I just found this SEDE query:

Posts that are the target of most duplicate closures

1041 - My computer boots to a black screen, what options do I have to fix it?

571 - Installing Ubuntu Alongside a Pre-Installed Windows with UEFI

499 - What hardware does Ubuntu Touch support?

492 - How do I resolve unmet dependencies after adding a PPA?

478 - How do I fix a "Problem with MergeList" or "status file could not be parsed" error when trying to do an update?

425 - How to install software or upgrade from an old unsupported release?

417 - How to remove Ubuntu and put Windows back on?

The number is how many duplicates each has. I'm not sure how to... combat this, but I feel that 300+ duplicates is more than there should be.

Is there a way to advertise to users that these questions already exist, or when they ask say "These may solve your problem".

I'm not sure whether that will work or not, so this is a discussion.

1 Answer 1


When a question is posted there is always a list of 'potential duplicates' displayed to the user.

Personally I do make a an effort to read them, and if iI feel my situation iis different I will reference the other question and explain what didn't work in the selected solution and why.

The problem here, in my opinion, is that any problem can have multiple causes, multiple solutions, and multiple ways of resolving (eg CLI or GUI).

For instance the question about Ubuntu touch.

When looking for hardware some may be wanting to get a laptop 'off the shelf' others may desire to build their own desktop. Both would in my oppinion need different answers! drivers change, what did work last year can suddenly break. Old hardware can become suddenly obsolete and no longer supported in a specific kernel / software / versions.

I think that the only solution is to point out the possible other solutions to the OP and hope that they get a solution.

What I would not want to see happen.

Many years ago I needs to do something on an (then new) windows XP machine, it as part of the MCP exam. The windows forums explained that the solution in the book was correct, and gave no recourse for how to troubleshoot why my actions weren't working as they should. Basically I was being told to RTFM, as I was clearly doing it wrong.

This did not endear me to the windows community.

Ubuntu and Linux is a steep learning curve to newcomers, we need to support the poor souls who have become dissiluioned with the other OS offerings and do everything possible to ease then into a world of freedom from being told they are 'too stupid to use a PC' to being told, 'freedom needs to be fought for, but we are a big army of friendly helpful people. If you can't do something or don't understand the response to the other question, you are in the right place'.

If they need this level of hand holding they need to be pointed to the forums, or chat, where we can help in more 'real time' The question then becomes however when to delete the copy question, and is pointing to a long forum conversation really a valid answer? The OP needs to be encouraged to summarise what they did to resolve their problem, and then posts and accept this as the answer to their situation. Good for them (they get more rep), good for the community as individuals have learnt and shown that it is possible to get to solutions on their own, which iis encouragement for others.


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