AskUbuntu question 1439642 is a support question from a user trying Ubuntu Pro beta.

Are Ubuntu Pro support questions on-topic per https://askubuntu.com/help/on-topic ?

Services provided by Ubuntu and Canonical

Or are Ubuntu Pro support questions off-topic as a commercial product, for which support is the seller's responsibility?

  • Although AU used to support questions up to a five year EoL, (it said so in Ubuntu Help). Canonical then changed EoL to ten years with the introduction of ESM. I raised the point we were not following our own direction and should raise our coverage to match the new official EoL. AU had a vote and came up with and changed EoL to EoSS which for Vanilla LTS is five years. My question: meta.askubuntu.com/questions/19510/… Commented Nov 8, 2022 at 11:36
  • 7 day lock on the AU question while this issue is being discussed...
    – andrew.46 Mod
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 4:35
  • 3
    Interestingly enough the often quoted document: askubuntu.com/help/on-topic is not actually a document that is set in stone with a fixed set of policies. With consensus from the Community it can be edited by the elected Moderators to reflect modern changes in Ubuntu and Ask Ubuntu. Thus, following an achieved consensus, support or no support for Ubuntu Pro can be explicitly added to the page...
    – andrew.46 Mod
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 7:03
  • 1
    I reached out to the Ubuntu Pro product manager today; he suggested opening a Discourse thread for discussion.
    – user535733
    Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 3:12
  • How does AU look to it's users if the published Help topics are not accurate and can't be trusted? Does this shade Ubuntu? If we call a question a duplicate then it should be an exact copy as the word is defined, not just similar. If the help page says a subject is on-topic, then it should actually be on-topic. I think we can do better. Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 8:58

2 Answers 2


Services provided by Ubuntu and Canonical

I think when this line was added, the thinking was that services like Launchpad, the Ubuntu package index, Ubuntu manpage repository, Ubuntu pastebin, etc. (which I'd say are part of the Ubuntu ecosystem) would become on-topic in that users could ask other users for help in using these services. And that remains true.

However, we never could actually do anything to fix problems that arose with these services (except in so far as that we could submit patches to the public source code of the manpage repository and things like that). So if someone posted a question about getting an HTTP error on doing a normal thing on LP, what's the point of doing that on AU? Those should be closed and the asker should raise a bug report.

In that spirit, I'd think questions on how to use Ubuntu Pro (or Ubuntu Advantage or whatever it is called) would be on topic. But that's about it. If users run into problems, realistically there's not much we can do to help.

More to the point, this service is in beta. I think that label carries with it the expectation and understanding that there will be problems, problems that should be reported to the developers who can fix them. I think this is one of those cases and I would vote to close it in that respect. OP has followed the instructions given in the website, the error message talks about a package that does not exist in packages.ubuntu.com, so whatever it is looks like a problem that only Canonical can fix. Hence this should be reported as a bug, or if a support contract is available, raised as a support ticket.

  • 1
    I think this boils down to what we mean by "support" - "support" as in "help or guidance in doing something" would be something we could do, but "support" as in "this shit is broken, fix it" is not something we can do.
    – muru
    Commented Nov 8, 2022 at 11:41
  • 1
    Related from the help center: Can I support my product on this site?
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Nov 11, 2022 at 17:44

NOTE: This is my personal opinion, not my opinion as a site moderator.

Ubuntu Pro is, in part, a rebrand of "Ubuntu Advantage" - while Ubuntu Pro itself remains in Beta for esm-apps, its core functionality is the same as Ubuntu Advantage.

General questions about enabling Ubuntu Pro, etc. are things we can help with. However, when a package is present in esm-infra or esm-apps (which Pro enables), it's outside our purview to support.

"How do I use/get/enable Ubuntu Pro?" is something we can answer. Issues with the offering from Canonical (package conflicts, etc.) are not something we can help with or fix, and should be offtopic because we can't do anything about it.

Note that this is just my opinion personally, not my opinion as a moderator.

  • 4
    May I ask what your opinion as a moderator is? Because the question that was asked by user535733 regards the practical aspect of the subject, i.e. do we support Ubuntu Pro and, if yes, to what extent? So your opinion as a moderator is also valuable. Commented Nov 9, 2022 at 13:01

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