Recently in the review queue I have seen a number of questions which had they been asked today would be off topic because they specifically refer to an end of life version of Ubuntu but were on topic when asked and have accepted answers.

Should these questions be closed as they are no longer relevant to any supported version of Ubuntu or kept open for historical reasons.

I've been selecting "skip" so far but I can see arguments both for keeping and for closing and presumably eventually deleting these questions.

Do we have a policy on this and if so what is it?

2 Answers 2


Closing questions which are off topic is important for new questions to indicate they should not be answered, or should be edited.

These reasons do not hold true for old, or very old answered questions. We can not expect that all these questions and their answers will be edited just for an up to date topicness.

Having them around does not do any harm. Searching those old questions, reviewing, and eventually closing them however is a waste of time for all involved. We should also keep in mind that after deleting these old questions all people that put effort in answering them will lose all their reputation they may have gained. These certainly is not what we want.

We may also not want to lose valuable content which may still be helpful to people in need of running unsupported old releases. Why remove this content? We don't accept new questions but it makes no sense to delete the old ones.

I don't see any good reason why we should close or delete those old, upvoted and answered questions. This is different for old but unanswered questions. Removing them may be good for our statistics and may help to remove clutter.

  • 1
    I certainly agree that old unanswered questions should be removed and I am happy to leave questions that have been accepted or have up-voted answers open. Thanks for the clarification. Commented May 1, 2014 at 9:12
  • 2
    @WarrenHill if you see one of those, just remove the references to the version and write it more general, unless is a bug, bugs are to be closed. ;)
    – Braiam
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 17:38

Here is an Example of Old Questions with Too Many Answers

The question is about Black Screen, ( Ubuntu boots to a black screen with login ).

A Duplicated question is given in comments: My computer boots to a black screen, what options do I have to fix it? .

This "Duplicated" question is many years old and has more questionable answers than we can expect the OP to try, (52 answers).

There are many answers concerning Live CD's, Wubi, Ubuntu 10.04, ATI Catalyst drivers, many outdated links, Links to other questions with over 25 answers, etc.

I voted to keep the above question open. All answers that use WUBI as a solution should be eliminated.

We are here to help users, not give them nervous breakdowns.

  • wow! As much as I agree with @Takkat's answer. I think that question needs to be addressed differently. It needs some "clean-up". I don't agree that we shouldn't mark new questions as duplicates, though. Scrolling through 52 different answers is better than scrolling through 52 questions. We can update outdated answers, fix those highly upvoted link-only answers even though they're from the Ubuntu wiki, etc.
    – Dan
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 16:27
  • @ Dan: Is that practical? How much manpower would it take to fix the above question with 52 answers? Who is willing to do this on all of the obsolete questions? If it is too much work to fix these posts then it is too much work for a new user to peruse them. Just because a question or answer has a lot of votes does not mean it is still valid. I think it was a lot easier to get votes back in the olden days when AU was new. And anyway who is going to post 52 new questions about the same subject. Most questions deemed duplicates are not really duplicates, someone just did not read the question. Commented Nov 8, 2022 at 5:55

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