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About unified login
What it is
The Wikimedia Foundation operates a family of editable online resource communities. Users were traditionally required to create a separate login account on each of these projects, in each language they appear in. This adds an extra burden for contributors becoming involved in multiple projects, particularly as multimedia integration with Wikimedia Commons becomes more essential.
The upcoming unified login system combines the user accounts for all of these projects. The greatest advantages are single sign-up (you don't have to create your account again on each new project you get involved with; your existing username comes with you) and consistent identity (your username now always means you; no one else can take your name on another project).
How to unify your accounts
Currently, sysops (on at least one wiki) can manually unify their accounts. To do so, go to Special:MergeAccount on a wiki where you are sysop. The wiki you choose will become your home wiki, and its email address and password will be exported to all your other accounts.
At Special:MergeAccount, you will be asked to enter your password for verification. Then, any wikis with the same authenticated email or password as your home wiki will be unified. You can enter the passwords of additional accounts if any are listed.
After this is complete, you will be able to login at any public Wikimedia wiki with your home wiki username, unless an existing non-unified account has the same username.
What it changes
Registering a username reserves it everywhere; this means different users can no longer register the same account on different wikis. Users only need to set and confirm their email address in one account. Changing the password in any wiki changes it in all wikis accordingly.
What it doesn't change
- Some things are still local:
- User rights are local, which means that administrators will not have administrator access everywhere.
- User preferences are local, although the email address only needs to be set and confirmed in one place. You can continue to have different preferences on different sites.
- Notification when you receive a new message is still local; you will only see the "new messages" box for the site you're looking at. This may change in the future.
- Log in: although registering an account does so globally, it is still necessary to log in on each site separately (with the global username and password). Future development may allow users to log in globally as well.
- Users can still have differently named accounts on two sites; however, these accounts will not be linked for unified login.
- The unified login system is only available for the Wikimedia Foundation; sites which run on the wiki software but are not operated by the Foundation will continue to have separate account systems.
The system will automatically merge identically-named accounts if they have the same authenticated email address, or the user can correctly provide their password.
Because registration has for a long time been separate for each wiki, there are many user names that belong to different people on different projects. The new system only allows one user per name, so there are some cases where accounts will need to be renamed. This must be done manually by a bureaucrat or steward (see Steward requests/Usurpation).
Stewards can view global username data and manually merge or unmerge accounts using Special:CentralAuth.
Early discussions can be seen on the Single login page.
Brion Vibber is committed to this project. He discussed how this might work in the December 2005 Berlin roundup, uploaded implementation notes to the code base in April 2006, and it was the subject of a presentation at Wikimania 2006.
Brion announced a successful migration test in November 2006. Data collection took 2 hours and automatic merging took 5 hours. 4,457,075 primary accounts were confirmed, with 578,128 secondary accounts merged automatically based on matching email addresses or by cannibalizing unused accounts. 134,242 secondary accounts will need to be merged with user interaction (71,741 unique user names have accounts left unmerged).
Unified login was implemented for administrators only in March 2008, and Steward requests/Usurpation was created to perform conflict resolution.
Frequently asked questions
Can I be renamed after unification?
Not at this time. We expect that a renaming tool will be developed when the need arises.
Can I merge different usernames?
No, but this might be possible in future versions.
- Note that usernames on most individual projects can pre-emptively be renamed.
Someone is using my name on another wiki, how can I get that account?
Firstly, note that the existence of the other account does not stop you from getting the global name. When you merge your account, it will tell you that the merge is incomplete, but it will also create the global account for you at that time. You will be able to use the global account on all wikis except for the ones where the named account is not under your control.
If you want to usurp an account on another wiki, you should make a request to a bureaucrat on the problem wiki. Subject to local policy, the bureaucrat may be able to rename the target account. If there's no bureaucrat on the wiki you should ask a steward to usurp this account.
Will I have autoconfirmed status on other wikis?
No. You will have to wait the appropriate amount of time after first logging into each particular wiki, before getting autoconfirmed status.
Can I merge accounts from restricted-account-creation wikis?
No. This is for security reasons. If the wiki has account creation restricted then it is not able to be merged at this time.
- Announcements and news
- Bugs: complete bug list
- Bug 57: "Single login on all wikimedia projects"
- Bug 1552: "Feature request: Upload to commons from Wikipedia, Wikibooks, etc."
- Bug 3525: "Cross-wiki watchlists with option for public viewing"
- Bug 3544: "Single Recent changes on several mediawikis"
- Bug 12096: Special:MergeAccount does not identify all accounts
- Bug 13507: Account cannot be renamed to a global username
(New bugs should be entered for Product "MediaWiki extensions" and Component "CentralAuth")