Stack Overflow offers free, vote based ads for open source projects. They seem to refresh them regularly, here's the latest thread for this iteration.

I tried 2 experiments when they opened this time around:

  • Could I convince enough people to upvote an ad that would help find contributors to Ubuntu?

  • Could I convince another opensource project to submit an ad?

However I've never seen any of those ads here, they run on the trilogy sites.

While I think this offer is relatively well known in SE circles I am guessing it's not so generally known in parts of the OSS community. Mixing these up with the Area51 ads on Ask Ubuntu might be worth a shot, I can think of a few upstream projects that might be interested if it was more widely known, and as the site grows it might be worth trying.

Response to non-Linuxy OSS projects on the ad network:

Why not? If a windows developer trying Ubuntu in a VM has a question and runs into an ad for an OSS project for windows that needs people then that's a win right? And web OSS is mostly platform agnostic anyways.

We're pretty practical here anyway, we wouldn't care if the Unity ad ran on Stack Overflow in the .net tag right?

  • Important: We cannot just use the ads from the Meta question linked above, since some of the apps are not Ubuntu / Linux specific. Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 6:09
  • @George but unity,Zeitgeist,tux4kids have a relation with ubuntu/gnulinux.
    – Lincity
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 16:40
  • it shouldn't matter really, since in a case like that would could make an exception and simply allow all open-source related ads, to be fair, and to encourage integration in the OSS world :)
    – RolandiXor
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 1:22
  • I've added this "poll" question about Linux-specific ads. Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 8:31

4 Answers 4



There are plenty of reasons to support this:

  • It will promote awareness of open source software that people may not previously have known about.
  • It will promote contribution to open source software.
  • The adverts are unobtrusive and can be easily ignored.

As for the arguments about adverts for projects targeted at different platforms, I don't think its really a big deal. Lots of users of this site and Ubuntu use other platforms as well - for work/education, to have the ability to run platform specific applications and games or just out of choice. Therefore, the adverts may be relevant.

Also, I believe that supporting any open source projects, even if they run on closed platforms, will benefit Ubuntu and its users by benefiting open source in general.

  • i agree except that only floss software that run on ubuntu(or gnu/linux) should be supported.
    – Lincity
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 16:00

I'm not convinced.

These adverts are described as "providing free advertising to open source projects looking for programmers".

Stack Overflow is a site for programmers, so adverts for programmers make sense.

Ask Ubuntu's focus is more on 'ordinary' users, so adverts looking for programmers don't really make sense.

Another quote that confirms this:

It must be an advertisement soliciting the participation and contribution of programmers writing actual source code. This is not intended as a general purpose ad for consumer products which just happen to be open source. It's for finding programmers who will help contribute code or other programmery things (documentation, code review, bug fixes, etc.).


We have enabled the ability for the Ubuntu community to have control over ads placed on the homepage and question landing pages. See: Community Promotion Ads - 1H 2011 for more details.

  • 2
    This is going to be great, thanks so much for implementing this! Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 1:14


I don't think this is a good fit, since the OSS ads are not scoped to Ubuntu. However, see:

Community Promotion Ads - 1H 2011

  • how are oss ads not scoped to ubuntu??won't ubuntu users pay more attention to floss ads?
    – Lincity
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 8:55
  • 2
    @ala I mean most of them are Windows, etc. You want Windows OSS ads on this site? Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 9:51
  • 1
    no i don't want windows oss ads but there are also unity,Zeitgeist,tux4kids,sage,twist load etc.you can put those ads from meta.stackexchange.com/questions/74983/… also you can have a vote based ads from voting on meta.askubuntu.
    – Lincity
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 10:07
  • 1
    Can't we have a separate question here just like the one on Meta? That way we can ensure that Linux / Ubuntu ads are shown. Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 8:09
  • 1
    As fluteflute states in his answer, the ads are looking for developers - not for users. So we are not the right audience for these ads. It's another question (with its own yes/no votes) whether we should have ads for users. Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 8:06

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