IBM i QuickTip: Signing On With Numeric User Profiles and Passwords

Carole Woodbury (@carolwoodbury) just tweeted one of my favorite IBM i¬†password tips. As a rule, IBM i doesn’t allow you to enter numeric passwords. But you can sign on with a numeric password if you change your password to start with the letter ‘Q’ followed by a number.

So for example, if I changed my password to ‘Q12345’, I could drop the ‘Q’ and just use the password ‘12345’ to sign on to my IBM i partition. I had previously documented this trick in an article for IT Jungle if you want to read more about it.

But the cool thing is that you can also use this same trick to sign on with a user profile that starts with a number. Just as I could use ‘Q12345’ to sign on with a password of ‘12345’, I can also set up a ‘Qnnnnnnnnn’ user profile that would let me sign on to an IBM i box using a user profile that started with a number. So if I create a user profile called ‘Q12345’, I can drop the Q when I’m signing on and just sign on with the numeric part of the user profile name, 12345.

So the general rule for using passwords and user profiles that start with a number is to start the password or profile with a ‘Q’ and follow it with a number. Once you do this, you’ll be able to just use the part of the password or profile that starts with the number to sign on with.

The practical point of using this technique is that some systems allow sign ons with a password or user profile that starts with a number. If you want to create a matching IBM i profile that matches the user IDs and passwords on these systems, you can use this trick.

Thanks, Carol, for reminding me about this tip. I highly recommend following her on Twitter @carolwoodbury.


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One Response to IBM i QuickTip: Signing On With Numeric User Profiles and Passwords

  1. Doug Bridwell says:

    I always thought it was unnecessary to have this restriction on the password. I remember early in the S/38 days when all you used to sign in was the password. At that time your password was your user profile. Then they went to a separate user profile and associated password. I am assuming the restriction came from the fact that a user profile could not start with a digit.
    I was wondering if anyone has ever tried the other Password Level (System Value QPWDLVL) options. Any tips on migrating to the other password levels?

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