This is a call for community discussion on the matter of manufacturer/brand specific tags with relation to Ask Ubuntu.


It was brought up in chat and Meta requests to merge the and tags to and set up tag synonyms. The justification was that we do not need additional Asus tags for tagging Asus-related questions.

Another user has made an argument that the and tags are more useful than the Asus tag, and are quoting this question on Super User.

The editing of questions to add in and have been getting negative attention in review queues. That is, reviews of suggested tag revisions such as these have been receiving rejections recently.

It can be generally argued that there are cases where a generic manufactuer tag are bad. This applies for Logitech, for instance, in which they make mice, keyboards, webcams, and many other peripheral devices. This may also apply for cases such as Intel or AMD, in which they all create CPUs, GPUs, and other devices which need handled individually.

There are also cases where having individual product tags is poor compared to having an all-inclusive tag. Consider, if we made a tag for every single Dell computer model, we'd have a thousand tags that don't add anything. The same applies for Apple devices. That said, if a company only produces computers, it may not necessarily be a good idea to explicitly separate it into laptop, desktop, server, etc. subcategories.

To quote the "Do we need brand/manufacturer tags" question's answers from three years ago, a core question comes to mind with regards to these types of flags:

Who would filter using (the tag)? Who would think this is an expertise area?

With this question in mind, there is argument for either side of the discussion - whether it's keeping the tags merged which has been done today, or whether we start separating this tag out.

The Question

This discussion thread here brings up a very specific question for the community to answer to decide how to proceed on this individual case:

With regards to the tag, should we leave them all lumped together under the manufacturer general tag, or should we split them up into individual subcategory-tags (such as , , etc.)?

  • Some notes: the tag merge was done by me, but looking back at it there should have been further community discussion. This thread will count as that 'further discussion', and should the community at large decide to split up the tags, then that shall be the order of things.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 23:59
  • 1
    +1 for encouraging debate :)
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 10:19
  • There's also the zenbook tag, isn't there? (the Zenbook is made by ASUS) Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 2:40
  • Yup, zenbook has been brought up by me as well before: meta.askubuntu.com/q/15987/295286 Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 11:14

6 Answers 6


I don't believe we need OEM tags... considering the public of AU, the only ones that would use such tags are layman. And these tend to not be very effective tagging questions. I prefer to avoid OEM tags at all. Asus is found in the AU scope mostly (almost exclusively) because the asker uses it.

I've checked the most recent questions and found that in no case, the fact that OEM was Asus is relevant, in some questions the hardware is totally irrelevant. Asus can be almost always removed from the questions and add another more specific tag, ie. if the problem is your graphics, then intel/amd/nvidia are more relevant than asus, if your question is about wireless, realtek/atheros/intel are more relevant. Notice, that sometimes these cards get rebranded, but the chip behaves as the makers. The Linux kernel doesn't care about brand as much as chipset manufacturer. Here's the list of supported wireless chipsets, they are a handful and none is a famous OEM (Intel is the most broad in this aspect, since they make CPU, GPU, wireless, audio, etc.).

So, my point of view is don't separate or merge, just remove.

  • I'm guessing you've seen it, but meta.askubuntu.com/a/16004/274320 Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 3:21
  • 5
    I will just respond to you here for the comment on the other answer too, it is the same issue. You are looking at this from a very narrow veiw point, you are thinking "How does this benefit me" and you are right, it does not but what if you were a total Ubuntu noob, as the vast majority of users are, and you had an Asus laptop? You come to Ask Ubuntu because your Asus laptops wifi does not work, you are a noob, you did not know about model numbers or finding system info in a terminal, what do you type in the search box? "asus wifi", do you see my point?
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 10:24
  • @MarkKirby non-knowledgeable users aren't answering questions, are there?
    – Braiam
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 15:05
  • I have to agree with you on this. But seeing as how I don't follow specific tags it's debatable whether I should vote on this at all.. From a technical standpoint the manufacturer tag is irrelevant. However, I also have to agree with @WinEunuuchs2Unix in that it's often all the asker knows and can be helpful for me to locate the information that the asker either doesn't have or doesn't provide.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 17:52

I've stated my opinion before, in one of the ASUS Meta questions, but I'm going to state it again, just in a more complex way, and with a bit of backtracking :p.

The tag says it's for every ASUS electronic device, and that's where there might be a problem, since ASUS doesn't only make computers. It also makes motherboards, tablets, phones and maybe other things not listed in its store. So maybe it's a bit of a generalization to group everything together.

However, ASUS phones and tablets don't tend to run Ubuntu. Some of the models probably have Touch ports, but then those should require their own tags (, ), as the hardware and necessary instructions are likely very different from their desktops.

Also, I doubt we're going to be getting questions specifically about ASUS motherboards, unless the computers are custom-built, in which case the motherboard is still probably not very important.

But here's another problem. There are quite a few product lines of ASUS laptops. This I did not realize when I was just looking up the ZenBook series. They have Chromebooks, gaming PCs, workstations, 2-in-1s, eeePCs, and a few others. Obviously, some of these, like the Chromebook, are special and need special instructions to run Ubuntu properly. There's also the Chromebox, which is a desktop.

Here's a new proposition. I say we don't look at this completely objectively and equally. We don't use the argument "we'd have to create one for every type"; we don't need to do that in this case.

Most of the product lines are pretty similar: ROG, X, Vivo, Zen, Multimedia, even Transformer -- these are all pretty similar in general terms. The desktops seem to be mostly similar, internally, as well (except the Chromebox).

Since most of the desktops and laptops aren't very different, would it make sense to create just one tag (or something like that) and have it apply to all the normal models? Then, we could make (to include desktop and laptops -- I don't care if it is and instead) to include those special devices. If ASUS happens to make others, or I'm missing one, then we add that too.

So, hopefully I can say this concisely. What if we do this: instead of deciding on whether or not we should make a tag for every single model, why don't we do this intelligently (in the programming/coding sense)? Why don't we stop using the argument, "we can't make this tag because then we'd have to make all the others," and use, "we can't make this tag because it isn't special hardware"?

Let's think about each individual situation and decide. Let's make a tag for a specific model, but only if that specific model actually needs a tag (special hardware/situation). We need conditionals if we want tag-making to make sense.

I failed at the concise solution, but I hope I got my point across.

  • "It also makes motherboards, tablets, phones" err... no it doesn't. It just rebrands someone else hardware, changes some specs and sells it. If you check the hw-id of many of this stuff it should return the original manufacturer.
    – Braiam
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 3:10
  • @Braiam well then that would support my point even more. But the idea is it is ASUS branded, so it might get the ASUS tag. ASUS doesn't "make" its tablets, but it does design them Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 3:11
  • Who cares about the brand? The brand is irrelevant. From the linux kernel perspective, it looks for the manufacturer of the subsystem it's talking to. Check the output of lspci and tell me how many times appears your computer brand (BTW, my system is an HP, and all the output says "Intel"...)
    – Braiam
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 3:16
  • 1
    @Braiam maybe you and I care about what the hardware actually is, but most people asking questions might have just learned about motherboards that same day; they probably don't know brand != mfgr. Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 3:18
  • There's also the zenbook tag, isn't there? (The Zenbook is made by ASUS) Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 2:39
  • 1
    @NickWeinberg I thought we'd gotten rid of that. Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 2:43

OEM tags are important when it comes to laptops where ACPI is highly tailored by manufacturer.

As a compromise between tags of "Asus-Desktop", "Asus-Laptop", "Dell-Desktop", "Dell-Laptop", "Toshiba-Laptop", "Sony-Laptop", "HP-Desktop", "HP-Laptop", "HP-Tablet", etc. We could have tags for OEM Dell, Toshiba, Asus, HP, Sony, etc. and separate tags for platform Desktop, Laptop, Notebook, Zenbook, Tablet, Smartphone and maybe some day Fridge if Google figures out how to search your fridge and sell the data to grocery stores.

Separate tags will cut down on number of combination tags. ie number of OEM's plus 6 platforms instead of number of OEMS times 6 platforms.

  • 1
    Breaking conventions I'll comment to myself... @WE2U I have had to ask many OP's what their computer make and model is. About 20% of the time their reply allows me to quickly find a solution to their quesiton. Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 23:21
  • I occasionally find this information useful when the OP is unable to provide more specific information but the output of say sudo lshw -C network will give you actionable information quicker but has the downside of requiring the OP to actually participate in the process (which some are more willing to do than others)
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 18:05

As the original poster of the synonym request, I feel like my justification is needed in this regard.

After noticing (and rejecting) edits in the review queue that were changing to or , I decided enough was enough and submitted the meta post mentioned in the original question.

It seems excessive to have three tags for the exact same thing. While tags such as would be acceptable, there's no reason to then ALSO have tags like and .

Tags should be as easy to find as possible, and should be as short as necessary to convey the point. As long as there's no need to divide , we shouldn't. If the need comes, we can move posts over to a more appropriate tag (see Zacharee's post).

However, these tags should only be used when they're appropriate, which is a problem with this site. (and its derivatives) should not be used unless the question actually is Asus specific. If it can be applied to any other system, should not be applied to the post in question.

The reason I suggested the tag edit and the synonyms was to remedy the issue of the tagging discrepancy and unify everything under the single tag, as there was no need (in my mind looking at the questions) to actually have a split as of yet.

  • 1
    Unless someone is actively looking and retagging questions (hint: they are not, and you have seen it) I prefer playing safe and not having this tag at all. That way it can't be used inappropriately.
    – Braiam
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 3:08
  • 2
    @Braiam actually, there was a user who created the zenbook tag and then began removing asus and retagging any zenbook question they could find. Check the edit queue history and you'll see it. Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 3:20
  • @Zacharee1 which further my position that users should not create tags, answerers should.
    – Braiam
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 15:05
  • What's the distinction between a user and an answerer? Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 15:08
  • @Zacharee1 those that actively answer questions are answerers. For example, I'm not an answerer anymore until stuff like this gets sorted out and quality goes up. User is any user.
    – Braiam
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 17:52
  • @Zacharee1 can I rephrase the question "What the difference between someone who needs tech support and someone who gives tech support"? We are actually both, I give tech support on laptop after I learneit but need tech support on new Sony Android TV. You give lots of great Ubuntu tech support but might need tech support on your new Honda., etc. Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 1:22
  • "When they're appropriate" Well, there's the rub. I have no doubt that we have all seen posts with inappropriate or irrelevant tags and that some of us have even recognized them as such. The OP seldom has the background to make such distinctions and while forcing them to do so would likely reduce our workload, it would simultaneously reduce our usefulness.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 18:00

Just a small point. asus-pc and asus-laptop mean the same thing (PC == Personal Computer, a Laptop is this too), if we are going to debate this, should we not use asus-desktop rather than asus-pc?

That first point also demonstrates my concerns with splitting the asus tag, where does it end?

If we split asus in to laptop and desktop versions, what about servers or ultrabooks or tablets or phones or tablet / laptop hybrid, if we split it once, we would have to split it further down the line, when questions are asked that those, very specific, tags do not cover.

While I am not for just removing the brand tags, I can admit that from a question answering perspective, they are not the most useful tags to begin with and adding desktop tells us nothing more that the brand tag did, we still need to know the exact model of the desktop.

To summarize, keep it simple, asus as a tag has value for people looking for asus related issues, whether we add a desktop or a laptop, these people still need to check the question and splitting the tags only causes confusion for the new users viewing them in the long run.

We should also merge zenbook and any other modal specific tags in to asus.

Here we only are discussing asus but what about the other brands? We will have to separate them out too, it will be chaos.

  • 1
    Asus-pc is not the same thing as asus-laptop. There are many bugs just related to asus-laptop and just to asus-pc, which you have not managed to fix in last four years, and not even managed to get the points back to the upstream. We need measures to find those bugs much faster - identify them and resolve them. - - Zenbook is different from asus-laptop because it has different design architecture, thus own specific bugs where many have existed 3-5 years unsolved, mostly in Ubuntu. Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 12:46
  • 1
    You are totally missing the point of tags, they don't need to be that specific, you can use multiple tags to narrow it down asus-laptop offers nothing over asus + laptop. You really think people have not solved these issues due to tagging? Again, this is a strawman, show me one example of a question that could of been answered by add asus-laptop rather that asus + laptop, you can't. As for zenbook, we don't need that either it is covered by asus + ultra-book.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 13:10
  • 1
    Just for completeness, here is your statement about why we need these tags from the other question ""The current system does not lead to quality content" You dodged it there, so again, "show me one example of a question that could of been answered by add asus-laptop rather that asus + laptop"
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 13:13
  • Also asus-pc is the same as asus-laptop you completely ignored my point about it should be asus-desktop,
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 13:14
  • Take a look at my answer. I think we should create a few specific tags, but only for special models, like Chromebooks. Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 14:36
  • There can be OEM tags for Acer, Asus, Google, Apple, Dell, Sony, Toshiba, HP, Lenova as tags. Then additional tags for Desktop, Laptop, Notebook, Zenbook, Chromebook, Zenbook, Fridge, Phone, whatever. Imagine if there were tags for CPU, Nvidia card type and Radeon card type mine would be Dell + I7 3630QM + Laptop + Nvidia GT650M + 16.04 which would have fewer net number of tags than if Dell Laptop i7 3630QM Nvidia GT650M Ubuntu 16.04 was a single tag and every other combination had a unique tag. Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 22:51

I think we need better quality content in Asbuntu by having more iterative work process here where goals can be

  • find faster duplicates,
  • find faster plagiarism,
  • identify issues/bugs faster,
  • resolve issues/bugs faster,
  • forward them to the upstream faster if applicable, ...

The product branches 1) laptops, 2) PCs, 3) ultrabooks, ... N) have different design architectures i.e. their own issues and bugs. Each manufacturer can have their characteristic bugs, about which many are still unidentified and unsolved. I think we need more iterative work process where you can express those issues with inclusions, since the issue may just be a complication caused by other internal issues

  1. Identify problems
  2. Use inclusions if you need them to be specific
  3. Repeat ...
  4. Remove/adjust the inclusion if necessary

This process can lead that the issue resolves and the inclusion becomes unnecessary/unspecific, when you can delete it. However, so long as we do not know where the bugs are precisely, we need to express the target as precisely as we can, therefore we need

  1. clear titles,
  2. clear bodies,
  3. inclusions in tags


  • remove unspecific tags; here why A-B is not the same as A+B
  • differential conditions -field if you cannot precisely identify the condition/situation - to express the next most likely condition where the problem/issue can be
  • ...
  • 1
    I've tried but I can't find any relation between your answer and the question that this discussion was opened with....
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 18:09

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