There have been many discussions on meta (here and here for example) about using the Ubuntu version tags ( etc). Mostly, they support the position that these tags should be used when the version is somehow relevant to the question. If it is a general issue and the OP just happens to be using version X, then the question should not have the version tag. For example, a question like "How can I change the permissions of a file?" should not be tagged with a version since its answer will be applicable to any Ubuntu (or *nix for that matter).

Now, I don't want to start this whole debate again. We have already talked about this ad nauseum. What I want to point out is the following quote from the "on topic" section of the help center:

Ubuntu version you are using in the TAG, including any other Tags that can help on the question.

That means that the more conscientious new users, those who actually read the help center, are given the idea that all questions need a version tag. Whatever you position on version tags, I think we can all agree that not all questions need them. Yet, this is what we tell new users to do. This seems like shooting ourselves in the foot.

So, shouldn't that particular bullet point be removed?

  • I wanted to ask about this... but I was afraid people would take me as hatter looking for another round... thing that I didn't want.
    – Braiam
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 13:06

4 Answers 4


Regardless of what side of the version tag saga you sit, I'm not sure we need to be prescriptive with tags in the on-topic section of help.

I'll change it so it's more open.


Some questions are clearly not version specific, for others it's not immediately clear. I'd rather see an unnecessary tag (that I can easily delete) than not see a tag that might drive an expert to find the question (which granted I could easily add). I happen to agree with this comment.

  • When would a version tag be necessary? The version should be mentioned in the question, tagging isn't the best way (since there are thousands of questions per version, so the tag really doesn't help us categorize them). I doubt I have seen even a dozen useful applications of version tags in the years I've been active here. This is about tagging with a version. We absolutely need to know which version the OP is using, but tags are rarely the best way of getting that information across IMO.
    – terdon
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 12:33
  • @terdon It's true there are other ways to obtain this information, many of which are more reliable such as asking for the output of lsb_release -r
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 14:31
  • oh, no, I was simply advocating for mentioning the version in the question body rather than using a tag for it. I just find the version tags mostly useless since in most questions, the version is incidental and doesn't really help categorize the question.
    – terdon
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 15:02
  • @terdon Agreed. Tags are great for those who like to follow specific tags in order to follow their specific area of expertise. Version tags do nothing to assist with that. Perhaps deleting this answer would be the wiser choice.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 15:08
  • Not if it's what you think is best! Just because I happen not to agree with it doesn't mean anything other than that I don't agree with it! :)
    – terdon
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 15:33

I, as an answerer, would prefer mandatory tagging for flavour. I can (and happy to) provide assistance on KDE and on DE-agnostic problems, but not unity. However, with a rather random use of tags by people those are no help for me when I browse in search of questions I could answer.

  • 1
    That is a completely different issue. The problem was that the original wording recommended you tag with version as in 14.10 or whatever. That is what we feel should not be required by all questions.
    – terdon
    Commented Oct 4, 2014 at 19:41
  • 1
    And even so, many of the problems are not even flavor-specific. Relevant discussion Tagging Xubuntu when Ubuntu is meant
    – Braiam
    Commented Oct 4, 2014 at 21:41

No. Updates keep coming. You never know what will change. It's better to include the tag, regardless of the question.

  • First of all, be polite. No reason to call anyone stupid. Then, before expressing an opinion in such a rude way, at least take the time to understand the history. You can start by reading the links in my question and also this, this and the plethora of other conversations about this issue on the site.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 14:46
  • @terdon First point, accepted. Be polite. I'll edit that. Second point, unacceptable. There are also version specific versions for different version of Ubuntu.
    – retrixe
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 14:57
  • 2
    Seriously, please read up on the history. These tags have been a problem here for years and many people seem to apply them indiscriminately. More people have a nearly religion opinion on when they should be used. All I was saying here is that the original wording of the help center suggested they should always be used and that is not what the community has decided.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 15:07
  • @IAnsari I helped you editing that. Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 1:14

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