Since the FAQ as-written was not accepted, we get to have an edit round.

The below is a grammar/spelling/punctuation checked version of the FAQ.

The edit process:

  • Proposed edits will be submitted as answers.
  • The edit should include:
    • The line(s) being changed if the change is in-line.
    • The preceeding line as context for edits adding new lines.
    • Optional: text justifying the change.
  • When an answer reaches a score of 10 or more, it will be added to the FAQ below
    • In case of conflicting edits, where two proposed edits change the same line, the first past the post will win and the other answer deleted. The other answer may be resubmitted for a reset vote-count.
    • Approved edits will have their content edited to 'accepted edit' to mark which have been approved (see the edit history for the exact text).
  • An answer to preemptively approve the FAQ as written can be submited, but will require a score of 20 for acceptance. If this happens, when 20 is reached the FAQ will be considered approved and no futher edits will be accepted.

The edit process will run until 0:00 UTC Tuesday, or whenever we run out of steam.

Edits to tag-wikis can happen any time someone wants to take care of it.

Tip: to strike-out use <strike>strikeout tags</strike>

Server Fault is for Information Technology Professionals needing expert answers on topics related to managing or maintaining computer systems in a professional capacity for their company or clients.

If your question is about…

and it is not about…

… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

We also have sister sites that cover specific topics in more detail:

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We also have…

… a list of the most common questions with links to the "best" answer we've identified.

6 Answers 6


Strike "No exceptions." from the "Anything in a home setting" line

  • Anything in a home setting. No exceptions.

While I'm all for the sentiment the reality is that we DO deal with things in a home setting in the course of every-day corporate support -- See for example this meta question asking if it's OK to ask about VPNing in to the office from a home ADSL connection.

Many companies (cough StackExchange sneeze) encourage remote/teleworking, and we can safely assume many of those employees work out of their homes -- It's still IT's job to help them connect to the corporate network.

  • 2
    One of my employers works from his office in another state. That office is located in his home, yet is very much part of the network I administer. Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 20:37
  • 2
    As with my Answer to that VPN Question "Home Setting" and "Location that happens to be a home" aren't the same. For tele-workers their "Office" and "Professional Environment" happens to share space with a non-professional environment. The non-professional environment doesn't infect their use of technology for professional purposes. Perhaps we need a different phrase than "Home Setting" but misinterpretation is a terrible excuse for defanging the FAQ.
    – Chris S
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 14:05
  • The problem is that any phrase we use can be misinterpreted -- If we disallow "Hobbyist" / "Amateur" / "Enthusiast" questions we'll get "HI I'm the sysadmin for my small company. I've got this rack in my basement on my genuine 56K AOL Dial-Up connection and...". I think the intent of "Home setting" is pretty clear, and if we allow exceptions for remote-workers (implicitly by removing No exceptions.) we'll be OK. If we try to get into a word-war there will always be someone craftier than us trying to weasel in a truly off-topic question.
    – voretaq7
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 23:58
  • (Also note that all of this is predicated on people reading the FAQ -- The folks asking "home user" questions we don't want here are precisely the ones who will probably skip the FAQ :-)
    – voretaq7
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 23:59

Add the following (or something similar) to the part about our sister sites:

We have sister sites:

Reason: I believe most new users don't understand that SF is part of a whole network of sites, and with this line we make the reference explicit, not just an unexplained link in the title of that section.

  • 3
    I like the idea a lot, but adding it would break the rule of five. If instead the line could be amended: "We have server sites on the stack-exchange network" it would be nigh perfect.
    – sysadmin1138 Mod
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 1:06
  • @sysadmin1138, and perhaps make stack-exchange a link to a suitable page. Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 1:10
  • I can life with that. Could be combined with the 10vote answer from Ward which is about to be integrated into the text. Adding a comment there.
    – Sven
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 1:12
  • 2
    Having just merged Ward's edit, I couldn't help but notice that 'sister sites' is already a link to the StackExchange site-list.
    – sysadmin1138 Mod
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 1:25


  • for addressing organizational and technical challenges

to the

  • Operations, Maintenance, and Monitoring:


  • can somebody please shorten the sentence for me? I can't think of a better phrase but feel that it reads clumsy.
    – the-wabbit
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 11:40
  • 1
    I don't think it's clumsy, but it does seem very broad -- What kinds of "best practices" were you thinking of? (If the scope is narrowed I think a better wording will present itself)
    – voretaq7
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 17:51
  • In theory there should be only one best for any $practice and it should be easy to point to it. In reality everyone has their own $best so unfortunately I think this will lead to NC or NARQ discussions.
    – user9517
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 17:58
  • There are some "universal" bests (like the items on the Limoncelli Test) -- maybe we could crib some items from there and put it into FAQable form. Covering those bullets is almost always org-specific though, which opens up the problems Iain mentioned
    – voretaq7
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 18:10
  • 1
    Limoncelli (and others) are frameworks of best practice the implementation of which is where the questions and discussion would be.
    – user9517
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 19:09
  • 2
    I've always found the term "best practice" offensive. There is no such thing. The notion of a "best practice" implies something that simply cannot be bettered, now or ever, and we all know that not to be true. What is considered a good practice now may well be the most abhorred practice next year. It's one of those idiotic terms we need to expunge from the industry. Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 21:11
  • While I agree that it should read "mostly okay practice" instead, it is a set phrase now and something people (TM) are looking for. I wanted to emphasize on the organizational aspect of things - questions like "how do I do XY" tend to get several answers illuminating a multitude of aspects of a problem and thus presenting a valuable resource.
    – the-wabbit
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 8:48
  • 2
    We regularly close "What is the best way" questions. I don't see how this would fit. Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 17:38

There is some inconsistency in the wording that kind of bugs me. In the following...

... we go from using "including" to "such as" and back to "including". The meanings of the words/phrase in this case are essentially the same, so we should settle on one or the other or something else entirely. I propose cutting out "such as" and "including" and instead use "e.g." in all instances where warranted (I'm thinking specifically of John G's proposed edit as well). I think it will solve the uniformity issue while not sounding too repetitive on the tongue.

  • 1
    When I put that in the original edit process I struggled with that. Three repetitions of 'including' or 'such as' gets tiring, and I couldn't think of a third option to replace the second 'including'. I just don't know which is better.
    – sysadmin1138 Mod
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 2:55
  • 2
    @sysadmin1138 How about 'e.g.'? I get your point, and honestly I was a little torn about having the multiple repetitions, but thought that it was more uniform. Maybe using 'e.g' would satisfy the uniformity issue that I see, while still using something that denotes a non-exclusive list. Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 3:48
  • 3
    We could also just tack "etc." onto the end of each line (Operating systems: ........, etc.) -- That makes it obvious the list isn't exhaustive and avoids "pause phrases".
    – voretaq7
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 6:32
  • 1
    I'm fine with either. I just want it to look uniform, whatever is decided. Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 19:47

change to:

due to: aesthetic considerations - the line wrap looks ugly.


The more I think about this, the more I'm taking a dislike to the inclusion of tags.

  1. They don't add value. Do we really need to list examples of operating systems? This is a site for IT professionals, if you need examples, you shouldn't be here.
  2. They add grammatical inconsistencies. Compare the first set of bullet points with the others.
    • No closing full stops, but when added, they look silly following a .
    • Proper Noun capitalisation is impossible.
    • They break the line spacing.

Whilst they might look pretty, my gut feeling is to completely strip them out. I think that the FAQ should focus more on what is unacceptable, rather than what is acceptable.

If your question is about…

  • Server Hardware, Operating Systems, or Software.
  • Virtualization or Enterprise Storage Systems.
  • Business Desktop Operating Systems and Applications.
  • Network Devices such as Routers, Switches and Firewalls.
  • Operations, Maintenance, Disaster Recovery, Monitoring, Scripting or Automation.
  • 1
    This is a site for IT professionals, if you need examples, you shouldn't be here. Yes, hopefully providing the tag lists should help the edge-case users. Hopefully. :|
    – jscott
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 0:36
  • 6
    I feel the tags are helpful mostly as they provide links to lists of questions - someone asking "What kind of Ubuntu questions can I ask here" can click the tag & see examples. I don't think they're strictly necessary, but it was an aspect of the DBA site's FAQ that I thought was particularly nice.
    – voretaq7
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 1:20
  • 3
    In terms of the look, almost every line of the first list has a tag in it, which keeps most of the line heights uniform. If anything, I'd try to find a way to work in a tag or two on the lines without any. Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 2:46
  • We could also add a line break to the end of each bullet-group which might help with the appearance
    – voretaq7
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 4:30

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