Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am new to Mac.

Recently I realized something for usernames.

When I type whoami in Terminal. It returns apple. However in System Preferences>Users and Groups" there is only one user and it says "sinan". (I am suspecting this could be the real name not the username)

Shouldn't be both the same?

Can I change the username in the terminal? Would that affect anything on the system (Lion)?

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

In Terminal the whoami displays your Short Name. This Short Name is also found as the name of your Home directory.

When you go into System Preferences and look at the user on the left it displays your Full Name.

Mac OS X does not let you easily change your Short Name, but you can change your Full Name from System Preferences.

Refer to this knowledge base from Apple if you wish to change your Short Name.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.