I am not a professional sysadmin and I asked a question which was understandably poorly received.

I'm a developer and I'm learning server management in bits and pieces as I try to use the same knowledge and techniques that sysadmins do for a home-server setup that I'm doing "for fun". Because I'm learning in bits and pieces, this leads to incomplete knowledge which I try to fill by available online material, or if that doesn't help then by asking a question on some forum.

I felt that of all the stackexchange websites, the question was most suited to serverfault knowledge areas. However, it seems like these questions about "basics" are uncommon on the website (indeed internal-dns and intranet tags which have 100s of questions which all discuss things assuming that people have near-complete knowledge of how these work and are set up) because most users are professionals and discuss more advanced things.

I'll look harder elsewhere for answers to this specific question, but I wanted to understand if in general these kind of questions are unfavorably recieved on serverfault so I am careful with my future questions.

  • My question already has answers here. "We do not deal with home-questions or open shopping-questions" and "Serverfault is a site designed for professionals, whereas SO is happy with both professionals and amateurs." Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 6:29

2 Answers 2


In general, StackExchange isn't the right place for very broad "how do I set up (whatever system)?" questions. ServerFault has at least 2 - arguably 3 - close reasons for overly broad questions, so you wouldn't be wrong to conclude that this really isn't the right place.

Your question was badly received because it's very broad. How to set up your dns system(s) depends on many factors, such as what OS(es) are you using, what reliability do you need, what upstream/outside servers do you have access to, how big a network are you dealing with...

So you need to look at tutorials for setting up dns and then, if you have specific questions about problems you run into, those might be on-topic.

  • I see your point, thanks. I also found another meta answer here that's relevant. Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 6:27

Browsing through some meta questions I found that SF community is indeed more oriented by profession, but there's an overlap between knowledge areas of superuser and serverfault so there's still another home for non-professional / enthusiast questions.

Curiously, explicit mention of "home systems" or such seems to have been removed from the on-topic FAQ, and it's only implicit by mentioning that only topics of business environment are relevant.

  • The later form was considered to be more specific for the target audience. It is a positive deliminator not a negative one. Rather than trying to cover all of the different situations which could occur, this specifically delineates what SF supports. Business Networks need a whole different level of reliability and accountability than what is acceptable for other environments, dodgy obsolete hardware and risky administration practices are not acceptable to business financial stability. Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 1:01

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