We get quite a few questions. I'd like to bang out an expected format for these questions to prevent them from melting into too localized or subjective trite.

  • Please feel free to expand where ever you see fit! Oct 12, 2011 at 21:29

2 Answers 2



Suggestions for when answering a software-recommendation question.

Be specific!

If your answer is less than a paragraph you likely haven't created a high quality answer to a software-recommendation.

A picture is worth over 9,000 words

The title says it all! Include screenshots of the software in action, a photo will typically help hook a user and encourage them to read more. It's no secret users love pictures in answers decorate your answer with 1-2 pictures of it in action and consider the quality of your post increased!

Details, Details, Details!

Consider highlighting features that are related to what the user originally requested or include use cases for this piece of software in particular. What sets it apart from every other solution? Why do you use it? The more information you can pack in the answer, without simply just copy-paste the product page, the more informative your answer becomes and the more awesome you are!

Learn more, tutorials, additional resources.

Topping off your post with a round of links to the software's tag, the homepage for the software, really good tutorials for getting started, or any other places for a user to explore further!


Ideally these answer should follow the same basic outline. Software name as an H1 with a link to apt.ubuntu.com (if applicable) with the details about that software following afterward. The following code should be sufficient:

#Software Name [![Install software-name](http://bit.ly/software-large)](http://apt.ubuntu.com/p/software-name)

Details, pictures, links.

Ensure you replace each instance of software name and software-name with the English and physical package name respectively of that software.



Tips and points related to asking for software recommendations.

Scope, Scope, Scope.

If a question is too broad it'll attract a large quantity of answers which will likely lower the overall quality of the question due to the impossibility of sifting through each. However, if the scope is too narrow the answers will only pertain to a very small audience resulting in many narrow scoped questions about similar topics and a fractured solution overall.

Narrow scope, get targeted and high quality answers.

When you embark on any question, make sure you outline what features you're looking for - or what your end goal/ideal solution would be. Simply stating "What games are available on Ubuntu?" will be too large of a scope and ultimately will be too long to assert any value from. Instead you may wish to ask "Where can I find games for Ubuntu?" to obtain a list of sites that provide gaming services compatible with Linux.

Broaden scope, help all the people!

When asking for questions like "Photoshop Alternatives?", or "What music players are there other than Banshee?" consider making your question a little broader in scope. "Graphic Manipulation Software for Ubuntu?" appeals to a larger audience and can be used as a canonical answer for other such recommendation questions. "Music Players for Ubuntu?" will also include Banshee as an answer, but it will also provide a list of additional music playing software. This alone is worth it's weight as it's a complete solution - a "generic" question that can be used as a reference point going forward.


When asking for software recommendations you're essentially prompting a poll of the community. The Stack Exchange software which Ask Ubuntu runs on has a mechanism to assist with community polling implemented as one of the features of a community wiki. Flagging the post for conversion to a Community Wiki will allow a moderator to review the request and take any necessary actions. In addition it may help to remind users that they should limit only one proposed solution per answer to make true use of a "poll".

  • I think this need a review. Gaming.SE will close those kind of questions.
    – Braiam
    Jan 3, 2014 at 23:07

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