I'm about to ask a question on the main site, but after seeing similar questions and how they were treated, I decide to come to Meta first.

The proposed question is about my Ubuntu installation randomly freezing. There are quite a bunch of past questions about similar situations, offering all sorts of tips and solutions, some of which worked for others, but not for me. However, in the process of research, I came across this question that was closed because:

"This describes a problem that can't be reproduced that seemingly went away on its own or was only relevant to a very specific period of time. It's off-topic as it's unlikely to help future readers."

Additionally, when I go to the ask question page and tried to add a "freeze" tag, immediately I noticed the description:

Do not use. This tag is in process of removal. If your software is freezing then you likely need to file a bug, as freeze problems are usually off topic here and will likely be closed.

How come? Even though freezing phenomena are often hard to track down, they do happen and cause major annoyance, therefore I come here and seek assistance. Can I assume that if I post one such question it will be closed, even if I did prior research (i.e. what didn't work) and state those clearly in the question?

1 Answer 1


Such questions are not necessarily off-topic, but freezes are very likely to be caused by bugs and bug reports are off-topic. That's the rationale behind the usage guidance for the tag as I understand it anyway.

With hardware information, your question might be answerable, either by someone who knows the hardware and its quirks, or if the freezes are known to occur for a specific reason, and a workaround or fix for the problem is known. In the latter case, the question is likely to be closed as a duplicate of a similar one.

If it's not a known, specific issue, your question is likely to be closed as a duplicate of

What should I do when Ubuntu Freezes?

Or as too broad (since the possible reasons for the freezing are many, especially without hardware information), or as off-topic for being a "bug report".

I do not want to discourage you from posting a question, but I would advise you to search (using a search engine, the site search is... a work in progress) for similar questions, Ubuntu Forum threads, and bug reports on Launchpad and elsewhere before posting a question, and if you do decide to post, be sure to include hardware information (your device make and model, CPU, RAM, graphics driver, etc) and a complete list of what you have tried and exactly how it failed.

  • I expect people to point me to that question... However, I already ran through most of the answers with my limited ability and, with the exception of cstate (still being verified), none were of help.
    – Andy Yan
    Mar 7, 2017 at 8:38
  • The reason I come to Meta first is that, despite doing my hours-worth or research on this site and the search engine, I can't be confident that 1) I have covered everything I can possibly find and 2) I can offer all info needed to help people look into my instance of the question. I will take the last part of your answer into consideration, and if the cstate tweak ended up of no help either I'd post my question with care.
    – Andy Yan
    Mar 7, 2017 at 8:39
  • @AndyYan hence my last paragraph, you need to say exactly what you tried and how it failed. But, are you saying with these comments, that my answer is not helpful and doesn't answer your question? Am I missing the point?
    – Zanna Mod
    Mar 7, 2017 at 8:44
  • Huh? Nope, instead I should thank you for reinforcing my idea of doing proper research and not just turning me away from asking a possible duplicate question. Maybe as a non-native speaker it's hard to get my ideas across clearly... I'd still wait for more voices from the community though, as this is a community I'm new to.
    – Andy Yan
    Mar 7, 2017 at 8:49
  • @AndyYan oh, good to hear that :)
    – Zanna Mod
    Mar 7, 2017 at 8:55
  • 1
    @AndyYan, this advice is spot on (but Iwould not expect anything else from Zanna :-))
    – guntbert
    Mar 7, 2017 at 21:33

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