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Phacility Instance Name Guide
Phacility User Documentation (Administrating Instances)

Help on choosing an instance name.


When launching a new Phacility instance, you will be prompted to choose a name for it. This name is globally unique and identifies your instance.

In most cases you should choose a variant of your organization name as your instance name. For example, if you work for "Red Widgets, Inc", you might choose redwidgets.

If you choose redwidgets as your instance name, your instance will be available at

Instance names are not completely private, so if you're concerned about your use of Phacility being disclosed you may prefer to choose a code name or alias like notredwidgets. See below for further discussion.

Instance names must comply with some policy rules, which are detailed below. These rules are intended to prevent abuse, and instance names chosen in good faith using common sense will very rarely run afoul of them.

Instances can not be renamed, and instance names can not be reused. Choose a name carefully!

Rules for Names

Instance names must follow these rules:

  • They must be between 5 and 64 characters long, inclusive.
  • They must contain only lowercase latin letters ("a" through "z", inclusive), numbers, and hyphens.
  • They must start with a letter.
  • They must not contain multiple consecutive hyphens or end with a hyphen.
  • They must be unique.
  • They must not violate any policy rules, explained below.

Instance Name Privacy

  • Instance names are private, but not completely private.
  • You could use a code name if you're concerned about this.

Instance names are private information and are not listed in a public directory, but you should not consider your instance name to be completely private. The limitations on instance name privacy are comparable to the limitations of similar services and are not a concern for most organizations, but this section outlines exactly what you should expect.

The privacy of an instance name is limited by many concerns. Among these, your users may inadvertently disclose your instance name (for example, through screenshots or by sharing links) and it may be leaked through technical means like HTTP referrers.

Third parties can discover the existence of an instance by attempting to create an instance with the same name. For example, if you work at "Red Widgets, Inc" and a competitor at "Blue Widgets, Inc" wishes to determine whether you use Phacility or not, they can attempt to create a redwidgets instance. If they receive an error that the instance name is not unique, they can deduce that the instance exists.

Internally, staff access to instance names is less restricted than access to instance data, and our administrative tools use instance names as a unique identifier when doing so can help make the tool simpler or more effective.

If you are concerned about your use of Phacility being disclosed, you could consider choosing an alias or code name for your instance instead of using your organization's name. When you log in, you can imagine you are an intelligence agent working in deep cover.

If you are very concerned about disclosure, you can self-host Phabricator instead of using Phacility hosting. This will give you complete control over your organization's information.

Instance Name Policies

  • Do not choose misleading names like www.
  • Do not choose untoward names like redwidgetsincsucks.
  • Do not choose the name of an organization you do not represent.
  • If you don't follow these rules, we will pick a name for you.

Instance names must adhere to policy rules. At our sole discretion and without notice, we will rename instances which do not follow these rules.

Misleading or Deceptive Names: Do not choose a name which implies that an instance represents a Phacility service, a name that may collide with a name used in service operation, or a name which may deceive users.

For example, names like www, login, blog, status, admin, secure, officialloginpage, or trustworthyphacilitysite would violate this rule.

Untoward and Inflamatory Names: Do not choose a name which is untoward or inflamatory. Phacility instance names are not a great venue for the exuberant exercise of free speech.

For example, names like redwidgetsincsucks would violate this rule. Instance names which are just a bunch of curse words strung together also violate this rule, but you will have to look outside this document for inspiration.

Appropriating or Infringing Names: Do not choose a name which appropriates the name of another organization, brand, person, trademark, etc.

For example, if "Red Widgets, Inc" is a well-known brand or organization, do not register redwidgets unless you represent "Red Widgets, Inc".

If we can verify that you own the .com for an instance name, we will not rename your instance under this rule. For example, if you own, you are free to register redwidgets even if this might also be a reasonable name for another entity.

Other Problematic Names: Exercise common sense and good judgment when choosing instance names. Do not choose an instance name which causes some other kind of problem for us or other users, even if you come up with a name that is very clever or creative.

Should you outsmart us and come up with a terrible name which obeys the letter of these policies, we may still rename any instance at any time for any reason, including no reason or on a whim, at our sole discretion and without notice.

Renaming Instances

Instances can be renamed. The old name will be permanently reserved and redirected. The new name will become the canonical instance name. If you'd like to rename your instance, contact support.