We get a lot of questions about Linux Mint, Kali Linux, Pop OS, and other distributions. Most likely, new users do not read all the rules in the help center before asking their first question.

Can we put up a notice in the Ask Question page that those are off topic and will be closed?

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It would save a lot of time of the moderators and others who close vote.

It does not necessarily have to be intelligent, and can be shown to all new users.

As mentioned in the comments we would need SE staffs' approval to do so. How do we let them know?

Edit: Any updates? We are getting a lot of Kali Linux and Pop OS questions everyday. Do we have "enough community support" for this question to alert the SE staff?

  • 1
    This question discusses about a script that would detect keywords, which may result in a lot of false positives (i.e. more work for moderators). I suggest we show this to all new users. Maybe we can also show to not so new users if these keywords are detected, but we won't let any AI send it to review queue. Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 6:38
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    We already have statements in the Help Center about this - users who don't read the help center and the initial "welcome" pages are ultimately destined for closure in those cases. Just saying.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 15:17
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    @ThomasWard The Help Center informs about this, but I doubt that many new users would spend time reading that info. They just want to ask a question and get an answer for their problem as fast as possible (I'm not accusing them for that). Indeed their question about a not supported OS will get closed sooner or later, but many times quite an effort is required for a question to be closed, especially when not many reviewers are around (as it is recently). Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 17:35
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    Archiman's proposal could help actively direct the users asking about a not supported OS to the right Stack Exchange community before they ask the question. This could reduce the number of questions that would need to get closed for this reason and would also let reviewers focus on the rest of the questions in the Close Votes queue. Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 17:35
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    Just FYI, the Ask Question page cannot be modified by mods and thus needs SE staffs' approval to update it //cc @BeastOfCaerbannog
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 18:18
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    @ArchismanPanigrahi AFAIK, if there is enough community support for your feature request, the moderators can add the "status-review" tag and the SE staff might respond. More information can be found here: meta.stackexchange.com/q/348642 Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 17:12
  • Simply closing the requests with one of the pre-stored reasons is easy and fun.
    – waltinator
    Commented Feb 12, 2021 at 3:40
  • 1
    @waltinator I am alarmed at your idea of fun... and yet I cannot stop smiling.
    – Nate T
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 1:51
  • Simply matching keywords "Kali", "PopOS" will preclude questions like "PopOS has a feature I like, is there a Ubuntu alternative?"
    – waltinator
    Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 0:59
  • @waltinator I am suggesting to show a warning message like "questions related to PopOS, unless explicitly about Ubuntu, are off topic". Of course the users should still be allowed to post any question regardless of the keywords. Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 5:00

1 Answer 1


The "Step 1: Draft your question" box on the right sidebar has been updated and now looks like this:

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