I am interested in the discussions on creating a Stack Exchange area for Elementary OS, a distro which seems offtopic here.

An objection to that proposal was that Elementary OS is a Linux distro based on Ubuntu, and therefore covered on the SE network already. If that is the case, as eOS is not covered by askubuntu, it can only be covered by U&L.

Why not create a new SE-eOS? There seems to be a risk of fragmentation. But fragmentation is in the very logic of SE, as Superuser has a larger scope than U&L, which has a larger scope than Askubuntu. If some questions refused by Askubuntu can go to Unix&Linux, they might as well go to Superuser. Also, all questions under Askubuntu can be very well asked in U&L or in Superuser. Why are they not then? Because the "fragmentation" that Askubuntu or Askdifferent represent is a good thing. -- Up to a point, that is down to a level of fragmentation which is not tolerable in SE it seems.

The logic that stands behind askubuntu and its efficiency is refused in other cases by SE; I want to understand the context of the relation between SE policies on allowing or not new SE-Linux sites and the askubuntu policy for keeping its efficient structure.

My argument is that Askubuntu has limited its coverage while providing very solid community support, being large enough to ensure the presence of a large helping community, but not too large as to make questions fall in a huge vague terrain.

The paradox for me is that this successful model is not tolerated easily by SE in cases that might lead to sites similar to askubuntu. While I understand very well why Mint and eOS are offtopic here, I do not understand why all Linux questions other than what is tolerated here should necessarily go to U&L. Why not to Superuser then?

I would like to be able to understand what is the tolerable level of fragmentation in SE and in relation to Askubuntu.

To sum up what I think:

  • Either askubuntu and askdifferent are already unacceptable fragmentation (because as some say Unix encompasses both; not that askubuntu should open to Mint and eOS as other users say, but they shouldn't be here) or

  • they are in SE a tolerable and even necessary level of fragmentation, proven by their success and utility (which is my opinion).

Some people that answered and commented under the link above tried to find a third path, involving the need for a change in the Askubuntu policy, so that it might become the place where all Ubuntu questions go (questions on all ubuntu based distros not just *ubuntu) But, as I said, that would alter the efficiency and utility of askubuntu and, on the other hand: how could a such change take place?


2 Answers 2


There was some level of controversy over AU even being a thing in the beginning.

The "one big site" side of the argument:
It's all unix/linux anyway, so why does any given thing need it's own site?

The splitting up side of the argument:
There are loads of things that are Ubuntu specific most of the time.

right when the unity dash came out - before everyone was finding ways to force it on to fedora core or whatever...)

anything where you would recommend using a branded tool (like UbuntuTweak), etc etc.

Then there's the matter of community

There's a sort of ecosystem around the user group. It's easier to know how to take what someone says if they've been around AU for a while.

Finally, there's the any time you crack the door you start getting some forked distro's bug questions that are not reproducible on mainline/official, and you get waves and waves of bugs.

On the "open to interpretation" comment on the proposal, no it's not. It's not an official Ubuntu version, so it's off-topic. Seems like the FAQ says that quite explicitly.

It's also about being able to find answers. Say you start looking for firewall manipulation answers. If you're on U/L you're going to see several different answers with iptables, ipchains, ifw, blah blah blah. If you hop an AU, you KNOW the highest voted answer will probably be how to use the default firewall software on Ubuntu.

It IS squarely on topic on UL, so you would need to put together a list like this of why eOS needs its own split. Do you have a community before the site where everyone knows everyone? What additional benefit would there be for it being separate?


I see no reason to alter any Ask Ubuntu policy. If eOS users have a problem with asking on Unix & Linux or Super User, that's their problem, not ours. I don't see why we have to bend over backwards because a random group decided to make a derivative of Ubuntu, and could not or would not be an official one.

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