I login into my own computer as username geoff. When I open a terminal I have as prompt:

Geoffs-MacBook-Air:~ org1$

The org1 is my work username! I have no login of that username for this computer except for when I need a to access work from home, and I do this with VPN. At the moment the VPN is not connected. When I do whoami I get org1. I also did login geoff gave my pword and then did a whoami and still I get org1!

What is my computer doing? What do I need to do to have a normal prompt?

The real problem comes later, when I need (I believe I need) to use sudo and it eventually says that org1 is not in the sudoers list. I don't care for org1 I want me.

@Patrix EDIT

Geoffs-MacBook:~ org1$ id -a
uid=501(org1) gid=20(staff) groups=20(staff),61(localaccounts),12(everyone),402(com.apple.sharepoint.group.1)

Geoffs-MacBook:~ org1$ who am i
org1     ttys000  Dec 27 17:17 

Geoffs-MacBook:~ org1$ w
w: /dev/ttys001: No such file or directory
w: /dev/ttys002: No such file or directory
w: /dev/ttys003: No such file or directory
17:18  up 29 mins, 2 users, load averages: 0.52 0.29 0.17
USER     TTY      FROM              LOGIN@  IDLE WHAT
org1     console  -                16:49      28 -
org1     s000     -                17:17       - w

The org1 username is for work, which I can use remotely through a browser or VPN. There is no user on my computer with that name.

  • 1
    Things to try: id -a, who am i, w and add the results to the question. And can you please clarify whether there exists a user called org1 on your Mac or only on the work machine?
    – nohillside
    Dec 27, 2012 at 15:58
  • @patrix I have posted the info you requested. Is it helpful?
    – Geoff
    Dec 27, 2012 at 16:30
  • @geoff - Patrix got the issue perfectly. Your user name can be Geoff and the account's internal (unix) short name org1 and everything would be explained. Your edits confirm exactly this. You could follow the steps apple has at HT1428 for enabling root to change this or the answer I posted on an alternative way to make an admin account to do the delete / recreate of the user folder.
    – bmike
    Dec 27, 2012 at 16:33
  • @bmike I will follow the instructions and post up the results when I am done...
    – Geoff
    Dec 27, 2012 at 16:37
  • 1
    @bmike I followed the HT1428 link above and I can happily say now that I am who whoami says I am. If you add this link into your answer, I prefer to tick this then answer my own question. Many thx.
    – Geoff
    Dec 27, 2012 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


It seems that the short name and the username on your Mac do not match. To test this just type id and echo ~ to confirm that the Mac is fine, but the short name and home folder are not to your liking. Apple has an official procedure to fix this at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1428 and we have several questions here that also cover the topic when people have found that HT1428 didn't work for them.

There are several procedures to edit the short name but they're all a pain. Furthermore, they often don't clean everything up correctly and traces of the old name you didn't like will remain on the system in folders and lists. Your best bet is to go into the users preference and create a new admin user with a password that you know.

Then you can follow the steps on this other answer here to delete and re-create your account with all of your files intact and the correct short name that you prefer. You will find that you prompt now matches the short name that you like. Before starting this process, you might make a good backup if your system just in case you make a mistake of my instructions are not clear or if the computer just crashes at the wrong time.

  • id has org1 throughout, whereas echo ~ returns /Users/geoff. Finally I can see some trace of myself!
    – Geoff
    Dec 27, 2012 at 16:35
  • Wow - if your folder was geoff - then someone did an incomplete job of renaming that account from geoff to org1. Just be sure you have a full backup before trying to edit things further. My "process" for making a new admin account and deleting org1/geoff should still work fine for you to remake things into a clean geoff dominated account.
    – bmike
    Dec 27, 2012 at 16:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .