The description of this site's topic in the FAQ is not very informative:

Ask Ubuntu is a Q&A site designed to make it easy for users to get answers to Ubuntu-related questions. It's also a place for users to share their knowledge about the Ubuntu Platform.

Here are a few ways in which the site FAQ could be improved:

  • Expand “Q&A” to “questions and answers”. Keep it human, not geeky.
  • Explain where Ubuntu stops. Are alpha releases on-topic? Are out-of-support releases on-topic? Are “alternative” releases (Kubuntu and co) are on-topic? Are derivatives (Mint and co) are on-topic? Are issues with applications in universe/multiverse on-topic? Are issues with third-party applications running on Ubuntu are on-topic?
    (I suggest refering to Unix & Linux for questions that are off-topic.)
  • Remove the paragraph on privileges: they're explained below anyway.
  • Add a short note with a link to the faq tag on Meta, something like

    If your question is not answered here, check our community FAQ, and more generally our meta-discussion site.

  • 2
    Your second bullet is dead on, nice idea. Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 17:17

2 Answers 2


Here's my stab at an improved version of the moderator-editable part of the FAQ (between “What kind of questions can I ask here?” and “Please look around …”). I don't follow AU very closely so I hope I haven't misreported any policy. Feel free to edit this answer to improve on this text.

Ask Ubuntu is a questions and answers site for Ubuntu-related questions. It's also a place to share knowledge about Ubuntu.

Please follow the Ubuntu Code of Conduct, Ubuntu Leadership Code of Conduct, and this FAQ when participating in this community.

Video tutorials about how to use the site are available.

Please note that:

If you have a question about the site that is not answered in this FAQ, check our community-maintained FAQ, and more generally our meta-discussion site.

(alternate version of the on/off-topic list arranged into two separate lists, like most SE sites)

We welcome questions about:

  • using and administering Ubuntu, including official Ubuntu derivatives;
  • running third-party applications on Ubuntu;
  • development on Ubuntu.

This is not the right place for:

  • I like it! The only problem I can see is that it's rather long. Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 15:48
  • 1
    @StefanoPalazzo I've squeezed out some unnecessary wordiness. I prefer the single-list version for the on/off-topic list, but I've also included a two-list version following the format of most SE sites' FAQ. Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 20:28

(Here's my stab at it, making CW so people can polish)

I do fear that it's already too wordy and no one will read it and I'm only making it worse, heh.

What kind of questions should I not ask here?

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page. Avoid asking questions that:

  • Are really bug reports. A "bug" is a flaw in the software that ships in Ubuntu. Ubuntu uses a bug tracker called Launchpad for bug reports. Usually the best thing to do is to report this bug in the right place so someone can look at it.
  • While questions about official Ubuntu derivatives are ontopic here, third party derivatives that are not supported by Ubuntu itself (like Linux Mint) are offtopic here, however you can ask our friends at the Unix and Linux Stack Exchange.
  • Questions about problems with the next unreleased development version of Ubuntu are offtopic here, follow these instructions to report your problem.

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. (You are more than welcome to have such discussions in our real time web chat or the Ubuntu Forums or IRC.) However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you are probably OK.

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”
  • your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use ______ for ______, what do you use?”
  • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”
  • we are being asked an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if ______ happened?” it is a rant disguised as a question: “______ sucks, am I right?”

(The above section was adapted from MetaFilter’s FAQ. For more detail, see six guidelines for great subjective questions.)

If your question is not answered here, check our community FAQ, and more generally our meta-discussion site.

  • You can't edit the “What kind of questions should I not ask here” part, only the first section (for now). Commented Jul 31, 2011 at 21:32

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