Server Fault is getting questions migrated to it that are not appropriate to it, because the close reason associated with migration to SF is overly general.

From the migrate to SF close reason:

migrated to serverfault.com by $CLOSERS $TIMESINCE ago
This question is server or system administration related, and is a better fit for Server Fault.

But the SF FAQ talks of administration of servers, networks, or many machines. It's easy to see why SO moderators who are not familiar with SF might think SF is a reasonable target for questions such as this given that description. But it's wrong!

Request: change migrate reason to say "This question is about servers, networks or the administration of many machines, and so is a better fit for Server Fault".

Other examples — This is CW, so feel free to add other examples of questions wrongly migrated to SF that might have benefitted from the proposed wording.

  1. https://serverfault.com/questions/135619/ubuntu-hard-disk-problem
  2. Add group rwx permissions to a folder
  3. What's the maxium number of files a Unix folder can hold?
  4. https://serverfault.com/questions/40812/broken-fetchmail-configuration - Well, actually, since fetchmail is user space, maybe the rewording wouldn't help
  5. https://serverfault.com/questions/82843/filesystem-has-unsupported-features-older-fsck-ext3-vs-newer-mkfs-ext3
  6. Reach the same svn repository from a LAN connection and from a external connection (Qner doesn't administer office server)
  7. How to partition and format multiple disks using a batch script?

For your convenience, the relevant text from the SF FAQ:

What kind of questions can I ask here?

Server Fault is for system administrators and IT professionals, people who manage or maintain computers in a professional capacity. If you are in charge of ...

* servers
* networks
* many desktop PCs (other than your own)

... then you're in the right place to ask your question! Well, as long as the question is about your servers, your networks, or desktops you support, anyway.

Please note that Server Fault is not for general computer troubleshooting questions; if you paid for that desktop hardware, and it's your personal workstation, it is unlikely that your question is appropriate for Server Fault.

  • I know I have seen better examples of this too. Stuff that gets moved to serverfault that is about someone trying to set up something in their house.
    – Kyle Brandt
    Commented Apr 30, 2010 at 13:32
  • @Kyle: I'm changing this to CW, so that you can add other examples that might support this question to it.
    – Charles Stewart
    Commented Apr 30, 2010 at 13:35
  • Ya, I couldn't think of any though :-) I just know I have seen them.
    – Kyle Brandt
    Commented Apr 30, 2010 at 17:46

2 Answers 2


I agree with the problem. Stuff for superuser ends up on serverfault. So basically the person asking the question gets transferred twice.

So think of calling Dell, first you get some guy who says you are in the wrong support area, and transfers you. Then the person you are transferred to says this isn't right either and transfers you. At this point, you might hang up a swear never to buy their products again (Of course the person should have maybe spent a little time figuring out the right number to call).

Changing the wording might not be the best solution, but it still something that I imagine it pretty easy to implement and it might help.

Maybe a site that has reached the popularity of stackoverflow needs the closed vote rep raised a little bit so it ends up in that hands of people that know the whole trilogy better? But I imagine that is a lot more complicated than I know (You would have to start having different rep levels for different sites?), as opposed to just changing the wording.


Ok so you want

This question is about servers, networks or the administration of many machines, and is a better fit for Server Fault


This question is about servers or system administration, and is a better fit for Server Fault.

Pretty subtle stuff, there..

edit: but I agree, even subtle improvements are still improvements. Changing now.

  • 4
    Right, but I guess SO folk are going "well, you've got to have root access to worry about filesystem consistency, so we've got a question to do with admin privileges". It's not what the IT department means by system administration, but...
    – Charles Stewart
    Commented Apr 28, 2010 at 13:06

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