A question isn't off-topic simply because it's about an EOL release. If the problem is specific to that release, sure, but not otherwise.

Questions like the following are on-topic:

Do read:


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    I don't think the latter is on-topic. The answer will most likely have be specific to the release. The chances of the hardware working fine in a supported release are very good. I'm unconvinced about the former too.. These seem to be petty bad examples.. Was that intentional? – Seth Apr 13 '15 at 16:32
  • @Seth no, they were just the most recent. But given the new wording, I still feel both are on-topic. – muru Apr 13 '15 at 16:33
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    Why do you think these are on topic? These both seem to be situations that are very likely limited to the 10.04 release (which is itself out of support and therefore directly off-topic). The exception meta post you link to is more about allowing questions that describe a problem that has nothing (or likely nothing) to do with the release. – Oli Apr 13 '15 at 16:47
  • @Oli Because the wording of the close reason implies that to me. Can either of you say for sure that upgrading will solve either problem? – muru Apr 13 '15 at 16:48
  • I believe versions of Ubuntu that are at or beyond EOL should not be supported here for a variety of reasons. Probably the most important is the lack of security patches. There was a recent bash security issue that will never be resolved for example. Hardware issues are almost always kernel or kernel module issues and upgrading to a new kernel is the fix. – Panther Apr 13 '15 at 19:44
  • @bodhi.zazen security issues like those are known to be fixed in supported releases, so they are problems specific to EOL releases and can be closed. But hardware issues? It's the standard refrain: "Upgrade!" Yet those taking up the refrain don't point to some concrete evidence that a newer kernel will fix things. What if it is a third-party driver that will never make it into the kernel? What good will upgrading do then? – muru Apr 13 '15 at 20:04
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    Well, nobody is going to fix an old unsupported kernel . If you file a bug report upstream with kernel.org the very first thing they will ask you is if the problem persists with the latest kernel. So what good does using a broken, unsupported kernel do ? I can not confirm or deny hardware issues other then searching a hardware list. I have found over the years , trying to make unsupported hardware functional takes a lot of work (yes, i have written and debugs kernel modules ;) . If I were to try to help with a custom kernel the first thing i would do is upgrade to the newest possible kernel. – Panther Apr 14 '15 at 0:30

While I'm all for leaving cross-version issues open, I'm not happy that your examples meet that criterion and in my mind both should remain closed. To explain, I'll pick this up from your comment:

Can either of you say for sure that upgrading will solve either problem?

Not at all, but the burden of proof isn't on us. The user should be testing their hardware on a supported version of Ubuntu. It's free and 99% of times can be tested from a Live environment in 10 minutes or less. It either works and they have a solution; or it doesn't and with an edit or two, they have an on-topic question.

People are free to run whatever version of Ubuntu they like but they can only expect support on the latest, supported versions. This is as much for our benefit as it is theirs. None of us should want crusty vulnerable old software connected on the internet.

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  • Oh? Perhaps you and Seth should have a chat and decide on whom the burden is on then, since Seth said then: 'On the contrary, the proposed wording does not shift the burden of proof from the OP to the reviewer. The burden of proof was already on the reviewer! While we do expect askers to have a basic understanding on site scope there is no such thing as "closed until further notice" or "closed until you can prove it's ok". The burden of proof that a question is a bad fit for the site is always on each and every individual reviewer to decide if the question is within our scope or not.' – muru Apr 14 '15 at 4:39
  • And your response was precisely what I had to say at the time: "For example, say the poster has a problem with $EOL_RELEASE. Let them post it. If they, or someone else, shows that it also happens on $SUPPORTED_RELEASE, we can simply reword the question to make it on-topic. If they can't, close vote or perhaps migrate to U&L." – muru Apr 14 '15 at 4:40
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    I won't speak for Seth. My view is that hardware issues are the most likely questions to be version specific, and testing a supported release is always the quickest solution to try. As I say above, that step either fixes it or negates an OT-unsupported close vote. I believed both your examples to fall into that category. There are other issues that will be more subjective and aren't necessarily version issues (or easy to test on a new version of Ubuntu without a permanent upgrade). – Oli Apr 14 '15 at 10:26
  • For the first question, that is not even a solution that can be tried, since OP says its the only version they can get working on it. – muru Apr 14 '15 at 10:29
  • @muru - Such things happen when moderation is done by democracy. There are going to be various opinions which are may conflict to varying degrees. Opinions get expressed (and respected) here on meta and sometimes in comments. The great feature though, IMO, is that in the end, moderation is still done by consensus. It takes 5 votes to close a question and questions can also be reopened if they are edited. I enjoy that most of the time an action is not takes by a single moderator. On the rare occasions a moderator takes such action I have always agreed with the action. – Panther Apr 14 '15 at 13:00
  • @muru They might want to target getting 12.04 working as the issue. They're probably better off with an unusable system than a 10.04 install connected to the internet - they just don't {know,appreciate} it. – Oli Apr 15 '15 at 22:21
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    Regarding the wider issue about closing questions about old releases, it's not always going to be one or the other; logic has to take over at some point. I've tried to reason for a set of scenarios (ie mostly hardware) where testing a LiveCD of a supported release should be a base expectation if the user insists on using ancient software. I think that makes sense, you may not. If you can apply your own logic to each question —and in doing so think about what you're doing in review— you're probably doing the right thing, even if we disagree sometimes. – Oli Apr 15 '15 at 22:37
  • @Oli at any rate, the examples are just that - examples. If you feel the examples aren't proper, just edit in new ones. – muru Apr 16 '15 at 8:02

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