I am a mod on StackOverflow, and we get a lot of "Belongs on ServerFault" flags there. I would like some clarification on what kind of server software questions are considered on-topic here.


  • .HTACCESS rewrite rule guidance?
  • How do I install this web/mail/other server?
  • I'm getting an error restarting my server software?
  • How do I configure my server software?
  • Writing automation scripts in PowerShell?
  • Help with routes in an ASP.NET MVC application?

Additionally, is any software that runs on a server fair game?

  • Automation scripts are programming, so why would there be any question of moving them here? I personally vote to move all such questions to SO. Commented Apr 26, 2011 at 3:42

4 Answers 4


The topic of the question is less a determinant than the audience who would benefit from the question. If you're not sure, you can always ask in the Comms Room.

.htaccess questions generally should go to webmasters.SE
"I've never done XYZ server, where do I start" is Off-Topic
"Errors in server software" On-Topic
See 2nd for I've never done configuration questions. They make man pages for a reason.
PS is almost always On-Topic
.NET Apps are either SO or webmasters.SE

Questions related to home setups, or personal software/hardware belong on SU or unix.SE. General rule: home servers aren't welcome here (though if you can't tell the difference between a home setup and a profession one, we wouldn't care).

  • I like your breakdown better. Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 15:32

golden rule: DO NOT MIGRATE CRAP.

If it is a bad question poorly written, just close as off-topic. This is important!

Ask yourself -- "does this question suck?" If the answer to that is yes, it should NEVER BE MIGRATED ANYWHERE, EVER.

There is no need to even think about migration until you have a good, well-asked question to start with.


I would say, hesitantly, that all of that is on-topic. .HTACCESS might be a better fit for webmasters, but if you're not sure, pop into chat and ask and hopefully someone there will be able to help.

I would also add that if it's a bad question, in that it's openly nebulous, has poor wording, is a shopping question, or generally would be closed on SO as not a real question, should probably be closed right there and not migrated. A question like "I need a server, can you help?" probably won't fly here. Questions like this are a no-go.

If you're not sure, again, pop into chat and someone there should be able to help (barring holidays or when we're actively participating in general drunken debauchery).

  • I'd swear I saw that exact same question asked months ago on SF. Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 15:43
  • @Robert Harvey if it was asked here, it was probably closed as well. But just because it was asked doesn't make it a good question. We're of the opinion that bad questions should just die wherever they are, and not be kicked around. By the way, the link you gave is the same link in my answer. Don't know if you intended that. Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 15:49
  • Hmm...Maybe it wasn't so long ago after all... Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 15:55

.htacess rewrite rule questions may have a better home on webmasters but we deal with a lot too. I'm not sure about the last item but for the rest, providing it's clear that the question is being asked within the bounds of our faq then they should be on topic.

Questions that are clearly about home servers/networks/software configuration will most likely have a better fit with SU.

Having said that they they should also be good questions that are not subjective & argumentative, shopping etc. My impression is that quite a lot of stuff that gets sent to us from SO should have been deleted at source rather than sending to us to have it put out of it's misery.

  • A lot of questions get migrated by the community before we get a chance to short-circuit them. Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 15:29
  • @Robert, we don't blame the mods really... I figure you're probably aware of the situation. The community are usually the culprits of the bad moves.
    – Chris S
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 15:33

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