We're getting an influx of questions of people having problems that are best served by them reporting bugs. We should use the information for this question to allow us to close questions as bug reports (or add it as an option to an existing reason).

For bonus points it would be neat if we could paste in the URL to the bug number so that it could say "This question was closed by fluteflute as actually Bug #1" or whatever.

Here's an example.

  • Do you have some examples?
    – moberley
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 2:10
  • Note that I think that questions like mine: askubuntu.com/q/5615/1418 should be really allowed. This is a good place to tell each other a workaround.
    – Peter Smit
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 5:46
  • Could you provide the reasoning or evidence for "...[closing questions on] problems that are best served by them reporting bugs"? I find the opposite is true. That is, the Ask Ubuntu folks are very helpful; while the bug tracker sucks at getting help or fixing problems.
    – user207039
    Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 2:57
  • Using your example of Ubuntu 10.10 upgrade results in blank screen after login... The bug remained in Ubuntu 10.10 (look at all the problems after the fix was committed). However, useful work arounds were provided by the Ask Ubuntu community.
    – user207039
    Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 3:09
  • I would suggest that if there's an influx of problems that are best served by reporting them as bugs that the solution to this problem is to enhance askubuntu.
    – Thufir
    Commented Oct 4, 2014 at 2:20

2 Answers 2


There are a lot of reasons one might vote to close a post. We've actually scaled back on list of close reasons because it became to daunting for the average user to choose from a long, detailed list.

Use the built-in tools

I would suggest closing bug reports as "Off Topic" (because that's what they are) and use the question-comments to provide the bug report URLs and to instruct the user as to the proper procedure for reporting bugs. That will quickly become part of the community routine (to close bug reports and add the comments) and soon everyone will be following suit.

Don't forget message editing/wiki

The community can adopt whatever conventions you choose to help guide bug-report posts. When a post is closed as an off-topic bug report, you can add whatever you feel would be helpful to the top of the post. For example:

This question was closed by fluteflute as actually Bug #1.

Bug reports are off-topic for this forum. The Ubuntu Wiki has a very thorough guide on how to report bugs.

Thank you.

Every time you do that, you are leaving a "sign post" for everyone to see, instructing them how to proceed in the future. Soon it will become the community convention and everyone will be pitching in to keep the site clean and helping new users along the way.

There are hundreds of little conventions that have been adopted this way. You don't notice them because they just seem second nature once everyone starts following along.


Hmm... I like this idea a lot in theory, but we should be careful with it practice. I'm afraid of bouncing users around too much. The user is likely asking the question because they don't know if it is a bug or a problem with their own set up. We need to make it clear to them why it is a bug.

Also, closing the question shouldn't be the first reaction. Often times, there are existing work-arounds for known bugs. This information is valuable, and it should be included as an answer. This is especially true as stackexchange sites end up pretty high in Google searches.

I think there should probably be at least some minimal effort to see if the bug has aready been reported.

  • 2
    I of course agree since that all make sense. I'm just conscious of the first few days of askubuntu.com turning into a bug tracker. Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 17:41
  • Oh I don't doubt your intentions. I just felt like this was worth saying out loud. Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 17:45
  • I would go so far as to say that is a bug with launchpad, or askubuntu, perhaps. If users tend to report bugs in askubuntu, then the response shouldn't be, IMHO, to bounce users around, but rather work with that and integrate better with bug reports.
    – Thufir
    Commented Oct 4, 2014 at 2:22

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