Serverfault (and other Stack Exchange sites) provide a search function. One of the search modifiers for the search function is the 'user:' modifier. It looks like though, that this modifier fails to work with user names (the modifier only works with 'numbers uniquely assigned to each user'). Is forbidding to search the site by usernames on purpose or there actually exist some functionality that I don't know of?


user:trismarck fails

user:104139 works

2 Answers 2


You are correct. You must lookup the UID first and use that if you want to use the built-in search.

Otherwise I use Google all the time like site:serverfault.com "Chris S" other terms

  • 5
    I guess the reason for this restriction is that user names are not exclusive here, anyone can name themselves "Chris S", "trismarck" or "SvenW".
    – Sven
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 13:00
  • 1
    @SvenW Perhaps one day we will all change our gravatars to Eminem photos and change our usernames to "Slim Shady"…
    – voretaq7
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 15:12
  • 1
    @voretaq7 - that sounds like an upcoming meme... Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 19:29
  • @voretaq7 I want say "thanks" for the earworm. "So won't the real Slim Shady please stand up, please stand up, please stand up?" -- <madness verb="ensues" />;
    – jscott
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 23:13

If you want to search based on a user, then just click on their name. Then use the provided search box.

User Search

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