Where X == Distribution && Y == System/Hardware/Device

More and more frequently questions are appearing requesting feedback from users using such and such flavor of Ubuntu on such and such platform. Should these, "almost-discussion-like" questions be allowed? If so what guidelines should be followed so we don't have 5 topics regarding Dell XPS11, XPS12, XPS13, and XPS14? If not what course of action should be taken against such topics?

Ubuntu on Shuttle XS35
Ubuntu on Thinkpad Edge 11
Is a Dell Inspiron 13z compatible with Ubuntu 10.10 ? [closed]
Is HP Pavillion DV6-3011SO supported by Ubuntu? [closed]

3 Answers 3


The "Is this a good laptop for Ubuntu" questions are definitely offtopic I think unless someone is asking for a specific issue along the lines of "I am interested in a Dell Latitude X123 but it has this specific wireless card and all the information on the internet seems to indicate that it's problematic, does anyone know if this is supported in Ubuntu?" or something like that.

As far as the "sort of wiki" questions I'm not so sure. I don't think for example that the Thinkpad Edge thread will end up being as thorough and as maintained as thinkwiki or attract as many experts as say the thinkpad-linux mailing list.

On the other hand from my experience on working with the Ubuntu wiki for my current laptop is that people tend to not update wiki documentation even though they can. I've seen a few questions where people here link to the wiki docs and then in their answer say "the wiki is out of date so do this instead" but then no one goes and fixes the wiki!

I personally would love to have my laptop page be on Ask instead because the user experience is so much faster/better (the Ubuntu wiki is slow and painful to use). However I am hesitant to do so because we should really be improving the official documentation -- which means the wiki.

However people tend to make HOWTO threads on their laptops anyway regardless of what the official docs say so I figure you might as well use better tools.

I think we should watch the thinkpad edge and shuttle threads over the next few weeks to see if they can be useful -- if they end up awesome then we should allow them, if they end up junk then we can drop it.



A Question should contain one question, not a list of questions like this:

Known problems:

  1. No wifi-driver, solution: answer
  2. Fan is load, even though it's on auto. No solution. Thinkfan is a possible solution, but correction values for sensors should be supplied (mapping sensors to specific areas). Also, one sensor is between -100C and +100C - maybe some kind of deactivation would help.

Questions that are related should be grouped using tags, not grouped together by all of them being asked in the same post. These "questions" are also all Community Wiki's, there are good answers on that page, why shouldn't the answerer be given reputation? I don't think AskUbuntu should try to be wiki.ubuntu.com.


Each piece of hardware is generally very specific and the chance of someone else being able to help is ever so slim, such questions could be closed as "too localised". The official description for closing questions like this is:

This question would only be relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

Despite that Ubuntu on Thinkpad Edge 11 does appear to be managing to be (to some extent) productive - but I would agree with DoR that there is already the Wiki, various hardware databases and the forums - these aren't really Questions and hence don't belong on Ask Ubuntu.

I don't think Ask Ubuntu is the right place for a "hardware database", there are other Ubuntu community resources that already seek to do this, and can do so just as well, if not in a better way, than we can here.

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