Is it OK to ask questions like "what is the etymology of hdparm command name?"?

General topic matches https://askubuntu.com/help/on-topic ("Using and administering official Ubuntu flavors", "Running third-party applications", "Development on Ubuntu").

It is not explicitly rejected by https://askubuntu.com/help/dont-ask

Main problem that I see is that while for some commands there may be some obviously correct answer for others the best answers is "it appears to be unclear" and it is impossible to guess it before asking (except cases of self-answered questions).

  • @MarkKirby Make that an answer and I'll upvote it. @ OP: Thanks for asking here first, you're doing it right!
    – dessert
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 13:20
  • 2
    You better edit this question with a link to U+L if you do ask it :-D
    – Rinzwind
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 13:46
  • Perhaps the question would be more appropriate for Unix & Linux SE. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 4:22

1 Answer 1


Good question and I do think people would like your question, however, the issue would be that the history of commands goes back way further than Ubuntu and as the question is not Ubuntu-centric it would likely be off topic here.

Having said that, I think it might be on topic at http://unix.stackexchange.com

  • 1
    Good point, unix.stackexchange.com/search?q=etymology has some questions and they have unix.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/history tag. Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 17:11
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    @MateuszKonieczny yes but it will always depend on the question. For instance, don't ask about what "hdparm" means since it's a safe bet it just means "hard disk parameters". Asking about the history of the command is more likely to be well received on U&L. Things like when it appeared, how standard it is across different *nix systems etc.
    – terdon
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 23:50

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