Although Unix & Linux has gotten rid of the 'for advanced users' part of its description, it still comes across to me as a site for advanced Unix users - perhaps just server admins, even. This recently caused me to create the Debian Area51 proposal, which I now accept is a dupe of this site (well, a subset anyway). But it led me to thinking: is there a way that U&L can better brand itself to indicate that it's open not only to advanced users and server admins, but also new-to-intermediate users of all Linux distributions (except Ubuntu, of course!) I'm not sure exactly how to do it, but if you Google for "Debian Q&A", it would be nice if this site came up at least in the top 10. I don't think it's very 'discoverable'. If you're going to welcome beginner questions about all distros, the look-and-feel of this site right now doesn't feel appropriate; it feels very "command-liney". ;-) These days, new users of Linux will almost certainly be using a GUI, alongside a commandline.

  • 1
    That was the wrong Google search term. It should have been something like How to do X in Debian.
    – tshepang
    Jul 5, 2011 at 9:59
  • @Tshepang I disagree. If the question hadn't yet been asked on this site, it wouldn't have been linked on Google. Other sites with perhaps similar questions would be, but none of them may answer the specific question one has when Googling. What one therefore needs is a site where one can ask it and get a good answer, which would seem to be here.
    – Jez
    Jul 5, 2011 at 10:06
  • I agree. My reasoning was based on the fact that if you have a specific question, you google it, instead of searching for a site where you can ask (or search) such a question
    – tshepang
    Jul 5, 2011 at 10:16
  • Unless you can't find the answer to the question, after which you may search for such a site. :-)
    – Jez
    Jul 5, 2011 at 10:22
  • I would think you would then go ask on the official channels (mailing list, IRC, and/or forums). Why you use a 3rd party service?
    – tshepang
    Jul 5, 2011 at 10:36
  • There are plenty of StackExchange sites which have alternatives on the web (in fact, I defy you to find one that doesn't!) The fact is, StackExchange sites often have better quality answers than you'll get elsewhere (or answers at all!) and it's often much more likely you'll get a good answers to your question if you ask here.
    – Jez
    Jul 5, 2011 at 10:41
  • Now you are speaking like someone who already knows the goodness of Stack Exchange. I was referring to someone who didn't. If that guy doesn't find decent answers, the next best thing was to ask on the official channels. Anyways, my point is that their Google search term will be How to do X in Debian instead of Debian Q&A.
    – tshepang
    Jul 5, 2011 at 10:56
  • And mine was that their second search may be Debian Q&A.
    – Jez
    Jul 5, 2011 at 11:00
  • Instead of the official channels?
    – tshepang
    Jul 5, 2011 at 11:02
  • idk, I've asked a few gui questions, and answered some too. Ask more Gui questions? Jul 5, 2011 at 11:16
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    I don't think "except Ubuntu" is really an "of course". Ubuntu users and questions are welcome here too, as long as the questions are not very distribution/culture specific.
    – mattdm
    Jul 5, 2011 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


I don't think the look-and-feel, or arbitrarily matching "Debian Q&A", is the correct way to think of this.

If you want to attract (quality) beginners, make sure there are a lot of quality beginner Unix questions on the site! That is what will lead beginners here in the first place.

Therefore, if you want to make this site more hospitable to beginners:

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