This is something which have me concerned sometime now. I've seen a bunch of "Will Ubuntu work in X?" things that most of the time will end in "why you don't try?" kind of answers, and generate several answers. Rizwind comment warp it quite nicely:

Your question is worded in such a way that people will turn away from it. It assumes 1. someone has a new MacBook. 2. someone wants Ubuntu on it 3. someone is registered here and 4. is willing to post all that went wrong with their installation. Question have a lot more traction when you run into problems trying to install Ubuntu and ask about those problems. The problems you run into do not need to be because of using a Mac so might have a wider audience ;)

Such questions are impossible to track down unless you have a similar hardware/software and will be useful to a small (very) audience. Those type of question itch me to close them for:

  1. Too broad: There are several things that can go wrong for one person that will not necessarily go wrong to other. A focus on specific problems you have found could be more efficient.
  2. Opinion based: not all everyone have the "exactly same" hardware combination even when they use the same model. The bug controllers of the linux kernel know this. It will incite answers like: it's fantastic in my system or, don't do it, it sucks. Those question that generate those answers is no-good.
  3. I had a third reason, but somehow I forgot it (remember to take notes of ideas...)

Well, that's it. We could get thousands of question asking if Ubuntu can or not do this and that, in this or that way, without a real problem at hand.

I know I can just ignore those kind of question, but hey! tags doesn't help me, to move it out of the way, since those questions get tagged with anything.


1 Answer 1


I think your question is mostly a duplicate of: http://meta.askubuntu.com/questions/3053/what-are-common-canonical-questions-for-our-site

However, in the case of a user asking an unanswerable question, the correct thing would be to point them to a question about how to find out the info they need to make their question better, for example: I have a hardware detection problem, what logs do I need to look into?

  • 1
    Generally speaking, duplicates on meta are irrelevant. We use them for [support] and [feature-request] questions (because time usually isn't a factor for them), but [discussion] questions usually serve more as a PSA/call to action kind of thing, so bringing that up frequently and with fresh eyes isn't a bad idea. Instead of duplicating, we just leave a "Related:" link instead. :)
    – user98085
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 12:55
  • @FEichinger Interesting theory, and I guess it makes sense to apply to AU, however, it doesn't seem to be practiced on meta.stackoverflow.com
    – virtualxtc
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 13:02
  • 2
    Well, MSO is different. For one, they can use bounties to bump questions, which is a really big help. That said, I can't say I've noticed them actually closing PSA/call-to-action style questions as duplicates of much older questions - which might just be because they usually don't get such questions. SO doesn't have too many recurring problems (the huge close queue on SO is pretty much the only thing I can think of) that aren't addressed with [feature-request]s or [faq]s.
    – user98085
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 13:07
  • +1 I didn't realize you can't bounty meta AU
    – virtualxtc
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 13:17

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