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I'm generally pretty self-sufficient, and the Ask Ubuntu database is pretty full. So I can generally find the answers to the questions that I'm looking for. However, I would still like to contribute, but since my reputation is 1, I'm barred from doing much more than ask a question. It seems silly to be forced to generate a question if I can find the info that I need just to build my reputation so that I can then contribute.

Just to clarify, the system requires a 5 reputation to answer a question. I have tried adding clarification to other's posts, but apparently it was rejected or never approved as I still remain at 1 for reputation. I think what's most frustrating is that it's not clear how to gain this currency. This is most infuriating for upvoting as I would like to give thanks to someone who provided an answer that I used, but I'm unable to do so. I realize that you're trying to prevent bots from creating SPAM and the like, but as a human I'm feeling like a false positive.

marked as duplicate by Braiam, Warren Hill, Richard, Lucio, Radu Rădeanu Apr 21 '14 at 14:13

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

migrated from askubuntu.com Mar 27 '14 at 14:59

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  • 8
    Have you considered answering the questions others have? – Elliott Frisch Mar 27 '14 at 14:25
  • To get points, answer the questions you can, and if it helps the person they will vote for you and give you points. That's how it works here, we dont buy points at the bank – Tasos Mar 27 '14 at 14:50
  • Hi Elliott and Tasos, The response to your answer comes quickly for me. I just need to scroll to the bottom of any unanswered question and this is what I find: You must have at least 5 reputation on Ask Ubuntu to answer a question. – syserss Mar 27 '14 at 17:53
  • You only have to ask one question that gets one upvote to cross that threshold. Have you run in to a problem that isn't documented on site and found your own answer? Great. Ask that question and answer it yourself after you get one upvote. – RobotHumans Mar 29 '14 at 6:46

I don't understand what the problem is. You can get reputation when people upvote your posts. These posts can be

  1. Questions: each upvote will gain you 5 rep.

  2. Answers: each upvote will gain you 10 rep.

So, the better way to gain reputation is to answer existing questions. There are new ones coming in every day, why don't you simply go and answer them? If your answers are good, people will upvote and you will get the reputation you covet.

While the reputation system does indeed impose restrictions on new users, there is no restriction on posting new content, neither questions nor answers. As explained here:

What is asking and answering questions? The most basic privilege of all -- the right to ask a question, and the right to contribute an answer. This is generally available to everyone, regardless of reputation level.

So, go forth and answer!

It is true that you need 5 rep to answer here, on http://meta.askubuntu.com.

enter image description here

This is not the case for the main site, http://askubuntu.com and, anyway, answering here does not gain you reputation, so that's not what you're after. The Meta is where we discuss issues about the main site, not where we post and answer questions about Ubuntu.

  • Hi Terdon, The response to your answer comes quickly for me. I just need to scroll to the bottom of any unanswered question and this is what I find: You must have at least 5 reputation on Ask Ubuntu to answer a question. – syserss Mar 27 '14 at 17:53
  • @syserss that is only for [meta], answering here does not gain you any reputation anyway, this is a place for discussing the main site, Ask Ubuntu. You can answer on the main site with no reputation. – terdon Mar 27 '14 at 18:02
  • BTW, you can also edit Q/A and improve them. – Braiam Mar 28 '14 at 0:09

Existing questions and answers do exist, but technical things always going out of date, you also earn reputation from submitting fixes to existing posts. You won't see them right away as they'll go into the review queue, but it's a good way to help!

Just click on "Improve this post". We have 14.04 coming and a bunch of stuff will need to be updated, so the time is ripe for some good edits!


I am not someone to ask a lot of questions. Before I do I first google my problem and 99 out of 100 times I'll find something to solve it or to get me thinking about doing something to to solve it.

My reputation comes from answering. Several of my high upvoted answers are to basic questions.

My idea of answering: answer it as thoroughly and in such a way others are discouraged to answer and the rep will flow to you.


If you check my profile on the main site you will see that I have only asked one question. Its not all about asking questions as others have pointed out.

A lot of questions and answers are badly written and you can earn some reputation by improving these. In some cases this can be a simple case of correcting grammar mistakes, spelling and punctuation. I have seen questions and answers with no punctuation and all written in one case either all capitals or all lower case. In other cases you may be able to add some relevant background.

For example I've seen questions asking:

Is there a Linux equivalent for insert program here and how can I install it?

You can improve that question by providing a summary of what that program is and providing a link as somebody here may be using something suitable but may never of heard of the Windows program.

You can't get all of your reputation through suggested edits however and there is a limit.

The other thing you can do is Answer questions; even if they already have answers. If you have a better one: either technically or a better way to explain it then provide your own answer.

  • Hi Warren, how did you get past the requirement of a 5 reputation to answer any question. I just need to scroll to the bottom of any unanswered question and this is what I find: You must have at least 5 reputation on Ask Ubuntu to answer a question. – syserss Mar 27 '14 at 17:55
  • You need 5 reputation to participate in meta.askubuntu.com but not on the main site askubuntu.com. You only need one point to post a question or answer or suggest an edit on the main site. You have this already because you have registered as a user. – Warren Hill Mar 27 '14 at 18:42

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