Um, well question says it all - why is a question about fail2ban and ipfw off-topic for "serverfault" and gets migrated to "superuser"?

It's about server processes, right? Is it because it's MacOS?


3 Answers 3


Where do I begin? O right, at the fact that MacOS 10.5 is not supported by Apple basically since forever (August 2009, to be precise). Running this facing the internet is not at all a valid professional system administration approach.

I wouldn't have migrated this but closed outright with this close reason:

Questions should demonstrate reasonable business information technology management practices. Questions that relate to unsupported hardware or software platforms or unmaintained environments may not be suitable for Server Fault - see the help center.

  • 1
    When can we start moving Server 2003 questions to Superuser? ;-)
    – pacey
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 20:49
  • 4
    2022. Then it's also out of support for seven years :)
    – Sven
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 20:55
  • You're basically out of touch on the issue here, because running a system unsupported by Apple has no relevance about what software I can run on it (ie whatever Apple put in the system to start with I can, and am, running the latest versions of MySQL, PHP, OpenSSL...)
    – typonaut
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 21:10
  • 10
    You have an OS that hasn't received an update for its core components like the kernel and the firewall implementation for seven years while newer versions of the product got plenty of security fixes for these components. Until you can demonstrate that all those fixes only affect those newer versions anyway, I say it's highly irresponsible to run such a system facing the internet directly. What version of MySQL you run is irrelevant in that context.
    – Sven
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 21:30
  • @pacey Not too soon I hope, we still have some in our shop and that probably won't change in the next 2-3 years.
    – Reaces
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 10:35

Okay ignoring the tone set here, I try to explain what the problem is with your original question (which I haven't read because I did not find it in time).

Server Fault is a question and answer site for managing information technology systems in a business environment.

This is not about server processes (even a home DSL router has say a DHCP server) but questions regarding IT systems in a business environment.

One could say that your company issued MacBook Pro is a business environment but serverfault is a resource for people managing all the notebooks in a company, services on an business level (compare home-DSL router vs. company firewall system). But that's not the point.

On the other hand:

Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

Often times there are similar questions on both sites, with the difference being the scale. I'll try to make an example to make this clearer:

  • Serverfault: Managing a cluster of database servers, hosting a datawarehouse application
  • Superuser: Managing a single instance database on your NAS at home or for your private wordpress installation.

Don't be disappointed if a questions gets migrated to another site in the stackexchange network. There are helpful and knowledgeable people on both (all) sites of the network. It's just that some questions can even be better answered by the respective other site.

It's the same as a programming question posted to serverfault would be better migrated to stackoverflow - because that's where the experts for that purpose are, and where people are expected to look for those kind of questions.

Stackexchange, isn't solely about answering your question for the moment, but to provide a resource for other people looking for this question in the future. People come to serverfault to find questions and answers about a business environment as they visit stackoverflow to find answer to programming questions.

Sure, given the right question someone on serverfault could answer my programming question but it wouldn't be found by people running in the same issue and looking for help and is therefore better migrated.

  • I find it generally perplexing that a question about firewalls and brute force attacks isn't of wider interest.
    – typonaut
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 21:15
  • It also seems to me that the superusers don't know the answers, because questions about these subjects are not getting answers.
    – typonaut
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 21:19
  • @typonaut I have seen similar around here. If you state that your problem occurs on your NAS, it will be deemed unworthy. If you state that it occurs on the file server in a department of 20 people that you manage, it will be welcomed, even if the problem itself does not change. So, just word it differently and invent some back story - no one can check it. It is stupid, but it seems necessary.
    – user121391
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 11:58
  • 1
    @typonaut: You got your answer on superuser didn't you?
    – pacey
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 12:04
  • 1
    @user121391 you are right, the question does not change between those two cases, per se. The person asking it does - one is a hobbyist at home, the other is a professional being paid to maintain this equipment. The latter person tends to ask questions that are a lot more relevant to this site than the former, so we use the information in the question to distinguish the two. Sure, you can lie, and say your hobbyist NAS is really at work, but it'll all come out soon enough, when we ask for some piece of technical information, and you have to ask us how to find that out.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 6:51
  • @MadHatter That is exactly my point - I argue to judge questions on the quality of the question itself, for example by previous research, detailed explanation, demonstrated experience etc.; just not by "someone pays me money so it must be a good question!". Times have changed, hardware is cheap, virtual everything allows for possibilities in the home that were previously only available to large businesses, so in my opinion the line professional/prosumer is much more blurry than it was some years ago.
    – user121391
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 7:18
  • 2
    Please, read what I wrote. We, too, wish to judge the questions on the quality of the question, and the quality of the questioner is an important factor in that, whether you like it or not. I can point you to any number of questions I've tried to help with, where we ask for some diagnostic information, and the questioner then says "how do I find that out?". At that point, you have to start worrying about a huge pile of professionally-normal things the OP may not have done. Life is too short to bring the whole world up to speed; we're here for the people who are already running.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 7:28

Your question was most likely migrated because it was not on topic for ServerFault.

Server Fault is for questions about managing information technology systems in a business environment and since Apple has stopped making server hardware (many moons ago) the position of OS X as a server operating system has also been very much in decline to the point where it is irrelevant for (almost all) professional sysadmins and you're much more likely to get answers on either SuperUser or Ask Different.

  • So, basically you are biased against the fact that MacOS was in the question, where the actual question, and its answer, would be relevant more widely, to other Unix users.
    – typonaut
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 21:12
  • 3
    @typonaut Yep! Irrelevant to SF, maybe not to the internet at large and therefore migrated rather than closed or deleted.
    – HBruijn
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 21:17
  • 1
    @typonaut The most appropriate place for overlapping topics depends more on the question itself than on usage statistics or products. For example, is it a question about deployment/configuration (serverfault), customization (stackoverflow), or usage (superuser)? A question heavy with scripting might get better results on unix/linux, while more generic questions may be more successful on serverfault (regardless of specific operating system). Unfortunately, overlapping questions can only be moved, not exist on more than one site.
    – user121391
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 12:05

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