Why can't a username be reused?


I had accidentally created a user with the wrong “User”, but correct “Name”. Like in the example below.


I want to delete it, but before I could I got this message:

Deleting this user will cause all of its associated data and settings to be PERMANENTLY deleted and you will not be able to recreate a user with the same name. Are you sure?

I don’t really understand what this warning is talking about. Is the User part non reusable or the Name part? And, I don’t want to do anything permanent without understanding what I’m actually doing.

I’m fairly new to DreamHost, and to website hosting in general, so maybe this is just some obvious consequence of how that works that I haven’t figured out, but if anyone could explain it I would be very grateful.

Thanks You!


The message probably means the User part (Username in the User-Edit panel) part is non-reusable. Website User/Username are globally unique across DreamHost. The Name (Full Name in the User-Edit page) is just for display, and can be changed at any time.

Rather then deleting the incorrect User, I’d suggest ignore it for the moment (give it a Name/Full-Name like “ignore bad id”). Then create a new user with the correct User (Username in the New-User panel) and use that one for your site.


All of your site data is stored on the server under your username. (More specifically, it’s stored in a directory called “username”.) So if you delete that username, you also delete the directory with the same name and all the data contained within it. @habilis has a good suggestion: just create a new username, download the data from the old username, and upload it to the new username.


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