I suppose that this post is a bit of a constructive criticism. I've been using Ubuntu for about a year now and every time I have a question, I find a post, I go to ask for more detail and I'm blocked because I don't have 50 reputation.

You can post a new question but then you're told its too similar to another post.

Any suggestions for how to engage - do I post my questions on other posts in the form of an answer?

  • By "asking a question" do you mean ask a question to clarify something or get information from a user about something they asked or an answer they wrote? That's called "commenting to get more information from the original poster", not "asking a new question". If so, then the duplicate post Karel linked to is valid. Otherwise, we'll need more clarification on what exactly you're asking. (I'm still posting an answer nonetheless to address certain points of your question)
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 17:11
  • Thomas, I can answer this question, I guess because I created the question. But when I am reading other's answers, I am unable to comment on them. If someone asks question A, and someone else gives answer B, and I don't understand question B, there is no way for me to ask for more detail. All I can do is to start a new question which will be shut down as a duplicate. So I'm wondering how do I comment (ask for additional detail) if I can't comment.
    – 76767676
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 21:11
  • Participate elsewhere in the site to gain reputation. Once you have the reputation points, you can ask people comments. No way around that unfortunately. Related: meta.askubuntu.com/questions/716/…
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Aug 11, 2018 at 0:21
  • It is very much a catch-22 situation. Most of the issues that I come up to, I am able to solve by reading older posts. The idea that one must "participate" to be able to learn is very exclusive and blocks new folks. It is a very exclusive mindset that blocks (scares away) many new users. Is there another online resource (forum) wherein one can ask questions without a high reputation? I have not found it. I have no need to gain more reputation except to ask questions - waste time to be able to ask - seems quite illogical to me. ah well...
    – 76767676
    Commented Aug 11, 2018 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


do I post my questions on other posts in the form of an answer?

Absolutely not.

Posting questions (or comments) as answers to existing posts will get them deleted as "Not an Answer", and if you do this enough and get enough posts flagged/deleted you will end up getting autobanned from posting answers by the system until you can show a certain amount of positive contributions (not readily known by the system, so I can't give any further insights here).

Answers should be reserved for answers to the original question being asked, not for 'comments' on other posts or the question itself.

I find a post, I go to ask for more detail and I'm blocked because I don't have 50 reputation.

By this, you mean "Ask for clarification from a poster". This is called commenting on a post. And this requires 50 reputation points.

You can post a new question but then you're told its too similar to another post.

You can only post a new question similar to but different from the original question if the question is in fact the same exact problem but the answers did not work, or in the case where you can justify that your question is not the identical question already asked elsewhere.

The problem you have is you want to get clarification from the poster of either the question or one of the answers. You cannot do this without 50 reputation points.

This requirement is explained more here: Why are you only allowed to comment with 50 rep?

  • Unfortunately for the OP this is true. "Unfortunately" because I think someone asking this question in such a nice way and without any rant (we've seen others here) should really be allowed to post comments. And I don't expect this particular OP to post dumb comments. But that's the current policy and we all had to deal with it until we reached that 50rep barrier.
    – PerlDuck
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 17:25
  • When someone posts an 'answer' really intended as a comment (only by of insufficient rep, isn't it more kind and in the true spirit of this place for someone to convert it to a comment and remove the 'answer'? It probably relies on moderator privileges but isn't that in the best interests of the site rather than just delete it if it clearly isn't an answer as it might well add something to the original post?
    – graham
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 17:46
  • I read the link above, "why are you only allowed to comment with 50 rep," and it seems that there are two themes: 1. block spam (there are much easier ways) - I don't buy it. 2. To "train" new members to "toe the line" on the forum rules. Unfortunately, most folks don't last that long. They become frustrated and return to windows - I almost have a half dozen times and a quick google search will reveal many more. Blocking a learner from asking follow on questions is counter-productive to user growth.
    – 76767676
    Commented Aug 11, 2018 at 11:29

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