I have a question about my Server Fault post: OpenVPN how to route Internet traffic through a client

My post was initially put on hold for lack of clear problem statement. I edited it so that the problem is more clear and highlighted (i.e., what I want to achieve in the desired end state). I then requested it to be reviewed, only to have it deleted without feedback. I flagged it to other mods. However, it still ended up being closed. One of the mods commented that it's not a professional way to do things.

I put considerable efforts into trying to solve the problem first myself, and tried to detail my attempts. I know that they are not professional as they are not even working. However, I do not believe my question is of lower quality than the average questions on ServerFault. If there are specific aspects that I'm just not realizing that I need to provide, I can provide them if they are pointed out a little bit more specifically. I do not believe the generic claim is true that my question lacks a clear problem statement. Can veterans of this site provide some guidance?

  • 3
    "Professional" in this context means that this is part of your job in IT operations, whether or not that is your job title. Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 16:23
  • Thanks. Please see my comment to yagmoth555 on why I cannot simply adapt the network setup to make the problem easier.
    – Roc W.
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 18:11
  • I understand it's no one's obligation to give feedback when down-voting, but I'd appreciate it if someone can provide some clarity why even this question is frowned upon.. I can see the value judgement implied by the down-voting, closing and deletion of my question, and I'm sure there must be reasoning behind them. I'm just not getting it as a new user, and I think I did my fair homework by researching my problem, reading on how to ask on Stack Exchange, and on how to resolve disagreement with mods/on meta... Apparently there are cultural roots I'm not getting.
    – Roc W.
    Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 15:12
  • @RocWhite I am not a downvoter, but voting on Meta is agreement/disagreement. That means even if the question is good but I disagree with it I'd downvote. Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 8:25

1 Answer 1


I'am not the moderator that reviewed the flag, but as stated by ward in comment it's in the reopen review, and it's still there today.

As seen today:

enter image description here

The voting still follow its course, but personnally I would had voted to migrate to SuperUser, but close on SF. The reason behind my logic is that you don't control machineA router and it seem to me you want to bypass asking the firewall admin to make exception for your case. The legitimacy is lost there on my side, and all the question complexity come from that fact.

To make it clear, that make me think in example; what would happen if you install such bypass in a HIPAA's setup? Can you get fired to have not asked the network admin to do what you want to do?

It's the reason on my side that I wait for the community to decide for the reopenning. Your question is really well worded and with a lot of details, so it show your effort into your question and I really apprecitate that. I maybe miss a detail that make it more fit on ServerFault, but in doubth I prefer not to intervene. If it stay closed I can ask SU's moderator if your question could better fit there without problem.

Edit: I asked SU's mod, and yes it could fit there but the fact you don't control the network gear will problably bug them too.

  • Thanks for the clarification. I thought the review had concluded as the question just changed from [on hold] to [closed]. Also I can understand the reason you gave. It is very helpful. I was reading again and again the article "How do I ask a good question?", comparing existing questions on SF, and just banging my head trying to figure out exactly why my question wasn't clear or lack of desired end state, etc. Thanks again for taking the time to explain this.
    – Roc W.
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 18:01
  • Regarding the point about the control of machineA router though. The admins controlling those do not object to the proposed use of machineA, as long as it does not involve extra effort on their part. I tried to focus on the technical aspects of the issue, because the legislative/regulatory aspects are arguably the responsibility of people who implement any technical solution.
    – Roc W.
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 18:08
  • @RocWhite I would explain that inside your question, but at a certain point, why machineA can surf while machineB can't, but both can connect to C... I don't understand that point. Is it a proxy or else ? If you got a server that need direct internet access and your netadmin block you, it's a argument to have with them, ask them their router config in worst case if they are too lazy to do something
    – yagmoth555 Mod
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 18:56
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    I edited my question to give more context to the use case. Hopefully it now addresses your concerns.
    – Roc W.
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 19:09
  • @RocWhite I left you a comment on your question, but I honnestly think the best answer I could give you is to simply ask your netadmin to do it's job.
    – yagmoth555 Mod
    Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 2:35
  • Thanks. I added a network diagram and a bit more clarification to the question.
    – Roc W.
    Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 15:06
  • @RocWhite with the edit I can see more the why, I weighted my vote. Next time just better wrote it from the start, as the fact you have a thirdpart that refuse your demand versus having network admin inside your corp that dont want to change any setting, the view is really not the same.
    – yagmoth555 Mod
    Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 2:32
  • Thanks @yagmoth555. It's actually a bit of both. If our IT people could open up machine A, then setting up an OpenVPN server there would be the most straight-forward solution.
    – Roc W.
    Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 15:50
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    @RocWhite Now you make me doubth my vote. I tougth only the third part vendor block you ? As it's illogical to create a bypass scenario to bypass your own netadmin department. Such question would be closed back.
    – yagmoth555 Mod
    Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 16:28

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