I have liked Stack Overflow, because I could have used my OpenID from Launchpad - and that is because I hate registering deeply.

And everything was fine, until I realize today that I have become user277826 now, instead of sd-aau as I was up to yesterday :(

Funny enough, I just had to log in here (Meta) for the first time; when I logged in, it recognized the user name and wrote it on the intermediate page - and once I am logged in, now I've become user151249 on Meta :( :(

What is this, and why is it happening?

  • I think this is a bug. I had the correct username nhnb for month. But starting this morning I am a usernumber on some stack exchange sites. I am not sure if that is really related to the global authentication mechanism. There were some changes to the openid handling code recently (myopenid for example does not ask for a username locally anymore). Without knowing anything about the internals, i blame that. Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 10:54
  • related: My profile just went blank? Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 11:00
  • I am having this problem over on Super user too!
    – Vaccano
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


We are no longer inferring usernames from openids.

If you want a username you must set one.

This is by design and will remain this way from this point onward.


It's probably because of the new global authentication mechanism. But you should be able to change your name by clicking on it, then choosing edit. Note you can change your name only once every 30 days per site (put you can use the accounts tab to copy your profile to all SE sites).

  • Thank you, Tobias for the answer - it's good to know that it's a new site-wide change (as opposed to suspecting something wrong happened, say, in my browser, which would have somehow sent a command to change the username). Still, I think it was very convenient to have the username pulled from Launchpad's OpenID - I simply didn't have to worry what I was going to be called :) Cheers!
    – sdaau
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 9:56
  • 1
    Ok, what I did: clicked on my user link in Stack Overflow, changed my username, then clicked on the Account tab, then "Copy Stack Overflow profile to related accounts" - in the account tab, still the user{number} names will be present; but here on meta the username changed. Hope that was it with fiddling with user profiles. Another relevant link may be "Copy Profile From Stack Overflow" didn't copy alternate OpenID - Meta Stack Overflow
    – sdaau
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 10:05
  • @sdaau: I don't know much about OpenID, but maybe you could [feature-request] the automated username pulling. (Remember to mention the word "optionally" however, otherwise it might end up down-voted to oblivion...) Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 10:10
  • Global login has no effect upon user profiles. Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 1:59

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