As a relatively new user I'm somewhat confused about SF's role -- it comes across as rather narrow. For example, if a question has a hint of Linux in it should it actually go over to U&L, if it has a hint of databases in it should it actually go to DBA and if you're doing any programming/scripting in your role as a sysadmin and want to ask it it goes to SO. What's left is server configuration questions and Windows as Windows doesn't have a U&L counterpart.

A case in point is a question I'd like to ask about Cloudera Impala memory use (it's failing regularly) and I'd like to know how to go about optimising that cluster. Does it go to SO or maybe DBA? Cloudera Impala is a database technology based on Hadoop, while I see Hadoop questions on here once in awhile I haven't seen any Impala questions (there isn't a corresponding tag either), to me it seems like it should be on SF as the general gist of the question I describe is something that a operations person may be tasked with handling.

Interested in your opinions.

Edit (Answering HopelessN00b):

Remove the word "booted" as it's more of a feeling of asking in the wrong place than actual experience seeing questions move to other sites.

  • 5
    One thing to consider is that migrating a question is not necessarily bad if you can get better help on another site. I prefer a well thought out question that get migrated to e.g. DBA.SE over a crappy "Halp. My exchange iz kaput".
    – Sven
    Dec 19, 2014 at 18:31
  • The pee-wee herman rule is an interesting read on the topic of where to post questions.
    – AD7six
    Dec 26, 2014 at 9:29
  • 2
    There is a wide gap between what the rules of the site are and how the rules are followed. I've seen many on-topic questions get moved to a less appropriate site, closed, downvoted, etc. not because they violated the rules, but because one or a few people didn't like them. In other words, even if you follow the rules to the letter, chances are high that you (or your questions/answers) will get penalized regardless.
    – user65237
    Dec 28, 2014 at 5:09
  • A sysadmin's goal is working toward higher efficiency, clearly a mod's role here is to work towards the day when no question will be left on topic and they are all diverted with the smallest input. :)
    – JamesRyan
    Dec 29, 2014 at 8:45

3 Answers 3


For example, if a question has a hint of Linux in it it gets booted over to U&L, if it has a hint of databases in it it gets booted to DBA and if you're doing any programming/scripting in your role as a sysadmin and want to ask it it goes to SO.

Where do you get those examples from? They're fundamentally incorrect, and therefore, the conclusions you draw from them are wrong as well. Server Fault actually has a huge scope, so much so, that there aren't member capable of answering a lot of the more specialized questions we'd like to see answers on.

As a result of that, a frequent reason for migration isn't so much that it doesn't belong on Server Fault, but that it is more likely to get a better answer somewhere else. As a result of the overlap between SE sites, that's unavoidable, and there's often no one place a question "should" be asked.

Feel free to ask it in one place, and have it migrated if it doesn't get enough attention or any good answers in one place, or ask related questions on different sites.

  • You're right -- I updated the question as it's more of an uncertainty on my part about whether I'm asking in the right place.
    – c4urself
    Dec 19, 2014 at 18:11
  • 1
    @c4urself I added a bit of an edit on to this in response to your edit - there's no reason there's only one place a given question should exist... often it's perfectly acceptable for multiple sites. Dec 19, 2014 at 19:45
  • The Stack Exchange policy is to only migrate questions that are off-topic, or at the author's request, not to migrate questions because other users feel that it might be more popular elsewhere. Dec 26, 2014 at 1:54
  • That's the policy but it seam
    – Jim B
    Dec 26, 2014 at 17:07

Your question would be perfectly in-scope here as you're troubleshooting a problem and looking for someone with possible solutions for it. It never hurts to post a well thought out question and see how the community reacts to it.

As for your specific question, if there's no tag then there's a high chance you may not receive a good answer, but you never know.

  • 5
    However, the mere existence of a tag doesn't necessarily imply the question would be on-topic here today as the scope of Server Fault has changed over the years.
    – Sven
    Dec 19, 2014 at 18:28

I asked a similar question and my conclusion was that, based on votes on the answers, almost anything goes here at sf.

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