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Unified login is a mechanism which allows users to use a single login across the majority of the Wikimedia Foundation's projects. This allows users to maintain a consistent identity throughout Wikimedia, following a single sign-up. Other advantages of this mechanism include the removal of the threat that impersonation poses and the ability to visit many projects without having to go through the labours of logging in everywhere. Users can create a unified login by visiting Special:MergeAccount on a project where they already have an account, and following the prompts.
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 and Wikidata became the central wiki for interwiki links.
The 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 account is automatically created at each additional Wikimedia project the first time you log on to that wiki with your existing username and password, or the first time you visit it while logged on to a wiki where you already have an account) 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, all new accounts are unified by default, and older accounts can be manually unified by their users. To do so, go to Special:MergeAccount on a wiki where you already have an account. The wiki where the account of that username has the most contributions will become the home wiki, and its email address and password will be exported to all other accounts.
What it changes
Registering a username on any public Wikimedia wiki automatically reserves that name on all the others; 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. Special:UserLogin now logs the user in to every unified wiki simultaneously, and navigating away from the login page before it is fully loaded may result in incomplete login (i.e. users may not log in to all wikis successfully).
Additional wikis will be added to the user's login the first time they are visited. For example, a regular user at Commons and German Wikipedia will not automatically login to English Wikibooks, but if that user visits English Wikibooks once while logged in, they will then login to English Wikibooks every time (to see which wikis you log in to, see Special:CentralAuth).
What it doesn't change
- Some things are still local:
- User rights are mostly local, which means that administrators will not have administrator access everywhere. Global groups such as global rollback, global sysop, global edit-interface and global IP block exemption can now be requested at Steward requests/Global permissions. Global rollback and global sysop are only granted to users who are demonstrably active on other wikis aside from their home wiki.
- 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.
- 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 wikis; sites which run on the MediaWiki software but are not operated by the Foundation will continue to have separate account systems, even if they installed Extension:CentralAuth, which is responsible for the unified login system.
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 stewards (see Steward requests/Usurpation).
Users may search for collisions before merging by using the Special:CentralAuth.
Frequently asked questions
Can I be renamed after unification?
Yes, but you have to request your account renaming on all wikis separately.
Can I merge different usernames?
No, but this might be possible in future versions.
Someone is using my name on another wiki, how can I get that account?
First, note that the existence of the other account does not necessarily stop you from getting the global name. However, if an account with your chosen name which is not controlled by you has more edits, or certain group membership such as sysop or bureaucrat (check here), you may not be the one with the superior claim on this username. If this is the case, you will probably have to ask them to rename, or you may have to rename yourself.
You can make a request at Steward requests/Username changes to "usurp" another username which is already in use.
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
- [$gerrit Sysop or bureaucrat status takes higher precedence than edit count] to decide which is the home wiki for a global account, but not to decide which local account (the "winning master account") can get the username globally if there are conflicts.
- [$wikitech Lists.wikimedia.org]