I'm seeing a lot of questions that are just trivial "how do I use <Unix tool X>" questions, where X is things like curl, rsync, etc. Most of these are getting closed as OT, "not managing IT systems in a business environment" (with an emphasis on the "managing" part, presumably).

Given the volume of these questions, would it be worthwhile and helpful (to question-askers) to add a reference to U&L in the close reason text? I propose it should read as something like this:

Questions on Server Fault must be about managing information technology systems in a business environment. Home and end-user computing questions may be asked on Super User, and questions about development, testing and development tools may be asked on Stack Overflow. General usage questions about Unix and Linux commands and scripts may be on-topic at Unix & Linux.

(Add appropriate links above)

  • 2
    A lot of those questions could just be migrated. Nov 7, 2015 at 0:48
  • Can we add some intelligence to suggest they post there depending on the combination of tags? Nov 7, 2015 at 3:03

4 Answers 4


I'm of two minds on this.

Mind 1:
If it was good enough, why didn't the close-voters vote to migrate it? It's a target after all.

Mind 2:
Makes sense. Sure.

By referencing it, we open the door to cross-posting. We already get occasional flags from people sniffing around the site looking for crossposted content from SU, UL, and SO. This would make that problem worse. I'm OK with that kind of thing, but we have flaggers who aren't.

  • 3
    Unix & Linux has an explicit rule against crossposting. It's even one of their off-topic close reasons. Nov 7, 2015 at 21:53
  • Its a general stackexchange policy (so I thought), they reference a meta post, but I can't find it as an official rule.
    – Jim B
    Nov 16, 2015 at 13:23
  • The problem with many of the questions is that both of the VTC answers fit, if the only difference is that its not a business I'd probably refer it to superuser before U&L unless it was specifically mentioned it was a home server
    – Jim B
    Nov 16, 2015 at 13:31

If the question is good enough, it should be migrated, not closed. I do a lot of votes to migrate to U&L, and I'm also occasionally active there. (I also tend to comment and explain why I'm voting to migrate.)

If the question is not good, why should we want to inflict it on our sister site? But OTOH, this would be equally valid for SO and SU, and we do mention them, so why not U&L. Mentioning two out of three of our frequent migration targets, but not the third, does not seem logical to me.

My conclusion: We should be better at migrating questions to U&L, and we should also change the text to include a reference to U&L. But the links in the text should be to the FAQ of those sites, not to the front page.


I am often hesitating to use the current close reason for questions which I think should be closed. When I am hesitating to use it the reason usually is either:

  • The question would be off-topic for the mentioned sites as well.
  • The question is of lower quality than what I would like to see asked on those other sites.

If a question is off-topic on SF but on-topic for one of those sites, and if it is of good enough quality for the target site, I vote to migrate.

I can't think of a scenario in which I would not want to vote to migrate and instead encourage a user to repost their question to another site.

I am in favor of removing the current mentioning of other sites in the close reason, because to me it feels redundant to mention those in close reasons when we can vote to migrate.

Perhaps we could replace it with some advice on how to improve a question, and a brief explanation on how a question can be migrated to another site in case it remains off-topic for SF even after it has been improved to be of a good quality.


Yes, you should mention the U&L, so people whose question was closed unfairly, instead of simply leave the site with a lot of bitterness in his heart, will maybe re-try on another site, where he will maybe get a better treatment.

On my opinion, it is only a little problem problem compared to, that a lot of salvageable question should have been migrated, instead of simply closing it. But it is a bad thing, if a content would be ontopic on another site (f.e. U&L), there is no rational argument to intentionally choose a destructive solution, instead of a non-destructive one,

Unfortunately, most of you don't do that. Maybe its reason is that the required number of clicks is higher.

  • 8
    Is it even possible for you to proffer an answer without re-hashing all of the problems you have with SF? You may not realize this, but the constant whining and repetition damages your credibility on the site, so it shouldn't be surprising that your posts frequently collect down-votes. If you ever want to be able to successfully exert influence somewhere, you should work on increasing credibility, not damaging it.
    – EEAA
    Nov 10, 2015 at 14:17

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