As Kaz Wolfe points out in his answer it's possible your question was downvoted for exhibiting a "lack of research", but I have some words to say about that.
Downvoting, in my view, is not personal, and should never be punitive. Voting should be about the post in its current state or the state it will be in after I've improved it by editing if it is salvageable. Likewise, upvoting is not a reward.
Taking this view of voting as impersonal, why should we downvote a question for "lack of research"?
I take issue with the highly subjective concept of "lack of research". When you know nothing about a topic, research is extremely difficult as you don't have existing knowledge in which to integrate new knowledge. Moreover, some "reseach" is unhelpful: we have countless questions that say "I scoured the internet and didn't find anything" "I read existing answers and nothing worked" - Depending on the case I remove these statements because they are useless to answerers. If the asker does not tell us exactly what they have tried and exactly how it failed, the fact that they wasted some time searching is irrelevant to the question.
Yes, "research" (which could be so many things) might be irrelevant to the question! And we don't vote on irrelevant stuff, we just edit it out.
A good question, in my opinion, is three things: on-topic, answerable in our format, and useful to others. It doesn't matter if the question is simple, if the answer is obvious to everyone who's read the first 10 pages of The Linux Command Line.
As far as I know we have inherited the downvote message from Stack Overflow, and it's less relevant to us because we're helping end users, who may often be quite reasonably clueless. That's not the case for developers.
It's my belief that downvoting for "lack of research" is proposed (by the developers of Stack Exchange) for these reasons:
- To avoid excessive duplication of content
- To prevent people ("help vampires") from exploiting others by asking to be spoonfed every little thing instead of trying to learn some basics themselves (more relevant to developers than to end users)
I upvote questions that add value to the site by making it more useful to visitors present and future; I don't worry about how much effort the asker seems to have put into it. I downvote questions that I think are not useful and/or not answerable.
Of course, people vote as they like. But I don't think it would make much difference to the usefulness of your question if you documented at great length your own attempts to find a solution. I don't know why your question was downvoted, but at first glance I felt it was rather similar to other posts and unlikely to be widely applicable. On closer inspection I think your question is a useful one. I am going to upvote it and ask for clarification.