Invalid Characters upon Registration

Hey guys,

I'm running Elgg 1.8.16 and have noticed that a few users have been complaining about this error: "Sorry, your username contains the character which is invalid. The following characters are invalid: '/\"*& ?#%^(){}[]~?<>;|¬`@-+=" even though they dont use any of those characters. Most of my users are using lowercase or uppercase letters.

Please help me urgently as it will cost us time to get this fixed :/

My site is at:

  • Checked now - No one issue - All works very well with different variants.

  • Are you sure haha. We've been getting this odd error.

  • Are they trying to use spaces in the username, e.g. <first name>+<space>+<last name>? This is not allowed in the username (I think the list of invalid characters also shows the space as invalid character between & and ?).

    If your users want to enter their full name they are allowed to do so as Display name which will show on the site (and can also be changed as often as needed later on). The username is to be entered for login and can not be changed. As it will also be part of the url (profile pages of users) the username must be both unique and has restrictions regarding allowed characters.

  • Yeah but for some reason when they put a space in their Full Name and not their username the Elgg system thinks there is an invalid character when really there isnt. I think its a bug because this shouldnt happen. It never happened to us on Elgg 1.8.15

  • Can't confirm on Elgg 1.8.16.

    Are you sure you or you users don't mix up username and display name? In case you are using the Profile Manager plugin: are you using the latest version? The Profile Manager plugin does some check of the input made in the fields during registration. This works for me without issues with the latest version of the Profile Manager plugin. But in case you don't have the latest version installed this is the only other reasons apart from the display name/username mix up I can think of which might can explain some validation problem.


  • Iionly can you try to register and see if you can tell us if there is a mix up?

  • @Spark: sorry but I'm not too keen on registering an account on any site just for providing support.

    When I look on your site I notice that the order of the fields for Display name (in your case Full name) and Username are inverted compared to the default Elgg registration page. I don't know how you got the Display name field to show as "Full name" field. Is it your done by your theme or another plugin? I suspect that maybe the Full name field is actually the Username field while the Username field as shown on your site is the original Display name field. You might want to check this (for example by registering an account without spaces using different input for the two fields: which input appears where?). You might also want to check if the registration with spaces in the Display name field works if you disable your site theme (or whatever plugin creates the full name field).

  • @spark


    Nope, no issues. Even with spaces in Display Name there are no problems. This is a theme developed by us, and there are no issues. Are you trying to get people to register in your site?

    Rodolfo Hernandez

    Arvixe/Elgg Community Liaison