I recently flagged this answer. The question can basically be summed up as:

I want to create a Ubuntu live USB so I can install Ubuntu. How can I do it?

The flagged answer can be summed up as:

Don't. Install the Unity desktop instead.

To be honest I can't see how this answers the core question, i.e. how to create a Ubuntu live USB, so I flagged it as "not an answer".

The flag was declined and I would like to know: what is the motivation behind this decision?

How should I apply the NAA flag more precisely?

2 Answers 2


Well, that was a judgement call. I felt that the OP thought that the only way to get Unity back was to reinstall a stock Ubuntu, so an answer telling them that that's not necessary and there are other approaches is valid enough.

I understand why you'd flag it, but in this case, it seemed to me like "Actually, you don't need foo, you can do bar" was a valid answer to "How can I do foo".

If anything, it seems like the best solution. Reinstalling an OS just to change the DE seems like overkill to me.

In hindsight, I guess I should have dismissed the flag but marked it helpful because I knew it was done in good faith. Sorry about that!

  • Ok thanks. I still believe the main question is where OP says "can't figure out how to make a bootable usb on Xubuntu" and "come on you don't need to do it" could be added as a comment or a remark at the end of an answer, but... well no problem. Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 17:26
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    @AndreaLazzarotto original question, the way I personally see it, is XY problem: " I tried Xubuntu, it looks different and I want my default Ubuntu desktop back; oh, well, probably gotta reinstall". To which the acceptable response of an experienced user is "You know that Ubuntu is still Ubuntu regardless of desktop environment, right ? Just install a different desktop and don't mess with reinstalling". It also is the path of least resistance, so to speak - no need to backup files, no need to reinstall programs again and again. Sometimes best answer gives simplest solution not the rightest Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 3:25
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    @Serg cleaning up a DE (+ default programs recommended by *buntu-desktop packages) to switch to another one is no easy task. See for instance here. The OP might very well know that you can install the Unity desktop on top, but they decided to reinstall instead. It's not our role to judge their choices. :P I agree one can add it as a final remark but the core question is "how do I create a bootable USB from Xubuntu?" which is a fine question and should require an answer that addresses the "how" part, not only the "possible alternatives" part. Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 14:19
  • @AndreaLazzarotto that's just it. In my (and Serg's, apparently) opinion, the core question is actually not "how do I create a USB" but "how can I get Unity back". More importantly, perhaps, the answerer clearly read the OP and is providing what, to them, seems like a reasonable answer to it. So the answer is, in fact, trying to answer the question. It may be wrong, it may even be irrelevant but since it is clearly an attempt to answer the question, I felt it should remain. Of course, I have to. My highest voted answer is doing exactly the same thing.
    – terdon
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 14:46
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    @terdon does it attempt to answer the question or does it attempt to answer a different question? :) That's a nice philosophical question that will make me wondering for a while. :D Nevertheless I am not trying to argue here, just wanted to clarify my view. Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 14:57
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    @AndreaLazzarotto understood. And, as I said, this was basically my own, personal opinion. Your point of view is equally valid. This sort of thing can go both ways.
    – terdon
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 14:58
  • Thank you for the constructive exchange. Knowing a mod's reasoning in reviewing flags helps to cast better flags. Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 15:05
  • @AndreaLazzarotto There's no judgement of OP's decisions. What is asked in a question is what they want, but sometimes isn't what OP really needs. And it still answers the question suffiently because end goal of OP is to get Ubuntu with Unity desktop. Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 19:26
  • @Serg to be precise the OP also wants to remove XFCE but OK. Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 19:51
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    When I'm faced with issues such as this (where the OP is asking one thing but I'm convinced it's not what they really want, I try to answer A) the question asked, and B) What I think they really need.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 4:37

These are always judgment calls. Regardless of any efforts on your part or any guidelines you may come up with there will be those who agree and those who disagree. I wouldn't stress about it. As long as you're operating in good faith and using your best judgment, you are doing fine.

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