After I flagged this canonical question: Is a clean install better than upgrading? to be locked to prevent it from being deleted after it had already received 3 delete votes, my flag was reviewed as follows:

It looks like it's not possible to delete this question anyway because other questions are closed as duplicates of this. Locking the question will prevent us from editing and updating the content.

It seems to me that upgrading has gotten a lot better in recent Ubuntu releases, so I agree that the content needs to be edited and updated. Furthermore I expect that upgrading Ubuntu will improve when the transition from Unity and Xorg to GNOME and Wayland is fully completed.

My question is what to do about the deletion votes, either do nothing or apply a hack solution like reopening this question to clear the 3 delete votes and then closing it again for being primarily opinion-based if that is what it is. It's hard to get rid of primarily opinion-based because all it takes is another fundamental change in Ubuntu to bring it back. I don't mind if this question gets closed again, but I want to make it harder to delete it.

  • I saw this too and voted to keep open. the delete votes will age away.
    – Fabby
    May 5, 2018 at 8:20
  • 1
    @Fabby close votes age away, but delete votes are immortal
    – Zanna Mod
    May 5, 2018 at 19:30

2 Answers 2


The delete votes are irrelevant at this stage. Unless all questions that were closed as duplicates of this are deleted or reopened (and if any of them are themselves dupe targets, then apply this recursively), this question cannot be deleted - and further delete votes cannot be cast either. So it's already as hard as possible. And if this is a canonical question, posts will continue to get closed as duplicates of it, so deleting this would require ongoing effort. Any further action to protect it would be effort for effectively no benefit.

Attempting to cast another delete vote on it results in this popup:

enter image description here

  • Your screenshot shows that that 3 delete votes were all cast 7 years ago before the question became frequently used as a canonical question for other duplicates of itself. I take this as a lesson to be extra careful about delete voting possible canonical questions. I don't mind waiting 7 years to see if the question became important before I decide whether or not to do anything. In this case 7 years later I don't want this question to be deleted.
    – karel
    May 5, 2018 at 10:28
  • Not 7, but 4 years: all the delete votes were cast in 2014 (see timeline: askubuntu.com/posts/5466/timeline). This protection was added in 2015: meta.stackexchange.com/a/239597/270345
    – muru
    May 5, 2018 at 10:34
  • According to the timeline all three delete votes were cast within two months after the question was closed when the question already had received 47 upvotes. Now I understand why this protection was added in 2015. A canonical question with 47 upvotes like this one had in 2014 could quickly be deleted if this protection didn't exist.
    – karel
    May 5, 2018 at 10:47
  • @karel the protection has nothing to do. The users were exercising their will to delete the question through votes. Sadly the score beat them to it. Now we have an off topic post that foments asking duplicated questions.
    – Braiam
    May 12, 2018 at 2:11
  • 1
    Not relevant, but I'm loving that dark theme. May 15, 2018 at 18:08

The canonical upgrading question got reopened and its deletion votes are cleared, so it's back to square one. Well, not quite because in the process we also got muru's answer to this Meta question which rocks.

Now is your window of opportunity to post an up-to-date answer to the canonical upgrading question because it may get closed again. If this question gets closed again, you still have an opportunity to migrate an up-to-date answer to it by answering one of its duplicate questions that is still open, and then flagging the question that you answered to be merged with its linked duplicate question if the question that you answered gets closed as a duplicate of the canonical upgrading question. If your merge question flag is accepted by moderators your answer will be posted where more users are likely to read it.

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