Take this question: What are some typical uses of hard links?

I found the exact same question in the Unix&Linux Stack Exchange site: Why do hard links exists?

Should I post an answer with a link to this question? If I do, it gets converted automatically to a comment.

Normally, we would discourage short answers with just a link. However, considering that the link is pointing to another Stack Exchange website, where answers can be edited and voted on, surely it's OK?

I can't flag the question as a duplicate, because the duplicate isn't on Ask Ubuntu.

  • "because the duplicate isn't on AskUbuntu" does that not tell you it is not considered a dupe and therefor a valid question?
    – Rinzwind
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 13:15
  • So should I really copy and paste the answers from U&L, crediting the source?
    – Flimm
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 13:17
  • I already did that for you somewhat ;)
    – Rinzwind
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 13:18

2 Answers 2


Answer as you normally would (with the "full" answer text), use the U&L as source.

Just linking to it negates the use of the question as a Q&A article and thus is discouraged - even in this scenario. Stick to comments if you don't want to create a dupe, answer "properly" if you want it as an actual answer.

  • 1
    Is creating a dupe an option though? I would love to flag the question as a dupe of one in U&L.
    – Flimm
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 12:50
  • 1
    SE does not allow to mark dupes across different SE sites.
    – saji89
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 10:40

I'm just going to answer your question with a link to the best answer of an identical question: http://meta.askubuntu.com/a/1766/95681

Not really. :P
Basically, you need to answer their question, then cite the source. The important thing is that your answer needs to answer their question. Citing sources is recommended (1, it's a good practice; and 2, the user might need more detail than you provided,) but, when answering their question, answer their question.

If you see a link-only answer, then you basically have 2 options:

  1. Downvote theirs, and post your own answer. (If you don't know anything about the question, look at the link that was posted. Then, you can sound like an expert while actually previously knowing nothing and gaining from the very answer that you downvoted. >:)
  2. Suggest an edit to theirs.

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