Since it has been suggested on the comments to this question on reading BTRFS on Windows that if we wanted to discuss if its on topic, I will.

In many cases, the decision on what site's the best depends on who can best answer it. While its a linux file system created on an ubuntu system, your file system driver will likely not care. Ubuntu has no real difference as far as any distro is concerned. I also do note that windows drivers have some quirks, and someone who is used to running windows would know better who has signed drivers and why someone would want those for example.

I believe that there's a better chance of finding someone who knows the answer, since SU has both windows users who want to access a linux file system, and linux users who are occasionally forced to use windows, than a linux centric site, and the answer is really about windows software which was not developed with or for ubuntu. As such I think its not a great fit here.

  • Which place is best is not really the right thing to ask. We don't close questions just because they'd be better somewhere else. We close (and sometimes also migrate) questions that are off-topic here. If a question asks something that our community is very poorly suited to answering, then the presence of another community that's well-suited to answering it might be a factor that helps us decide it's off-topic. So we might close/migrate in this situation. But not merely because it's better elsewhere. Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 12:02
  • 1
    Close no, but it might have worked better asked there in the first place. I wouldn't want it closed cause its better on SU, I asked this mainly cause someone mentioned it was off topic, but was too busy to post a real meta post. I think its clearly off topic but the question(s) may have merit elsewhere. Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 12:05

3 Answers 3


I asked the question today because I googled for "btrfs windows" because I ran into this problem. The very first hit on google was the existing question:

At the time it included btrfs. But the answers made no sense as they only dealt with ext4 and not btrfs (with over 13k views!), so I decided to split it into a new "How do I read ext4 in windows" question. Since it was the top hit in google already I figured it would be best to keep it on the site but to split it.

  • Hey awesome yeah. Askubuntu #1. Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 18:05

Reading the question again it shows it is not an Ubuntu question. Is not even a question that has an issue in Linux. The question is about a tool in Windows that can help in reading a btrfs filesystem. The problem therefore is a Windows issue and the solution would be a Windows app that offers the solution.

If it said "I have a Windows partitioned in X filesystem, how can I read it in Ubuntu" then it would be an Ubuntu/Linux issue.

For the precedent shown by foss - How to read ext4 partitions in Windows? that too is not an Ubuntu question. Same thing, Windows issue that is solved with a Windows app.

I actually vote for close/migrate since the issue is not in Ubuntu and if an answer was given, it would involve solving a Windows issue.

My confusion was that it was Jorge the OP.

With questions like this, they are confusing because it can be an Ubuntu problem or something outside of it. In both cases above, neither question should be in AU because they are not an Ubuntu issue so much as a "How to make Windows do something issue". This can be extended to a point where we will start seeing questions like:

  • "What Windows editors can I use to modify Ubuntu file in an Ext4 partition"
  • "How to save photoshop file to an Ubuntu partition"
  • "How to run X antivirus on an Btrfs partition"
  • "Can I clean my Ubuntu partition from within Windows using Spybot Search and Destroy"

So my vote again would go to moving them to another, more correctly related site.


I really don't want to break an old wound open afresh, especially now that it seems to have been forgotten, but Eliah was calling for more opinions, so here you go. (Not to mention that fact that there really aren't many people here who have given an opinion.)

Just because one person asks an off-topic question doesn't mean similar questions belong here, but that's exactly what the other arguments are saying. Just because that one Windows question wasn't closed we can all start asking Windows questions?

Sweet, I've got some all lined up...


So the question is first on Google... In my opinion thats even more reason to not continue the question on this site. It leads people to believe that Windows questions are on-topic here. Would we accept a questions like:

  • "How do I SSH to Ubuntu from Windows"
  • "How do I send files from Windows to Ubuntu over my LAN"
  • "How do I compile Unity for Windows" (bad example, I know, I know, but you get the point) ??

If we don't aren't going to accept those we can't accept any others. If we want to accept this question but not the others we need to come up with a good reason, which we currently don't have.

Migrate the question to Super User and link it to the one question here, or maybe migrate the whole of them and be done with it.

If we support this one question we'll have to support others, which I understand we don't want to do.

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