Some questions that are fit to ask here are not fit on askubuntu, but the other way around should always be ok. But is it?


As a general guideline across all Stack Exchange sites, cross-posting is generally frowned upon, especially if its a copy & paste job. There are exceptions, e.g., both Ask Ubuntu and us probably have a question about how to add a static route—but Ask Ubuntu probably focuses exclusively on using Network Manager's GUI, whereas we might talk about files in /etc.

If you want to know, what's the Ubuntu way to do X?, ask on Ask Ubuntu. Otherwise, ask here.

You may also want to consider the different communities when deciding where to ask. E.g., if you look at Ask Ubuntu's How do I save files edited with vim?, there is a comment suggesting try gedit instead. That's probably a good suggestion, assuming some random Ubuntu user just ran across a howto somewhere which said to use vim. You'd not get that here...

See also the related questions in the right-hand sidebar.

  • i was not thinking about a specific issue, but was interested in the general position on this. but, on the other hand, talking about an example, asking something about theming/appearance in Xfce would fit better here or in askubuntu, do you think? xfce goes beyond ubuntu, isn't it? ubuntu specific issues are most of the time desktop-environment-specific, but DE goes beyond just ubuntu. i was under the impression that xfce issues are strictly ubuntu until started using mint and now i see differently – user32012 Feb 8 '13 at 18:37
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    @cipricus XFCE questions are OK here, I'm not sure about Ask Ubuntu. Probably if you're running Xubuntu. Probably not if you're running Mint, or Debian, or Fedora, etc. (I'm not really active on Ask Ubuntu at all.) – derobert Feb 8 '13 at 18:45
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    @cipricus Also, if you look at the related questions, you'll see some of the history—there was, early on, a question of merging the two sites. Merging was much more popular here than on Ask Ubuntu (if I remember correctly, Unix.SE was in favor, Ask Ubuntu was not). It appears we've carved out the smallest possible exception in our FAQ for Ask Ubuntu. We're happy to have questions from Ubuntu users. – derobert Feb 8 '13 at 18:49
  • i've just posted 2 :) unix.stackexchange.com/q/64198/32012, unix.stackexchange.com/q/64203/32012 – user32012 Feb 8 '13 at 18:54
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    You are absolutely right... There's very high probability that I wouldn't have posted that comment had the question been posted on U&L instead of AU :-) – Aditya Mar 15 '13 at 10:07

My personal opinion on cross-posting is that you should be explicit about it and say, "I also posted this question here" and provide a link. This way:

  • A1: People will not end up wasting their time typing out an answer you already got somewhere else.
  • If the community or admin do not appreciate cross-posting, they can be honest because you have been honest. This will prevent abuse of the possibility; otherwise some people will post a question everywhere they possibly can.

If you don't do that and someone notices -- which happens surprisingly often -- then your post should be pulled or publicly flagged as a cross-post. Again, just a personal opinion.


In my long involvement with Usenet, cross-posting was very harshly discouraged. Cross-posting just leads to conflicting/wrong answers published several times, and discussions diffuse. Also, if OP isn't able to locate the right forum for the question, they don't understand their problem well enough. Or the forum's theme wasn't clearly defined.

  • sometimes the right forum is a tricky question. discouraging cross-posting has practical reason like avoiding too many bad answers. but what about many good answers? don't understand their problem well enough. Or the forum's theme wasn't clearly defined: imagine a strictly Xfce (or gnome)-problem. if i am in ubuntu i would be very tempted to ask askubuntu. in fact what is an ubuntu question? in most cases, it is one about unity, kde, xfce, lxde or gnome which all are DE that could be used outside ubuntu. – user32012 Feb 13 '13 at 8:03
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    another good argument: communities have decided, they could change they minds, but have not. meta.unix.stackexchange.com/a/1086/32012 – user32012 Feb 13 '13 at 8:22
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    On usenet the preferred way to handle a topic that covered several newsgroups was to multipost. Same article posted simultaneously into the different groups. By default, replies would also go to that same full set of newsgroups. Multiposting != crossposting, which was indeed strongly discouraged. – roaima May 4 '18 at 15:43

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