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)?


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. http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1428


To change the short name, follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Select Users & Groups.
  3. Click the lock to make changes and enter your password.
  4. Right click or two-finger click on your user and select Advanced Options.
  5. Finally, change Account Name and reboot.

This will allow you to change your short name from settings without having to use a separate Admin account

  • Why was this downvoted? – anonymous Sep 12 '17 at 20:14
  • Probably because a) it's no direct answer to the question (short username vs. long username i.e. "Shouldn't be both the same?") b) it only works for admins – klanomath Sep 12 '17 at 20:29

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