Here I am, completely new to linux and I don't have any new questions to ask. But I would like clarification on existing questions. So within this system, clearly I have no means to provide any answers, so I don't have a way to participate in conversations unless I wait until I have new questions that other users feel like upvoting.

How are new users supposed to gain any traction? Or is this system intended to protect this site from new users?

I'm hearing that I wasn't already educated in linux so I don't belong here.

PS: To whomever ventured to do it, I do believe downvoting this question literally validates my concern.

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    It can seem frustrating in the short time before you gain any rep, but you can quite quickly get past it. I was also completely new to Linux when I first started using the site. You can ask a new question if you need a more detailed piece of information about an existing topic, if your question gets marked as a duplicate, you can edit the question to distinguish it from the linked dupe. A problem I had at the start was that I lacked the knowledge to know what terms to search under. This improves over time. Is there anything you particularly need help with?
    – Arronical
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 13:36
  • I was just hoping to get into a community where I could trade tricks. I'm a lateral thinker, but with Linux, I have no knowledge to work with, so I'm just trying to get a jump start by tinkering with a couple things in my first install. I have a 6 year old machine that got bricked by a Windows 7 update. So I installed Ubuntu 16 and found that we can't get Netflix, Amazon Video, and the brightness can't be controlled. I'm reading that Silverlight has been a long battle, as if Flash, and the brightness thing has a few fixes that work for some, not others. Thanks for commenting
    – user585179
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 13:47
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    See 50 Reputation need to comment and the links therein Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 13:54
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    @ReformedGoblin This is NOT a discussion forum, it is a Q&A site, you ask a question, you get an answer, Netflix:askubuntu.com/questions/1488/how-can-i-use-netflix-on-ubuntu Amazon: askubuntu.com/questions/286297/… Can't say about the brightness without some information on the hardware.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 14:06
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    Like @MarkKirby said, we aren't really oriented around discussion here (except on Meta). If the way StackExchange works isn't the way you think, there's always Ubuntu Forums. You're welcome on both; you just have to get used to how each functions. Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 14:11
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    The reason new users can't comment is primarily to block spammers and trolls. Without it, one comment in three would be about weight loss or mediums and whatnot.
    – terdon
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 15:23
  • Thank you Mark! Google Chrome, as suggested in your first post did indeed work to resolve both web video issues. My vid card is a Radeon 5670. I got as far as finding my brightness, actual and max values, and the documents that hold those values. I didn't want to sudo vim them without some assurance that the screen wouldn't disappear.
    – user585179
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 12:33
  • @ReformedGoblin Note that downvotes in the meta site aren't the same as downvotes in the main site.
    – edwinksl
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 15:09
  • Glad that is working for you, if you need clarification on anything to do with setting brightness, please open a question, if you include all needed info you should start to make some rep.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 16:22
  • i upvoted your question. 50 is a bit much in my opinion 30, even 20 looks good
    – Anwar
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 20:30

2 Answers 2


The point of the rep and privileges is to reward users who use the site by giving them some control for their contributions.

You are hearing, "I don't belong here," but it is more like, "please make a few small contributions to the site. We are helping you for free, so please give something back to unlock some features."

50 rep is nothing really and there are many ways you can make it:

1) Edit some bad posts -- +2 rep per accepted edit.

2) Ask good questions -- +5 rep per vote and +2 if you accept an answer.

3) Answer a few questions -- +10 rep per upvote and +15 for an accepted answer.

Everyone starts from 1 and must work their way up. People think they should be able to do what they want here right away but that is not the point.

We aim to keep the quality of the site as high as possible and this means locking some features out to new users. It avoids things like spam or abuse, etc...

As you have never even asked a question here, I think you are jumping the gun a bit with the complaints, don't you?

Here is a full list of available privileges and what you need to do to get them.

In short, you get what you give :)

  • @zacharee1 One day I will learn to use their insteatd of there :)
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 14:17
  • There, their, they're... :p If it helps, "they're" has the apostrophe, so it's two words combined; "their" is always possessive; and "there" is the one that's left. Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 14:19
  • @Zacharee1 I know English is my first language, I understand it well but still I get these wrong every time, I can't spell either but spell checker fixes that for me and other users take care of the grammar ;)
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 14:21
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    heheh. Well good luck with that :p. Chrome's spellchecker actually checks limited grammar for me. It underlined the "there"s when I was editing, which was a surprise. Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 14:22
  • @Zacharee1 Thanks for the tip, I don't use Chrome but I think I will check it out. If it fixes grammar like MS office, that would be great.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 14:23

What is the intent of the AskUbuntu reputation threshold to enable commenting?

One of the reasons: to prevent spam.

Here I am, completely new to linux and I don't have any new questions to ask.

Completely understandable. But I bet you can answer questions. I myself started out like this:

  • copy/paste title into google.
  • find matching topics
  • find answer to title and/or question in body
  • type out an answer based on google results.

You will be amazed how quick your rep goes up like that. Side-effect: the interesting parts will stick in your head making you a more improved Linux user.

What also gets a lot of rep are "manual" questions. From command man ls shows the manual of the ls command. If someone asks how to do something with ls an answer is possible by just selecting the correct parts from the manual.

How are new users supposed to gain any traction? Or is this system intended to protect this site from new users?

Gain a bit of rep 1st (see above and Mark's post). You also get 100 rep as a sign-up bonus for every sub-site. Most of the blocks on AU (or generally all stack sub-sites) are to prevent spam/abuse of the system.

I'm hearing that I wasn't already educated in linux so I don't belong here.

Nooooo, what you should have heard is: we like you to join but do need a little proof that you are what you are.