we are no longer accepting requests to release dormant usernames. We are not able to accommodate this request.

You can read our 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 to determine if you should submit a trademark policy violation report:

docs.github.com/articles/github-tr...

Best,
GitHub Support"

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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

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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reclaimable profile image
reclaimable

Which option do I report it for?

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